Fashion rules, especially those related to seasonality, feel seriously antiquated these days. That said, it’s hard to look at flower prints and not think of springtime. Blame it on the long-lasting impact of Miranda Priestly’s devastatingly delivered line from The Devil Wears Prada (you know the one) or deeply ingrained habits, but garden-inspired motifs somehow still seem intimating when the forecast calls for snow. So, just in case anyone needs a reminder: They shouldn’t be. Mastering how to wear winter florals is easy once you have a few go-to formulas to fall back on.
It helps, of course, that many designers have recently introduced bloom-covered designs that are right for cold weather, be it by way of thicker, heavily textured fabrics or moodier color schemes (this Tanya Taylor ochre and plum floral pattern is a perfect example). Silhouettes and materials that feel inherently suited to the cozy season — think long-sleeve wool dresses with bouquet designs and teeny buds embroidered over a knit pullover — do all the hard work for you. But, even when you’re dealing with a style meant for balmier climates, there are tricks for transitioning it to chiller environments.
“It’s all about layering the prints and incorporating them into your fall [or winter] wardrobe,” designer Jonathan Cohen tells TZR. The lookbook for his brand’s Fall 2022 collection illustrates this concept perfectly: For instance, there’s a black sweater layered over a bright blossom-bedecked cocktail dress, and a floral blazer and skirt co-ord in a gray metallic that screams holiday season. “There’s always a way to incorporate a print into your wardrobe throughout the year,” he insists.
To that end, TZR has gathered seven looks to pull inspiration from — plus a few pro styling tops — while the forecast flirts with freezing and below.
Layers... And More Layers
Piling on pieces is the obvious approach to adapting florals to fall, but really it’s all about piling on the *right* pieces. Cohen suggests a couple of combinations worth trying, like an embroidered floral cardigan atop a turtleneck, and a printed blouse with its collar peeking out from beneath a sweater. Add texture and volume to create visual depth — for instance, a fuzzy floral vest over a balloon sleeve button-front shirt is a winning combination.
Find Your Edge
Nothing marries winter and florals together like the addition of a few tougher elements, like a darker print or vampy velvet appliqués. Or, if you are building your look around a lighter and brighter piece, you can always mix in a leather vest or biker jacket (dressing for the weather in your area may determine your final pick). Next add chunky shoes and channel some rockstar girlfriend energy.
Stylist Mickey Freeman suggests starting your foray into winter florals with a focus on materials — particularly heavier, less-expected ones. “The floral trend can be pulled off with gaudy accessories and luxe materials like leather for fall,” he says. Translation? Think outside the box by shopping for items you wouldn’t expect to have flower details, such as the sleek leather skirt pictured above.
Give It The Boot
For anyone in L.A. or similarly temperate climates, here’s an easy trick to take your look from summer to winter: Just add boots. They work with almost anything — from sundresses to maxi skirts — but for our purposes here, let’s focus on a mini skirt. With a lightweight jacket in a coordinating color on top, the combination lets you look seasonally appropriate without overheating.
An understated, neutral-heavy color palette is a sure-fire way to guide your outfit into winter territory, however summery the print. Getting this right is all about balance: If you are starting with, say, a black and white skirt, introduce deeper shades to the outfit by way of black boots and a chocolate brown bomber jacket (all the better if you can make it suede or leather).
Daisies & Denim
Denim is obviously having a moment. Yet, unlike the trends we’re bound to look back on and cringe over, all-jean everything feels fairly timeless. The influx of printed blues inevitably paved the way for floral iterations to enter the chat, and it perfectly sets the spring favorite up for transitional dressing. Feeling experimental? Pair your patterned jeans with a hyper-feminine top (think flowy, pink, ruffles) and throw a sporty jacket on top.
All About Utility
Alongside boots, nothing winterizes a look quite like a trusty trench. So why not wear both with your favorite floral dress? Packed with striking visual interest, this mash-up is nearly impossible to get wrong on busy mornings — and it will look like you put thoughtful care into your outfit (even if it came together in five minutes).