Photo: Dvora @fashionistable

I thought I wasn’t a print person, but obviously I am. Maybe it’s some kind of Decorative Denial (?) But this summer, I’m not exactly saying pah to pattern. The easiest way to take the frou-frou out of floral prints is to mix things up; juxtapose everyday Gentlewoman Style with hints of 1970s Keith Richards (or Morrissey when we still liked him). This penchant for bohemian hippy/punk garb – a leopard print coat here, a skinny scarf there –  is part of my DNA, it was hardwired to my teenage soul and, like a vinyl record on repeat, is something I always come back to…

Oh and people keep asking me where these jeans are from – they’re the MiH Phoebe style, Japanese selvedge non-stretch denim being worn to death, right now. The floral shirt is Agnes b, the loafers are a book royalty/ Gucci splurge. And these photos were taken on a fantastic floating book shop called Word on the Water – a canal barge located on the Regent’s Canal in King’s Cross, London. Books, books, books: Know Your Style is out on September 7, in the UK, and next week I will be announcing details of a book signing in London (on that day). Not long to go, now…

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25 thoughts on “The not-too-flouncy floral shirt

  1. I never used to like florals before until I started blogging. I can’t decide if the florals have gotten better, or if I’ve evolved over time? I’m sure when I was growing up, part of the fact I didn’t like them stemmed from wanting to be opposite of my mother (the 70+ model on my blog). She always loved to dress in femininity (and still does)!! But I wanted to be a strong women, and strong women didn’t wear florals at the time (or at least that’s what I thought!!)
    XOXO
    Jodie

  2. Alyson,
    you might not have convinced me of the floral shirt – or floral anything – yet, but you in your not-too-dressed-up dress and the posts on wafty dresses made me try a long, wafty dress. I was certain, being rather small, it wouldn´t work. It did, though, mostly because it´s so very comfortable.
    So thanks for the inspiration. I´ve been following your blog for quite a while now and you made me consider a style or two I always thought: Never. Who knows, I might come round to floral patterns.
    And very smugly, I will sit down with your new book and a glass of wine tonight. I so very liked your first one that I pre-ordered the new one right away. Most of all, I enjoy how you write.Thanks for that!
    Ines

  3. In Denial made me smile…and then the alliteration! Great post Alyson!
    I’m pretty flexible in my style, willing to try most looks these days. Life’s too short not to wear green nail varnish, as I said to my friend today

  4. I tend to go more for solids as well but I fully agree a little pattern can really jazz up a look. Currently I’m feeling for camouflage, maybe it’s the combative mood we’re collectively feeling here in the US, ( just to be clear I’m on the side of reason). I’m also currently obsessed with the gorgeous silk prints of For Restless Sleepers. The pieces I’ve purchased are surprisingly versatile and unforeseen bonus, seasonless.

  5. Hi Alyson, congratulations on your new book which I just received on a Saturday here in Switzerland (from Amazon). Although I’ve only briefly looked in it, I can already tell it’s my kind of book, with the kind of “prompters” most of us need to get excited about dressing.

  6. The Skully of the Valley scarf is super! There is a touch of dark Gothic about, Tried on an M&S Limited Maxi Dress which is rocking the galaxy theme but is the best witch outfit ever, there’s even an abundant supply of ruby slippers

  7. Floral prints just don’t do it for me any more and I think you look ten years younger in the pic with the striped shirt and blazer top right of your page than in the nonetheless very stylishly accessorised floral shirt photo. I am slowly learning to accept that if getting older doesn’t mean having to be less fashionable it does mean not slavishly following every trend, so no more ageing florals or pastels for me!

  8. I’ve always loved prints ( as long as nothing mumsy ) and I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of them. But -especially print dresses- they can be tricky to accessorise. Do you pick out one of the colours or go for something neutral ?

  9. Alyson you look really good in the all blue outfit and hair looks great too. I’m a print wearer mostly Liberty florals, some larger abstract florals and some Uniqlo ones before they became synthetic to keep prices low. I also like gingham and spots and paisley. Some beautiful floral long dresses featured in FT fashion supplement yesterday. All collaged together. But over a thousand pounds. Any advice on where to buy similar prints at a more affordable price would be welcome. With regards book signing will there be another event apart from one on 7 September ? I shall have flown far from London the previous day. I should like to buy the book and to meet you at another occasion if possible. Good luck with the launch.

  10. I love this look, and think it’s timeless. My print shirts are those I’ve made from the Provencal fabric (Soleiado, Les Olivades, etc.) which I can’t resist. I’m not big on status symbol stuff, but the Gucci shoes just look perfect here, and I love that they look well-loved and lived in.

  11. You look cool and stylish in the shirt with jeans. I agree with Mrs. Tonia – a similar shirt that is affordable and I could make the leap into floral, after a lifelong floral shirt avoidance.
    The Rixo silk blouse is amazing and would look great on someone petite.

  12. Will your book be coming out in Canada? If so, I’ll be buying it to celebrate my (GHASP!!) 60th! Love your blog and insta!
    Cheers, Doreen

  13. Oh fantastic- so glad you’re going to be announcing details of the book signing. Cannot wait …. And know what you mean re : prints – have actually bought a few floral (gasps) items over the last few months

  14. The floral shirt looks very nice with the loafers and jeans! I’ve always worn solids too. Some much needed updates are needed in my wardrobe, so this fall I’m adding some prints-just for fun. COS has a couple of interesting blouses /dresses they’re not floral more geometrical- more reasonably priced. I bought the Boden shirt (the black one) Waiting for it to come in. Some less expensive prints are Amour Vert- responsibly made, Jcrew has some Liberty prints. I just bought 2 prints from their outlet for work. I’m a teacher and my clothes need to be reasonable priced and washable. (I always get marker etc on my clothes)

  15. I have bought several Cos cotton printed tops over past few years. All still going strong and looking sharp mostly geometric patterns. These look good with plain colour bottom half. And Other Stories used to have patterned silk shirts at very good prices for the quality of the designs and fabric. And Uniqlo last year had a collaboration with Liberty using designs from their archives. I managed to pick up several more than strictly needed in their sales in different places. Uniqlo collaborations worth looking for on their website in t-shirt section. I got a flowered one this spring from the archives of Epice. Pretty and good with denim. Thanks Alyson for preliminary info about book signings. Hope to cross paths at one.

  16. I know I’m not going to make many friends by saying this, but I think most women, approximately our age, do not look good in prints like this. You however, do. It’s as simple or complicated as that. You can pull it off. Now, about that leopard print coat…

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