The Floral Dress

As fashion seasons come and go, floral dresses rise and fall in popularity yet have remained a constant in women's clothes since the early 20th century. Ultra feminine, they provoke an association with womanliness and softness - it's hard to feel aggressive and hard-headed in a flower print dress.

When it works, the floral look can be sexier than a young Brigitte Bardot naked in an open sports car...

Wow....Sophia Loren in floral print

Yet florals can also conjure associations with 'old maids' in sensible shoes....
Not too sexy...

A Feminine Statement
Shades of the 1920s/30s. Holly Willoughby floral print.
Much depends on attitude of course and the raw material inside the dress but anyone can wear's just a matter of discovering the right style for the right body and personality.

Florals have a rejuvenating effect, perhaps because of their strong spring/summer associations. You don't see see too many floral dresses around in winter, yet as Spring bounces around, out come the flowers, as a young maiden''s thoughts turn to...retail shopping.

Garden inspired  dresses are also versatile...they can be tight fitting and sexy, loose and willowy - long, short, mid length, dressy, casual or dressy and and worn with flats, sandals, heels or boots.

The Birth of the Floral Dress
Although floral prints have been around for hundreds of years, originating in the beautiful, ornate designs of the Far East and Asia; in Western culture the floral dress really only took off in a big way during the industrial revolution, when machine printed chintz could be produced en masse and in the early 20th century, off the rack floral print dresses became hugely popular.

In Rosemary Harden's hardcover book, Floral Frocks, the author explores the design history of floral prints over the last hundred years, through text and 140 luscious illustrations - "from the naturalistic to the painterly, from the graphic to the abstract". 

Audrey Hepburn collecting her 1954 Academy Award in a white floral embossed gown.
Sophia Loren Style