Everything’s Coming Up Roses

As I write this, dear readers, I’m sitting in my apartment, looking out on more snow than I’ve seen in years! I’m more than ready to put away my boots and sweaters, grab my hat and Bottega Veneta sunglasses, but this is a fun March surprise, I have to say. The DCGF is ready to think spring, and this season is bringing us an onslaught of gorgeous florals that will instantly update any wardrobe. If you’re looking to add one statement piece, look no further than Shoshanna’s Watercolor Floral Top, at right. I’m sure you’re familiar with Shoshanna more for her great cocktail dresses or swimsuits, but this blouse has definitely caught my attention for spring.

At $198, it is – like I said – a statement piece, an investment. Although it’s worn here with white shorts, I think it would look equally smashing under a gray suit, for example, or with very dark denim for a casual Friday. Don’t let the print scare you: nearly everybody can pull off patterns. Just remember to keep the size of the pattern proportional to your size. Petite? Stick to small prints. Six feet tall (natch)? Go for larger, bolder prints. And you can definitely mix patterns, too. This blouse could totally pair with chalk-stripe trousers. Just make sure that one print is really bold and the other is very subtle.

You could even wear that blouse with a print bracelet, like the Ilaria, at left, from Hilary Laing. Laing’s a Scottish designer whose textiles are vibrantly hand printed. This bracelet is a ribbon over a wood bangle. The bracelet is £10, plus shipping, and it appears that all merchandise is available for international shipping, although I didn’t test that out. I’m also in love with Laing’s cravats (yes, cravats!) and the Jemima Pink skinny scarf, which has a pink bow printed on the front so that when the scarf is tied just right, looks like you have a giant bow tie on. Too cute. And the scarf’s just £40. Considering the better exchange rate these days, that’s a reasonable price for a hand-crafted accessory. If you’re feeling especially bold, then take the florals all the way down to your feet with Bettye Mueller’s Poet pump. Mueller’s shoes are like little works of art and this pair is no exception. With a wide heel and of-the-moment rounded toe, these would look fantastic peeking out from a black pants suit or with a simple yellow sheath in warmer weather.

As with many things of beauty, these don’t come cheap. Many of the online retailers that stock Mueller’s shoes have these at somewhere around $350. Yikes! But keep an eye out for markdowns because they do go on sale. Whether this pair will be sold out by then, though… Not all spring florals have to break the bank, though. As much as I love the Shoshanna blouse, I think that Old Navy’s ruffle trim floral blouse is a very affordable alternative. It’s available online only and at just $24.50 – and in sizes XS through XXL – would be an easy wardrobe update for just about anybody.

The pattern is concentrated around the hem, so look to pull those colors out by pairing with, say, a red skirt. And the ruffle detail at the neckline means you don’t have to worry about jewelry! That’s a bonus. Ahh…would that I could see some flowers outside right now. Instead, I’ll probably throw on some boots and try my hand at creating a snowman. Perhaps he could wear some florals!