Julie and I were at Queensgate on our twice-yearly pilgrimage to buy new work clothes as quickly as possible without being rained on, and it’s fair to say that spring fashion is in force. Hilariously, it was freezing cold and raining outside, but there I was, standing in Merchant eyeing up orange sandals. I find this time of year so hard, because I vastly prefer spring/summer fashion and right about now is the perfect Venn diagram overlap of Northern Hemisphere inspiration and Southern Hemisphere new season. I MUST NOT BUY CLOTHES FOR HOT WEATHER UNTIL I KNOW WHETHER IT WILL BE HOT. Did I buy a jumpsuit with short sleeves? Yes, I did. No regrets.
Regardless of my decision to buy (or not buy) all the spring fashion, I can tell you this – gird your loins for florals. Not in the usual “of course it’s spring so of course there’s florals” way. Oh no. This was full wall to wall, unceasingly girly, Floral with a capital F in store after store. I love a good floral print, but by the third store I was wildly over it. It’s the most boring trend of spring, thanks to being both deeply predictable and, this year, so ubiquitous. So here it is – my guide to how to wear florals without buying into the worst trend of springtime 2018.
First up, I bought these pants on TradeMe and I love them as a departure from the Girly Floral Extravaganza that is the high street this year for a few reasons. They’re wide legged and sheer, with wee nude shorts sewn into them that make them Maximum Fun and yet, somehow, a wee bit sexy (absolutely not work appropriate). The colour combo is sublime, with nary a hint of saccharine pink to be seen (although they are super wearable with another trend of spring 2018 – lilac). And finally, the velvet pattern adds texture and interest instead of the flat, cheap-looking prints we saw in various shops on the weekend.
If you’re keen for some floral action, looking for unique fabrics and unusual colour combos will give your picks some longevity beyond the current season. I’m personally sick of pink in a way that words alone cannot describe, but appreciate I may be alone in this and encourage you to do you. Florals in a pair of trousers is more fun than a floral dress or a floral blouse; floral shoes are also out and about in the market and after three years with my beloved pair from Ted Baker, I reiterate: they are surprisingly wearable.
Look for a floral that features unusual blooms – no worries if you can’t recognise them. I think palm fronds and monstera are pretty alternatives to florals but they’ve been in rotation for a while and might be a bit of a gamble if you want a print that won’t date. I like big, bold florals, and I love botanical prints that verge on looking like a realistic painting. I bought a shirt from Karen Walker in the sale that features fruit and insects, and it’s the best alternative to a twee floral that I could ever imagine. I’m quite wee, so teensy ditzy prints look underwhelming on me, but if you prefer something more in the vein of a Liberty print, I’d say go for a classic shirt or use it as the lining on a great jacket.
While I’ve copped out with a basic tee, remember that florals make a great pairing with stripes and polka dots, which should be relatively easy to find this season. If you want to keep it basic, AS Colour has dropped new season colours like lilac and peach (my personal favourite is the Maple style) that are a relatively affordable way to bring old faves into the new season. The benefit of a basic cotton tee like this is that you keep it streamlined. I’m a fan of ruffles for sure, but ruffles plus florals takes me dangerously close to my danger zone of Oversized Child, so I’m steering clear of anything toooooooo girl-tastic. Some of you will look insanely good in a floral ruffle, so please get into it on my behalf, possibly via a high-necked Victoriana-inspired blouse (I love those very much).