February 19, 2008

"Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking."

After reading fashion and style magazines like Elle, Marie Claire, Glamour and Vogue (and yes, even this guilty pleasure) for over 10 years now, I, and I'm sure you as well, have seen distinct patterns in the trends for each season. Summer is all about bright colors and tropical touches, with the occasional Western-themed button-down or sundress. We jump into fall with schoolgirl-inspired outfits, classic jackets and sweaters, and segue into winter with chunky knits, winter white, and especially from December through mid-January, see lots of sequins and shine.

And it seems every spring, three ideas come back to complete the circle: nautical style, ethnic-inspired prints and accessories paired with khaki, and of course, the ubiquitous florals. Perhaps this is why spring is my favorite season: longer days, lighter fabrics, variety in outerwear and accessories, and clothing that generally reminds me of being outside.

But, as Miranda Priestly so aptly put it, florals in the spring... well, frankly, they just get old.

Don't get me wrong - I love breaking out my floral skirts and adorned accessories. But after seeing the same ideas in spring for the last decade, it's making me and surely all of you eager to pump some new life into florals.

Below are some great finds in prices for every budget.

And of course, a few only in the budgets of well-kept women. Right-hand diamond ring optional.

Mediterranean-inspired, large-scale prints

Milly Capri Printed Sheath Dress, $350

BCBG Halter Dress, $152

JCrew Campo de Fiori Sweater Dress, $175

Black and white (or close to it)

Michael Kors Shantung Dress, $1,495

Gap Floral Bib-Front Shirt, $44.50

JS Floral Geisha Jacket, $159

Chloe Flower Print Dress, $395

Bold colors in super-sexy dress silhouettes

Eyeshadow Halter Dress, $36

Velvet Torch Shantung Dress, $62

Trixxi Emma Dress, $54

New shapes and prints for separates

Hale Bob Tie-Neck Top, $158

Karen Kane Printed Pleated Skirt, $118

Gap Tiny Floral Pleated Top, $44.50

Florals through texture = not so sweet anymore

Neccessary Objects Floral Printed Babydoll dress, $78

BCBG Max Azria Strapless Applique Dress, $398

And finally...

Two dresses so utterly feminine, so new, so not cliche, so smooth and so wonderfully Italian, I cannot improve upon them with words. Nor could I hope to afford either of them any time soon. But these dresses are the epitome of elegant floral done in a way which would never be found on a couch, Derby hat, or Easter sweater.

Sweet dreams.

Versace Cap-Sleeve Silk Dress, $2,440

Roberto Cavalli Floral Dress, $1,295