In the words of The Devil Wears Prada’s Miranda Priestly, “Florals for spring… groundbreaking…” The fairer season brings with it a renewed optimism; as the days grow warmer and longer [our] momentum and inclination towards color and print gain as the summer solstice draws near. But more than the resurgence from months of sartorial hibernation, we transition from staid autumnal tartan plaids and exotic animal prints to the perennial spring favorites of feminine florals, nautical stripes, and whimsical polka dots.
I am the first to admit that despite the fact that I always receive compliments when I do wear color, I suffer from a severe case of chromophobia. Not only do I not wear very much color, I am also very particular about prints. The trick is to determine the palette and patterns best suited for you and incorporate those as part of your signature, just as you have established the most complimentary silhouette for your shape.
To identify the tones that best suit you, I would strongly encourage you to consider where you fall on the color wheel with a personal color analysis. Is your complexion fair or deep? Are your hair and eyes light or dark. I happen to be a winter; I have dark hair, but a light to medium skin tone. Jewel tones and deeper hues work best for me. There are also certain shades of pink that are universally flattering. I avoid anything yellow-based, so there is no citron or tangerine in my wardrobe.
And just as I gravitate towards certain color groups (blues, greens, reds, and neutrals), I also reach for prints which include those hues. Likewise, I tend to favor certain motifs over others. For example, I adore flora and fauna—but for the former, only certain flowers, such as roses and more painterly designs; and for the latter, birds, horses, or fish. And while I love leopard and zebra, I am less likely to buy cheetah or tiger. I prefer clear, vivid prints as opposed to anything muted, abstract, or cartoonish.
Clothing is very much a suit of armor for me. My style is an extension of my personality and an ultimate form of self-expression. The first time I saw it, this Oscar de la Renta dress absolutely took my breath away! I love the blend of prints; the matelassé fabric; and the strapless design. This is a piece that I would effortlessly transition not only from day to evening, but also from summer into early autumn. For day, I would pair it with a blazer and closed-toe pump; and for evening, I’d swap the blazer for a wrap and pumps for strappy sandals. Transitioning into autumn, this dress could be layered over a thin sweater for warmth and added texture.
Texture is another element to consider when shifting seasons; as someone who loves to layer, I appreciate mixed media pieces and look for ways to introduce exotic skins for a luxe effect. Fur (faux or natural) pieces are too warm for the spring and summer months, but you can always introduce a lizard, eel, python, or croc accessory, such as shoes, belts, or a vintage clutch. eBay and secondhand shops are excellent sources for vintage leathers; you’ll find unique and affordable pieces to accessorize and elevate your classic separates.
I don’t necessarily shop with an occasion in mind; if I love a piece, the opportunity to wear it will present itself. What I do ask myself is how I will incorporate an item into my existing wardrobe, i.e. what do I already own that can be coupled with this item? The beauty of wearing so many solids and neutrals, is that when I do invest in a print or a color such as this amazing ODLR dress with its plethora of vivid colors, it can be effortlessly paired with so many other items.