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flowery dresses - stylish or mumsy?

(14 Posts)
hatwoman Sat 28-Feb-09 13:22:28

Sometimes I see people wearing them and think they look great. but when I look at them on the hanger I think of the WI and run away. I got as far as trying a couple on yesterday. They were ok but the print was too big (am very wary of big flowers, can be v. unflattering)

I'd really like a dress that I can wear for work - something that falls short of being a suit, but still looks smart, and that I could wear outside work too. I've looked at boden and nothing leaps out at me.

so opinions on the principle? any specific ideas (or alternatives)?

also what footwear do you wear with them in summer? boots in winter I can do, but shoes make me fear the WI look...

Shandyleer Sat 28-Feb-09 14:00:41

My sil wears these all the time and they look fab on her, but I think its because she has the right look going on all over - she loves the 1950's so always has the right type of glasses, scarves, shoes, bags etc. She's a glamourous redhead and even drives a vintage car. I often try a flowery dress on and think "nope, don't look like sil, look like my gran". Think I'm trying to say that they can look good if worn in the right context. Saw some nice ones recently in a catalogue, might have been Joules.

TheRealMrsJohnSimm Sat 28-Feb-09 17:21:14

I wear them a lot. Either a 50's style, or funky Top Shop "tea dress" style with leggings/opaques or over jeans.

It all depends how you style them/accessorise them and also definitely the length. I have tried floral dresses from Boden and they are totally frumpy because they finish mid-calf. Have always sent them back.

Graphic or bold prints can look less mumsy than "spriggy" prints.

My best stores for floral dresses are H&M, Top Shop and vintage stores around Portabello/Notting Hill.

FairyMum Sat 28-Feb-09 21:43:31

I look like one of those old ladies in postman pat in flowery dress.

alicecrail Sat 28-Feb-09 21:46:35

grin at Fairymum i think some people do suit them better than others. The Joules catologue had some lovely ones in lots of different styles

kalo12 Sat 28-Feb-09 21:48:40

i think its all in the neckline, and whether or not you have got big bosoms

southeastastra Sat 28-Feb-09 21:48:41

i prefer separates. a nice flowery skirt with a deep red/pink background can look fab with a white top

i'm not impressed with this year's flowery effort so far it's too bland

alicecrail Sat 28-Feb-09 21:58:01

Kalo do you think it works best with big or small or droopy

kalo12 Sat 28-Feb-09 22:04:32

i think floral with big bosoms can look mumsy (this is a generalisations of course)

with a small bust you can have a high halter neckline that could look good

alicecrail Sat 28-Feb-09 22:07:22

oh bugger grin

hatwoman Sat 28-Feb-09 22:16:37

does layering help? ie long-sleeved top underneath flowery dress.

and no-one's answered my footwear question.

I think someone mentioned skirt length - I think calf length can work - but only with boots - if the dress is black/has a black background, black boots gives a long line. but anything summery, stopping at the calf, with shoes, that's real WI stuff no?

so what shoes ladies, if not boots?

alicecrail Sat 28-Feb-09 22:20:09

i think super high, coloured maryjanes go with the whole look and make it a bit less wi

TheRealMrsJohnSimm Sat 28-Feb-09 22:39:20

Layering can certainly make it less mumsy - a long-sleeved t-shirt beneath as you suggest.

Footwear: I wear flats (including converse if wearing over jeans) and heels. Mary-janes can look very cool as do round-toed patent shoes. But I also wear ballet flats, flip flops and sandals with mine in the summer.

Be wary of anything too matchy-matchy with regard to accessories when you are wearing florals.

gigglewitch Sat 28-Feb-09 22:48:41

hat - take a look at monsoon, they seem to 'know' how to do florals wink
IMHO anyway. And if you want funky, do river island, warehouse and top shop, they have plenty for wearing with skinny jeans or leggings.

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