Have you thought of wearing florals to work then backed off because you feared they may look too girly or unprofessional? Floral prints are normally linked with femininity and non-serious endeavours and as a result have often been avoided for business wear – especially for more serious professions such as finance and law.
There are three potential outcomes to avoid when wearing floral prints to work.
• Looking too feminine: the outfit is overall too pretty or too light coloured.
Dark colours are perceived as more powerful than light colours and curved shapes and floral designs take a backseat to linear ones. Also avoid adding other girly elements when wearing florals i.e, ruffles, bows and lace etc.
• Looking too overwhelming or distracting: the outfit is all floral, the print is too large or too colourful.
The larger and more colourful the floral, the less seriously you risk being taken. Traditionally the patterns worn for business by men have been dark and small and this has leaked over into the world of women’s professional wear as well.
• Looking too informal: not enough skin is covered or there is insufficient tailoring to the garment.
In the workplace, the skin exposed, the more seriously you will be taken. If you wear florals and an unstructured garment, you’ve immediately altered the tone of your look to casual and feminine.
The following tips will assist in overcoming these issues.
Forgo Realism for Stylistic or Abstract Prints
Too feminine will definitely be the result if the print is too realistic looking (especially if in a watercolour print). Instead opt for an abstract, stylistic, graphic or digital style. The angularity and modernity of these types of floral prints will give your overall look an impression of progressiveness and creativity – think edgy instead of girly.
Embrace the Dark Side
Dark colours are seen as more serious than light colours. As a result floral prints set against a dark background have more gravity than those on a light background. For maximum impact, wear your dark florals with moody colours like plum, burgundy and midnight blue as accents.
Adding a dash of floral to your work ensemble will endow it an unmistakable feminine edge and can be just the thing to soften an otherwise severe look. You can use anything from a peep of floral emerging from a sweater, to a scarf or maybe even your handbag- floral top is one of the easiest items to pull off as part of a professional outfit.
Opt for the No-Fail Floral Combo
Black and white is a colour pairing that you cannot go wrong with. You can trust this classic combo to hold you in good stead at the workplace. A floral print in monochrome will definitely be just as commanding for the office. Being done in black and white, the femininity of the floral is toned down a bit and its inherent design sensibility and modern look is played up even further.
Add a Structured Topper
When in doubt, opt for a statement topper with a lot of structure. This is a no-fail way to dress up anything including floral prints. Whether it’s a cropped boxy jacket with strong shoulders or heather gray cape, the hardness of the form and silhouette of outerwear balances the softness of floral print impeccably.
Pair with Man-Style Pieces
Pull your florals into line by pairing them with man-style pieces. A tailored dress shirt, jacket or pants will instantly elevate your look and have you set to take on the day. You can pretty much get away with wearing any type of floral print (within reason, of course) if you wear it layered under an excellently tailored ensemble.