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Bright Side Stories - Cath Kidston
Female model in a floral & patchwork printed dress from Cath Kidston, sitting on a chair by a picnic basket

How to Wear Florals & Accessorise Floral Dresses

What do you think of when you think of summer style? Bright, fun colours and strappy tops will almost certainly come to mind.

But, chances are, one of the first things you thought of was floral dresses. The timeless fashion staple really shines in summer and can be worn in so many ways.

Whether you’re going for an ethereal look or you want to toughen up your flowery prints, we have the ultimate guide to wearing florals.

How to wear florals: the basics

Floral prints come in all shapes and sizes, and they always look good as the focal point of our outfits. That’s why floral dresses are so timeless – whether it’s summer, winter, or any season in between, they never go out of style.

To really make your florals stand out, pare back the rest of your outfit. On a warm summer day, add a simple pair of sandals and a crossbody bag to really let your floral dress stand out. Our Summer Poppy design, seen here on a blue dress has a relaxed silhouette and contrast flounced hem - it’s the perfect dress for a sunny day.

If you have a floral skirt or a statement printed bag, the age-old advice is to pair it with a block colour. But we think it’s time to throw the rulebook out and have some fun with your fashion. Clashing prints can lead to a bold, joyful look – so if you want to pair your florals with a heart or a polka dot print, we say go for it!

Female model wearing a floral printed summer dress from Cath Kidston, with hair tied back and wearing sunglasses
Mid-section shot of a female model in a floral summer dress from Cath Kidtson, holding a large bag on her arm

How to accessorise a floral dress

If you’re wearing a floral dress, you have endless options when it comes to accessorising it.

For a formal or dressy look, wear your favourite jewellery with your outfit. Dainty gold and silver jewellery is timeless, but if your dress has a bold design, don’t be afraid to wear oversized jewellery with it. A small clutch, pouch or shoulder bag won’t detract from your outfit if you’re attending a formal event. Finish with a pair of strappy heels and add a floral hair clip – this is a great dressed-up look for a wedding.

When it comes to more relaxed outings, leave the jewellery and focus on a look that’s as comfortable as it is stylish. Days out in the park call for a relaxed-fit flowered pink dress and a light jacket in case that unpredictable British weather changes.

Bags are an essential part of any outfit. They’re a great opportunity to add another splash of colour or print to your look. For days out, choose from our wide selection of backpacks for women to fit all your essentials in. Heading out for a picnic? If you don’t have a picnic basket our roomy weekend bags will be sure to fit everything you need and more.

What to pair with florals

Depending on which part of your outfit features florals, you could go for many different looks.

If you’ve opted for a statement printed floral bag, you could keep the rest of your outfit simple to help it stand out. But as we’ve mentioned, pairing your prints is a great way to be bold with your look – so don’t be afraid to wear a floral backpack with a printed red dress.

One understated combination that’s effortlessly chic is pairing florals with spots or stripes – throw on a spotted dress and accessorise with a floral bag, scarf or jacket for a pattern pairing that strikes a balance between bohemian and colourful.

No matter the weather, we’d always recommend some form of cover-up. A denim jacket paired with a feminine floral green dress gives your outfit a relaxed feel, while a biker jacket is a sure-fire way to toughen up your florals. If you go for the latter, pair with chunky ankle boots. Denim or sporty jackets call for a pair of trainers. If you’re going for a more ethereal vibe, add a pastel cardigan and slingbacks for a romantic look.

In the winter, layering is essential. Your delicate flowered clothes can still pack a punch even when the sun goes into hiding – if you’re going out, throw an aviator jacket on over a flowery dress or skirt to add extra warmth and an edge to your outfit. Make sure you’ve got some cosy tights on underneath and add some big winter boots for good measure.

woman carrying large cath kidston shoulder bag

Floral prints are some of the most versatile out there. You can be as bold or as understated as you like with your flowery wardrobe – mix and match for an out-there look, or pair one statement piece with block colours to really make it stand out.