Mint Condition: Mastering Spring Floral Prints

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Mint Condition: Mastering Spring Floral Prints
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Florals? Love ’em. Funky prints? I’m game. But together? Let’s just say they’re not always my favorite combination.

When I think of spring floral prints, quite a few clichés come to mind (not to mention Meryl Streep’s glorious performance in The Devil Wears Prada). I mean, there are quite a few famous instances of floral faux pas—say, your grandma’s hideous old couch, many a gaudy red carpet gown and, to piece the two together, Kim Kardashian’s 2013 Met Gala gown (feast your eyes on this meme heaven right here).

Needless to say, when it comes to finding my own spring floral print frock, I’m highly discerning. In fact, I’m downright difficult. But this breezy silk dress is different, and I’ll tell you exactly why.

Photos by Kyle DeWitt.

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Crafted by the geniuses at Aussie brand Camilla, this dress is a mastery of print. It’s perfectly cut to showcase every pretty palm and even has a delicately embroidered tie waist belt. The floral pattern is delicate and abstract, which lends to the airy feel of the piece without taking away from the silhouette. And speaking of silhouette, this one’s got a sweet and dainty feeling with a plunging V-neckline and a short circle skirt—perfect for brunch with the girls, date night or a spring wedding.

If you’ve still got hesitations about investing in a statement floral print dress, heck, I don’t blame you. It’s easy to fall in love with a pretty print dress on the hanger, only to have some serious second guesses after bringing it home. So in order to avoid any buyers remorse, these are the guidelines I use in picking out any bold investment piece for my wardrobe (be it floral prints, platform shoes and everything in between):

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  1. Is this piece more of a trend or a classic? Trends are great to embrace, but not necessarily to invest in—after all, you don’t want to spend a fortune on something you’ll only wear a few times. But if it’s a classic—meaning something that you’ll be able to easily rotate within your existing wardrobe and is as evergreen as an LBD—it may be worthy the purchase. In this case, I’d classify a statement floral print dress a classic because you’ll be able to wear it every spring and summer.
  2. Just how funky is this floral print? Make sure the pattern is actually something you’ll be able to feel good wearing. Because sure, there are plenty of outrageous floral compilations, but some are better suited as works of art than wardrobe staples. Try picking a print with no more than two shades—perhaps two colors you already love—and try to veer towards shades that accentuate your skin tone and hair color.
  3. Name three places you could actually wear this. If you can justify the price of the item with a solid cost-per-wear (meaning how much value you get out of purchasing the garment; it’s the amount of times you wear the piece divided by the price tag). While spending $100 versus $500 on a dress may seem more financially responsible, it makes a lot more sense to pay more for a garment you’ll get repeated use from versus an item you’ll only wear once. Also, make sure you’re paying for quality instead of just a brand name.
  4. Do you own anything else like it? If you already own something similar, it may be best to pass—unless it’s a ridiculously good deal. There’s nothing worse than having 18 versions of the same piece in your closet.
  5. Can you pair it with pieces you already own? Again going back to maximizing the wear-ability of the dress, see if there are any pieces you already own that could transform it into multiple outfits; i.e. sleek jackets, statement jewelry, various shoes. The more outfits you can make out of one dress, the more sense it makes to invest in it.

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For me, this Camilla dress gets every check on the list—it’s classically constructed, has a flattering floral print, is something I can (and have) worn on multiple occasions, is unlike anything else I own, and is something I’m happy to pair with different jackets and jewelry pairings. It’s a high quality item which, sure, drives up the price tag, but considering it’s something I’ll wear forever, I think it’s a wise investment.

*While this dress is currently sold out, you’ll find a very similar version here.

Outfit Details
Dress: Camilla
Necklace: Vintage
Shoes: Guess

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