My style is more tomboy than bohemian.  And I’ll be honest – even typing the words “fall florals” makes me nod off… am envisioning little old ladies in florals in tiny matching hats.  That said — here I sit, inspired by both.  I am seeing all sorts of blossomy botanic patterns wandering around on stylish Parisians this fall.  Every time I see one, it makes me happy.  Just when I anticipated a sea of black for 4 cold weather months, hope springs eternal.  Sometimes the most important factor in experimenting with a new look for a moment can simply be – does looking at it make you happy?  

But how to execute florals in the Fall?  (vs Summer)

This summer my favorite way to see femmy patterns was in big old maxidresses or skirts with white tennis shoes.  I particularly love the boho/tomboy marriage of a floral dress or skirt paired with white sneakers.  Below is an example of my friend Mindy rockin some easy, fun floral ensembles in August. 

Mindy gardening in a cute short Veronica beard floral dress/jumper   Mindy kicking her let out wearing a floral maxidress skirt, white t-shirt and white sneakers. Close up on the maxidress skirt (pink floral) and white tennis shoes with gold stars.

dress: Veronica Beard, skirt: Cynthia Rowley, t-shirt: zara, white sneakers: Veja 

Stay on task. Fall?

Fall … yes that’s a different beast.  We do need to alter the floral/boho maxidress formula in fall in order for it to remain relevant.  I personally feel more comfortable pairing a maxidress with a blazer (see recommendations here for blazers).  Adding a blazer makes me feel like I’m no longer getting swallowed up in the dress – but it is CRITICAL to push up the sleeves.  Also, adding a blazer gives the dresses a little structure and to me feels more chic.   Some other suggestions on how to participate in this season’s fall florals/maxidress trend include:

  1. Pair dresses with this season’s fan favorite: white boots.  
  2. Choose dresses with fall-toned patterns, particularly the 70s tones currently in the marketplace (eg reds, blues, burgundies, mustards).  
  3. Choose a piece in the boho/floral spirit that is not a dress. If you’re like me and chilly the majority of the time, slipping on a dresses in sub 60 degree temps is more fantasy than reality.  You can find florals on alternative pieces – I have some product recommendations for you below.  

1. Pair dresses with white ankle boots

You’ve probably noticed that white booties are ubiquitous this fall.  There are many variations: stiletto, chunky, kitten, art inspired heel, pointy, patent, cowboy, etc.  Most of my favorite versions sit squarely in the ankle boot zone.  This parisian woman is wearing a gorgeous black maxidress with chic cowboy-inspired booties.  I love pairing white boots with a black ensemble.  A simple but effective contrast.

Woman wearing a black floral dress, cross body bag, white cowboy ankle boots and holding a big orange bag. Back view.   Woman wearing a black floral dress, cross body bag, white cowboy ankle boots and holding a big orange bag. Front view.

Here is another example of a dark floral inspired print with white boots.  If you’re not into a 100% white bootie, you can go this route of a mixed white boot (see product recommendations below).  I experimented with pattern on pattern here.

Author posing in a black floral inspired short dress as well as white floral ankle boots.    Close up - neck down - of author posing in a black floral inspired short dress as well as white floral ankle boots.

dress: vintage Kookai.  boots: Dolce Vita.  Belt: vintage

2.  Choose fall-toned patterns, particularly zoning in on 70s tones this season (eg reds, blues, burgundies, mustards) in your dresses.  

I loved the palette on this parisian woman on the street’s vibrant maxidress for fall.

Street style shot of a parisian woman wearing orange, maroon, green, and white patterned maxidress. She's carrying a brown leather bag.

And another example here: I loved my friend Karin’s effortless strategy of throwing (the perfect) biker jacket on a red maxidress.

Karin wearing a red & white patterned maxidress with a black leather biker jacket and black studded, thin belt.    Karin wearing a red & white patterned maxidress with a black leather biker jacket and black studded, thin belt. Looking down. Wearing sunglasses.

dress: Christabell.  shoes: Poletto (Istanbul).  jacket:  Jorgen Simonsen (Denmark) 

And here is a picture of another fall toned dress that I purchased at auction.

YSL dress laying flat on the ground in a laydown. Colors are red/gray/rust.

YSL Vintage

3.  Choose a piece in the boho/floral spirit that is not a dress. If you’re like me and feeling chilly often, slipping on a dresses in sub 60 degree temps is more fantasy than reality. 

Here I am wearing a fall floral blazer.  Satisfies my inner tomboy AND makes me semi-boho. Win-win.  I layered a thin, nude sweater underneath as a nod to the 70s moment happening.  I included some additional product recommendations for non-dress boho/fall floral below.  

Author walking wearing sunglasses and wide leg jeans, a navy blazer with fall floral / dark colors on it and a nude colored sweater underneath. Close up of jacket (blazer) and camel sweater showcasing the sweater's gold buttons.

blazer: Cynthia Rowley.  Jeans: Seven.  Heels: Ferragamo.  Sweater: Zara.  Sunglasses: Celine.

Product Recommendations:

Fall floral/fall maxidresses: The Kooples, Another The Kooples, Bash Joie, Madewell Midi Dress

White booties: Neous, Sam Edelman Amazon Smile, Maison Margiela, Topshop Lace-Up Boots

Non-dress options for participating in the trend:  Floral Fur Coat, Bash Malawi Blouse, Madewell Jumper Floral, Cynthia Rowley Size S Poshmark Blazer, Cynthia Rowley Sz M Poshmark Blazer, Wit & Wisdom Blazer, Alice + Olivia BlazerNovis Blazer

Interested in other Street Style ideas to experiment with? Try this, or this

Interested in how a Parisian achieves her chic?  Read this

Interested in Cliff Notes on fall’s other big trends? Read this

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4 comments

Katherine
Reply

The YSL dress is quite the find! Thank you for inspiring me to rework a summer purchase with a black cashmere turtleneck and boots to achieve some YSL seventies chic!

Alicia
Reply

Sounds cute I’d love to see it…!!

Tria Thomas
Reply

Your sense of Style never ceases to amaze me! Gorgeous!

K
Reply

Your color palet is Rich …. Is inspirering me to get out of my comfort zone – Thank you!

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