June 30, 2014

Flower power: Patterns plucked from the garden look lovely this season

A walk through a field of wildflowers, or even your own backyard, might give you a bit of inspiration for your summer wardrobe.

A walk through a field of wildflowers, or even your own backyard, might give you a bit of inspiration for your summer wardrobe.

Tuck away that little black dress, and move those black skirts and jeans to the back of the closet. It’s time to reflect the season. In short, it’s time to bloom.

Celebrity stylist and designer Jen Rade – who has worked with such stars and musicians as Angelina Jolie and Cher – says to look for both large and small scale prints. The stylist, who is introducing her collection EDGE by Jen Rade on QVC on Monday, suggests looking to your own personal style when picking out floral patterns.

“If you’re trying for a soft and feminine look, pick florals on a floaty, breezy fabric like chiffon, and pair with a soft knit,” says Rade, who is based in Los Angeles. “If you go for a large-scale floral print, it’s helpful to belt the waist to break up the pattern and not lose the body shape.”

Not every floral pattern must be bold in color, she says. Pair a floral in black and white with a pop of color, like a yellow shoe, she recommends.

“You can mix various size floral prints if you keep them in the same color palette,” she says, adding that floral prints aren’t limited only to clothing. Consider handbags, belts and jewelry to add a feminine touch to your outfit.

Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trends for Kohl’s department stores, says floral patterns work into other summertime trends, as well.

“This summer we love all things tropical – from palm trees and flamingos to pineapple motifs,” Wacksman says. “This trend is about having fun with print and color.”

Those floral looks are great when paired with white jeans, she says. “Bright colored tops, printed or solid, in pinks and greens look fresh paired back to white jeans.”

Rade adds that they also pair well with neutrals like gray, taupe or ivory.

But how does a fashionable woman keep from going over the top with all that pattern?

“In general, I think smaller-print florals are best on petite people,” Rade says. “The larger scale tends to be best on taller or fuller-figured shapes.”

No matter what your body type, we’ve plucked a bouquet of pretty garments and accessories to help you get into the swing of summer.

• Jones of New York Collection Dress ($139, Who wouldn’t stand out in this stunning-yet-simple dress? Pair it with pretty accessories and you’re ready for a summer gathering.
• Black Floral Pants ($49.99, Not every floral needs to be in a vibrant color. Rade suggests pairing a pair of pants like this with a pop of color that draws from the print.
• LC Lauren Conrad Racerback Challis Maxi Dress ($68, This soft maxi dress will add style to your summer wardrobe.
• Dooney & Bourke Satchel ($218, A little floral touch, like this pretty handbag, will add an elegant look to an outfit.
• LC Lauren Conrad Print Linen Tee ($36, Even a simple T-shirt, like this lightweight piece, can add a feminine touch to an outfit.
• Floral Crop Top and Skirt ($12.99 each, The smaller print, along with this style, is a perfect look for a petite, young woman.
• Jennifer Lopez Print Mesh Poncho Top ($44, This pretty top, in pretty blue floral shades, flatters the figure.
• Floral Blazer ($49.99, An amazing blazer, paired with white or black, will take you to the office in style.

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