Diggin’ Into Garden Party Style

Look your best amid hedges, fountains and flowerbeds
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A wearable work of art: Maris gown in Fairytale color, $1,195. From LoveShackFancy; brand available at Narcissus. Photo Courtesy of Loveshackfancy

In Tallahassee, spring is a thing. Vibrant blooms are a sight to behold, unless of course you’re a seasonal allergy sufferer. Events aplenty tempt us from winter haunts or extended social isolation.

What, then, is best to wear to a spring soiree?

For the purpose of envisioning a multitude of spring gatherings, call to mind the garden party — an affair where you be dressed up or down but always in bright colors, whimsical prints and dramatic fabrics.

As a time of revival and reawakening, spring is the ideal time to enliven your wardrobe. Monochrome pieces retreat to the depths of your closet from which emerge bloom patterns and paisley and florals, oh my!

“We’re seeing an explosion of abstract florals — think Monet,” said Sarah Villella, manager and buyer at Narcissus Tallahassee.

Whether a wearable work of art or a smattering of sprigs, Villella states that florals are good fits for the fashion-forward woman and the conservative dresser, alike.

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Josette dress, left, $475, and Kinsler dress, $895, both in pastel pink. All fashions from LoveShackFancy.

If you’re tiptoeing through the tulips, select the most prominent color in the floral piece and pair it with clothing in that solid color. If you like to design your own bouquet, add gingham, polka dots, stripes or paisley. If you’re a particularly daring fashionista or simply want to camouflage yourself in the bushes at the aforementioned garden party, floral on floral is for you.

Villella said women are sure to be flocking toward butterfly prints this spring as well.

For a garden party, afternoon tea or springtime brunch, consider a short and sweet florid frock, a petaled skirt or a whimsical winged-creature blouse. For midnight in the
garden, consider floral on a cocktail dress or a slinky silk dress. Florals are not solely feminine. Men can style the look with a floral button down tucked into a pair of slacks.

True, floral in spring is not a new notion; we keep gravitating toward it because it works and because we can reinvent it.

“Perhaps because florals for spring aren’t all that groundbreaking, they are not necessarily the star of the show but are instead the backdrop for trends in colors, textures and styling details such as puff sleeves, ruffles and ’90s minimalism that are everywhere right now,” said Kathryn Stewart, owner of Wonsaponatime Vintage.

Garden patterns are a constant among ever-changing trends. Once reserved for the preppy, the print crosses into categories of classic, modern, eccentric, minimalist, sporty and even grunge.

For a casual event, Stewart pairs a floral satin midi-skirt with a boxy striped cashmere sweater and trendy sneakers, merging feminine with sporty chic. In the evening, Stewart prefers a tailored, eyelet cotton floral dress with puff sleeves accessorized by strappy sandals and a leather jacket. Or a velvet blazer over a flowered slip dress works, too.

Always pretty and increasingly versatile, a fresh crop of floral stylings has arrived, encouraging you to embrace the natural beauty of your own personal style — be it pastel sundresses or petal-patterned Doc Martens combat boots.

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Gilvery dress, left, $595, and Altie dress, $495, in Veiled Kiss color. Fashions by LoveShackFancy.

Categories: Fashion