Graphic Floral Print Trend for Summer and Travel
by Christina Gregoire
Once again, spring and summer are the perfect seasons for us to embrace floral prints. However, this year's hottest flower-power prints are not quite as swirly and psychedelic as the hippie styles of the late 60s. Instead, the fleur du jour is more graphic, more Mod and more mid-60s Carnaby Street.
Trendy Graphic Prints
It’s difficult to explain what a "graphic" floral print is. Graphic designs can be big and bold, but they are not always big and bold. For example, look at the first dress (on the left) in the main photo at the top of this page. The print is simplified and graphic, but the flowers are small and ditsy. However, graphic floral prints are more manipulated and more stylized than the ordinary florals that old ladies wear to tea.
Mod Floral Prints for Summer and Travel
On the other hand, the hippest new florals can be found in endless variations on this theme. Generally, graphic flower prints have harder borders and a more limited number of colors than natural, realistic renderings of flowers. Many graphic patterns are stark, with only two colors, or one color and black, or one color and white; while other fabrics use many colors, but in a hipper, more modern way. Some prints remind me of 60s pop art and other prints feel more like 1967, when Mod was morphing into that bohemian, hippie mix of international influences.
Tropical Hawaiian Prints
Tropical prints are uber chic this year, however many of the garden themes come with a twist. For example, the flowers on the kimono dress (shown above) from Marisota are natural and realistic, but the pattern comes across as graphic because the flowers sit on a stark, bold background.
Huge Floral Prints
Many experts suggest that large floral patterns look terrible on short women. I say that it depends on the pattern. As a general rule, smaller people should look for smaller-scaled prints, but it depends on the colors and the graphic style. A floral where the print is so large that it almost becomes the background can sometimes work on petites, but it depends on many things, such as how well the flower melds with the background.
Can Petites Wear This Flowery Trend?
The pink and green dress (above), from Marisota, has huge blooms, but the pattern is so stylized and diffused that a short chick would look great in it. However, the cardigan with the powerful red and white print (in the middle of the page) might look better on a taller woman. The only way to know for sure is to try it on.
If you’re a Baby Boomer and you haven’t played with prints and patterns for a while, this would be a good year for trying them. You have so many different types of blossoms and leaves to choose from, that you might as well get back into your groove. Stop playing it safe like an old biddy.
The fourth dress (shown above), from M&Co, is less graphic than the others in some ways, but those eye-popping colors give it a graphic quality that adds a tough edginess...in a cool way.
Until you know what you’re doing, don’t mix florals unless you have an artsy streak and you don’t mind strangers coming up and snapping your photo.
However, one easy way to ease into 2013's hot prints is to relegate your trendiness to flowered accessories. Whether you want to go high end or thrift store, it’s usually easy to pull a hip outfit together with a pair of floral shoes, a flowered purse, or a cheap mod scarf.
If you’re lucky you might snag a 60s or 70s vintage handbag, but it just depends how many women in your area are into thrifting. Personally, I don’t usually buy vintage shoes unless they are almost new, because everyone wears down the heels in a different way, and well-worn shoes can be hard to walk in. However, scarves are easy to find in every price range. Hey, I can usually tell the difference between high end and Target, but if you use your imagination, you can fool a lot of your adoring fans.
Note: I just bought a graphic floral print tunic/dress from Simply Be and I love it. Even my husband loves it, so look around. Graphic prints look like computerized (digital) prints...but also look like real flowers.
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Resources: Photo and fashion info are from Boomerina.Polyvore.com.