Wearing a floral dress only in the summer months is a bit like watching a TV show for an hour at the same time once a week: life just isn’t that regimented in 2017. You don’t have to be dictated to by fashion convention any more than your viewing has to be governed by 9pm appointments with the television.
I would go so far as to say that it’s not just that you can wear floral dresses outside summer, but that outside summer is, in fact, the best time to wear them. A floral dress in summer is almost too neat. It is so appropriate that it feels a bit literal, and I am not a big fan of literal dressing. That thing where you wear, for instance, a strawberry-print dress to Wimbledon makes me kind of itchy. To me, an outfit that makes such ploddingly obvious connections does not sell the wearer as a scintillating conversationalist. Is that mean? Sorry.
Christmas, by the way, is the exception to my anti-literal fashion diktat. For December, I operate an amnesty on basic. I am all for a full-fat festive look. Head-to-toe festive red? Count me in. Novelty, mistletoe-themed hair accessory? Not ruling it out.
When you wear a floral dress in the summer, you mirror the world around you; when you wear one in winter, you challenge it a little. You are creating your own aesthetic. It helps that there is no basic styling option open to you when you go down the flowery dress route on a chilly day. You can’t default into a sandal and a neutral blazer, unless you intend to freeze. You are going to need a dress with a long sleeve, or to layer a turtleneck under your dress, either of which takes the floral dress to a more interesting place. And you are going to need tights or, may I suggest, boots, which instantly stop even the floatiest dresses from looking flighty.
Floral dressing in the cold months has been made easier with the arrival of the winter floral print in every high street near you. A winter floral – you’ve seen it, even if you didn’t know the name – is a pale, spriggy flower against a dark background. Which isn’t, the observant among you may well have noticed, the kind of floral I’m wearing in the picture to the right promoting the wearing of florals in winter. Because as discussed, why be obvious?
Styling: Melanie Wilkinson. Hair and makeup: Samantha Cooper at Carol Hayes Management.
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