While we say that florals can absolutely be for spring as well, we must admit that Miranda Priestly was on to something with that famous line in Devil Wears Prada—it's not *exactly* groundbreaking. But florals for autumn? That's a little more innovative.
While the spring and summer months conjure up images of ditzy floral dresses and lightweight jackets, the autumn/winter trends give us the opportunity the reinvent the floral dress with a gothic twist (Louis Vuitton’s and Chanel’s monochrome florals encapsulate this perfectly), as well as providing a base for layering; the basis for any autumn ensemble.
In the quiet luxury era of clean lines and simplicity, some might argue that florals are out. Are they too fussy? Too much? Not at all, we say. The floral dress is a wardrobe essential thanks to its versatility; it can easily be styled up or down, as well as carrying through the seasons. This is how to give your favourite floral dresses an autumn update.
After all, Anna Wintour herself was spotted at Paris Fashion Week outside Thom Browne during the Haute Couture autumn/winter shows wearing a monochrome flower print dress that would be at home in any autumn wardrobe. We rest our case.
Floral dresses for weddings
If you have some weddings to attend this season, a floral dress, whether that's a floaty and whimsical style or something more structured and dramatic, is a great investment. To update your floral wedding dress for autumn, opt for a three-quarter length or long-sleeved style and team with grundy boots or chunkier heels for a less feminine take.
The summer saw designers such as Bernadette, Zimmermann and Aje giving florals a fresh twist and bigger, bolder prints, while the ditzy floral still reigned supreme. Autumn has seen a darker take on botanicals; think less flourishing English garden and more gothic roses, dark florals and earthy shades. The catwalks were awash with monochrome this season, with floral prints with a more subtle effect. Gothic makeup still dominated—we're calling it the Wednesday Adams effect—which handily complements autumn floral dresses wonderfully.
Best floral dresses for autumn
Florals can of course be worn all year round, however, we'd argue they make more of a style statement in the autumn months. For a look that's not too fussy, pair a printed dress with chunky ankle boots and boxy jackets and coats, with an oversized bag—one of the key looks from our Autumn/Winter trends report.
If you want to dress up for a special occasion, you can't go wrong with the combination of strappy stilettos and the soft, billowy fabric of a classic floral dress. Or, think about opting for a more structured floral dress to update the look.
Whichever way you go, you can shop my edit of the best floral dresses below, including both gothic prints and structured shapes for an update to the floral dress for autumn.
Shop gothic floral print dresses:
Tap into the gothic trend with dark florals, sheer fabrics, elaborate collars, velvet and lace. French Connection and Reformation have some great options, with soft fabrics and fluid shapes that will work well alone or layered with other pieces. Embrace the dark side with these dramatic dresses.
Shop structured floral dresses:
Structured floral dresses offer a more polished take on the trend. With our Autumn/Winter trends report seeing the peplum shape on catwalks, more structured shapes are making a comeback this season, whether that means tiers, boxy shapes, statement sleeves and neckline, or elegant tailoring that will modernise the look.
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Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.
Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).
Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at MoneySavingExpert.com, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.
However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.
Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.
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