Frumpy Florals 1 (With Modern Jeans)

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Frumpy Florals for the 50’s, 60’s, & 70’s: With Modern Jeans

Quote of the day: “Everyone looks so much better when they smile.” Jimmy Fallon

I had another request from a reader (and gosh I’m sorry that I don’t remember who asked), but the message was this. She loves buying floral shirts but doesn’t want to appear mumsy (did I get that right, whoever asked me?) And I think we can all agree that I don’t have all the answers (ha ha), but I really tried to figure out some ways to make the same shirt look bad and then good. I even went to the trouble of using our own shirt styled 3 different ways (and included what I considered a frumpy comparison).

Now you may not agree with what I’ve put together, or even that the frumpy pictures look frumpy. But my hypothesis was, does one piece make or break the look? Is it a combination of colors that make you like an outfit or the fit? Or is it something else entirely? I’m not a hundred percent about the answers , but I’m happy to share our photos and my rationales behind the outfits!

I started with the thinking that in order to make a floral top that you might consider mumsy look great, you might start with some great pants & shoes! I noticed that I had all three of us do the front tuck with our shirts. It’s certainly an interesting way to configure your shirt if you’re looking to add interest. I even consciously left off necklaces & bracelets so there wouldn’t be a shift of focus from the floral tops! Go ahead, tell me what you think about my experiment!

Jodie’s (50’s) Outfit: Let me start with my frumpy comparison. I have to tell you I felt embarrassed to go outside in this get up! These pants are definitely big on me, so after this picture I gave them away.


For the fabulous outfit, I started with my grey jeans, I know they look like bluejeans in this picture, but they really are grey. I realize that many older women are not delighted about distressed jeans (and I’m sure we’ll look back on them in 20 years and laugh), but they are certainly modern!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

And then I added in my studded, bright pink flats!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

So the recipe is the same: shirt + same floral top + flats, yet the look is quite different, I think!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Jeans: Banana Republic (similar here)~~Top: Liva Girl (similar here with a choker neckline–that’ll make it look fun!)~~Shoes: Yi Xin (similar here)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Nancy’s (60’s) Outfit: Let me again start with the frumpy look. Now I’m certainly not against capris, but I find that the shorter length of pant can look disproportionate with a shirt hanging untucked in some cases. And these shoes, while comfortable, are not the most stylish in Nancy’s closet (I could be wrong?).

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

To counteract the frump, I had Nancy put on her coated jeans. They aren’t leather, but because of the sheen, they do look like leather!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Then we styled her brown ankles boots that have a small heel and I think she looks more polished.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Jeans: Liverpool (similar here–they are great for repelling pet hair)~~Top: Croft & Barrow (similar here in long sleeves)~~Boots: Franco Sarto (similar here with a cool accent print)~~Earrings: (similar here)

Charlotte’s (70’s) Outfit: Starting with the frumpy outfit again, I had to laugh because mom put this entire outfit on after one of our photo shoots! It was before I had really processed what I was going to do with this theme. And I looked at it and said, “that’ll be perfect for the frumpy look.” Now I realize she was just hanging around the house, but if you have great clothes, why not wear them? I think part of the reason I don’t love this “frumpy” look of mom’s, is her capris are too big (see how they bulge in the front) and she’s too matchy (even the earrings!).

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Thus to change the outfit around to be functional yet (hopefully) stylish, I added in her olive green capris. For those of you who love to match, I figure they still go with the colors in the shirt; just not the main color thus not as matchy! These green capris are definitely tighter than mom’s yellow ones, and many of us steer away from tight pants. I totally get that. But if the pants are too loose they can look just as bad as being too tight!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

And then since we were walking around the Parade of Homes for the evening, we added in her much loved Keds! These white tennies may not be the most stylish of sneakers, but I think they are better than the athletic sneakers! And mom was able to wear her othotics in them which is a prerequisite for walking!

How to make your floral shirt less frumpy.

Jeans: Faded Glory (similar here–here’s the time to get them, as they’re a great deal)~~Top: Laura Scott (similar here)~~Shoes: Keds (here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Watch: (similar here)

Do you love floral shirts? Or do you feel frumpy wearing them? I love hearing your logic!

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Since I bet everyone has a floral top in their closest, I thought I’d show you some other examples of jeans that are contemporary!

  • Kathleen McDermott

    A few thoughts on this interesting post. 1. I love floral everything and do not find florals inherently frumpy. 2. “If you do not have fit, you do not have anything.” (Clinton Kelly, WNTW). 3. Shoes and accessories have a major impact on an outfit. 4. Crew necks are the frumpiest, least flattering neckline.

    That said, the befores of you and Charlotte do look frumpy because the pants are baggy and the color of Charlotte’s pants are a mumsy color and too matchy with the top. Nancy’s before is not really frumpy to me, but is mumsy. A more hip sandal (or sneaker) could fix that. The 2nd outfits are all nice as the pants fit well and are of a modern cut, style, fabric and color.

    Well done tutorial on frump vs smart! (Love all the earrings and your shoes.)

    • I really think you’ve hit on the presiding point, Kathleen. It’s more the fit that makes an item seem “frumpy” and maybe the combinations?
      One item by itself can always be refreshed with the right pairing.

  • I really appreciate you showing a frumpy “don’t” look side-by-side with a fabulous “do” look. It helps illustrate how minor changes can totally change the look and feel of a garment. The jeans definitely modernize the tops, especially the front-tuck you did with yours. And I like Nancy’s approach of a sleek pointed bootie to keep things feeling fresh and hip.

    <3 Liz

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Liz—I really enjoyed trying to show different ways to change up one item that could be considered ugh!!

  • Such a great post!! A little off-topic, but I actually really love y’alls earrings in this post too… lookin’ good ladies!! Pinning and tweeting! #FridayFrivolity

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks tons Sarah!!
      This entire series (I did 3 different posts about these same frumpy floral shirts) was a fun challenge!
      I’ll have to think of another item to try to change up this way for the future maybe?
      Any ideas?

  • Bernadette Laganella

    Jodie, this is a good one. I never buy florals because I always feel frumpy. I sort of look like Nancy’s before picture. Now I think I might stick my toe in the water.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I think florals can be done well. My husband agrees with you about Nancy’s before picture—i should have scrounged around her closet more to find some terrible fitting pants, I guess? 🙂
      I can’t believe you don’t have any floral pieces in your closet? Sometimes, it seems like it’s all I see at the stores lately!!
      Thanks for reading Bernadette!!

  • So I’m gathering from this post that the shirt-tuck is back “in” again? I even heard that pegged pants were back…Thanks for joining us at #FridayFrivolity this week!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Many of the fashion bloggers I follow seems to add this front tuck to many of their outfits, Lisa!
      At first I thought it was silly, but I do think it adds some intention to any outfit, especially if you’re one to leave your shirts out.
      Thanks for stopping by!! I really appreciate it!

  • I think you did such a good job!! Aces. I give you an A+. It is really amazing to see the difference in the outfits. Gosh.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Don’t you just love it when you can see a definite difference Greetje?
      I always am a sucker for before & after pictures—so this really was a fun project!!

  • Savvy Southern Chic

    Great tips and outfits! Cut and fit definitely make difference!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      It’s true and we say it all the time, but sometimes it’s hard to prove it!!

  • Jodie, you’ve done an outstanding job of how important cut and fit are in creating a look that is flattering. Each of the examples were fabulous but I think it’s your mother’s side-by-side photos that demonstrate the cut/fit point the best.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Right? And the interesting thing, is when we went shopping and bought these olive capris for mom—she thought they were too tight at first. So I had her wear them around for awhile and sit in them, and they seemed to stretch out enough that she was okay with them.
      But I think a lot of us, worry about pants being too tight (and of course we want to be comfortable), but it goes to show that too loose can be bad too!!
      Thanks for reading and happy Thursday Rena!!

  • All looking so pretty in florals! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Cielo!!

  • Amy D. Christensen

    Jodie, you da bomb! Ha, ha. I think there are two things that make a difference in these frumpy to fabulous florals. First, styling them with more updated looking pants, shoes and so on. Second the front tuck. I have become a big fan of this one simple little adjustment and I cannot believe what a difference it makes in an outfit. Little things can make a big difference. Great looks for all of you….of course. I wouldn’t expect anything less! – Amy

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I think you’re exactly right Amy—the front tuck seemed silly to me at first. But it makes the outfit have more of an intentional feel.
      Leaving your shirt out and untucked can almost seem sloppy at times!!
      As always, thanks for such a complimentary comment—it’s so appreciated!

  • This post fascinates me, because it’s crazy how much an outfit can change being based on the same shirt! This gives me confidence to style shirts that I don’t always think I can. I’m a huge fan of fall florals, and I especially like your outfit, Jodie!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I’m glad you said that Emily—because I was fascinated too when I really got into this. I mean, really—can a pair of pants & shoes make that much of a difference?
      I’ll be interested to see if you feel the same way about the next two upcoming posts—we’re using the same floral shirts but styling differently!
      Thanks for stopping by!!

  • PetiteOver40

    I saw your Frumpy photo on Facebook or Instagram before I saw your post and I remember thinking something had gone terribly wrong. (Ha ha!) And then I saw your corresponding Fabulous photo and realized where you were headed. Much better! 😃

    Your overall post is a great example of how easy it is to be frumpy. Something too loose or too short or too long — it can all contribute to frumpy. But tuck in here, lengthen there, and, bah-da-boom, bah-da-bing, you have a fabulous outfit!!

    I have a similar (but sleeveless) blouse to your mom’s floral top and I pair it with olive green as well! Great combo! ☺️


    • Jodie Filogomo

      I think I’ve told you how I love to people watch, and this is the kind of thing that goes through my head when I’m doing that. What if this were different, or that was styled with that???
      I really do think some of those details can make a world of difference!!
      But you’ll have to see if the other 2 posts I created about these same floral shirts, make any difference! It really took some mental activity to come up with these!!

  • I think what’s also most interesting to note, Jodie, is how your hair added such a fresh, contemporary look to your outfit when it’s straight. Do you see what I’m seeing?

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I totally know Sheela—-I just absolutely love my hair when it’s straightened. I’ve always thought it looks neater and more stylish that way. I even had is chemically straightened about 2 years ago. But the drawbacks are killer….first my hair is so thin, that sometimes it’s ewwwy. And it’s very dry out here, and curly hair is dryer, so I have a heck of a time keeping it healthy—even with deep conditioners! On top of that, I’m innately lazy—so it’s so much easier to let it go curly!
      And on top of that all— I’m trying to love myself as is!!
      Thus, I let my hairdresser straighten it when I get it trimmed, and try to be happy with my curls the other times! But I totally agree—it’s such a way different look!

      • “I love you just the way you are ….. ” 🙂 GRIN xoxo

        • Jodie Filogomo

          Thanks!! I’m trying to too!!

  • mummabstylish

    These all look so much better how you’ve styled them. I love a bit of floral, and mix them into my day to day looks often. Jacqui

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Jacqui—I do think it can be such a difference to change certain details!!

  • Florals are definitely a print that looks good no matter what age you are!


    Tamara –

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Tamara!!

  • Florals are my favorite!! I think you all styled them so well. So far from frumpy (something I don’t usually associate them with).

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I have to think that the reason you don’t associate florals with frump is because you are so far from frumpy Amy!!
      And that’s a good thing!!
      Thanks for joining in on the conversation!!

  • I am a big fan of florals! cute looks ladies!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Kelsey!!

  • Because of the styling of these outfits, these florals are anything but frumpy!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I’m glad to hear you say that Michelle!!

  • This is unbelievable!! I can not believe the transformation and how much more young and hip all three of you look. LOVE your look Jodie!

    xx, Elise

    • Jodie Filogomo

      That’s exactly what my husband said Elise—he was shocked that a couple changes could make such a difference!!
      Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  • truly an eternal style


    The Fashion Matters- Travel & Fashion blog | Instagram: TheFashionMatters

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much!!

  • Stevie Turner

    I like the yellow flowery top. Maybe the original trousers you wore would have looked better if they’d been slightly shortened? All non-frumpy outfits look great though!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      You could be right about my original trousers—I had bought them for work and thus wore them with heels. But I do see other women (and men) walking around with their pants too long like this, don’t you?

      • Stevie Turner

        Yes I do. I always have to have mine shortened as I’m ‘vertically challenged’ so they say!

        • Jodie Filogomo

          Me too…unless they are jeans that I can roll up or are petites!!

  • Kirsten Wick

    My so true, the distressed jeans take your floral shirt to another level. You look absolutely fabulous. Love, Kirsten

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Kirsten—I am getting used to my distressed jeans–it was hard at first, but when in Rome…..

  • Such great ideas! I love floral print, and you all look so chic and modern!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Tara—it was fun to do this!

  • Such amazing transformations!! I love how you styled this post and am thrilled you got rid of those pants. With your adorable shape you need to not bury it in volume!
    Thanks for sharing with us on Style Sweet Spot!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      The funny thing is those pants aren’t that old—so I must have gotten them too big to start with. I have to admit, that I probably would buy them a little too big in the past, because I didn’t want them too tight. It’s such a fine line sometimes (which is why I think skirts are easier to fit). And seeing yourself in the mirror seems different than in pictures—it’s crazy!!
      Thanks for reading Jennifer!!

  • Teri

    Love this blog post! Sometimes I buy something thinking it will look awesome and it just takes one item–like a shoe– to ruin it and add too much frump! I love floral shirts and I think they are super easy to accidentally style to making u look older.

    Please make more posts like this!!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I definitely think shoes can be the killer of an outfit—unfortunately I hear so many women complain about their feet and that they can only wear certain shoes. And for some reason, those comfy shoes don’t look great….
      But you’re definitely in luck—-this concept is happening all week, so check back on Thursday & Saturday for more ideas to change up these same floral shirts!!
      I also did a series on dressing slimmer ( if you’re interested. I was thinking of adding some more options to that theme in the future!!
      Thanks so much for voicing your opinion Teri!

  • Judy Gramith

    What a great post! I’m sure that many women recognize themselves at some point in time in one of these photos.
    I think you’ve pointed out that a number of factors can equal frumpy but I think FIT or how our clothing contours the curves of the body is the primary “frumper”.
    We’ve been in a period of fashions generally fitting closer to the body for quite some time. Anything that doesn’t follow that trend is probably a “tunic” worn over skinny jeans or leggings. The professional stylists say that provides balance or proportion. I think they’re probably right about that.
    Then there are those designers who seem to hate the female form. Their designs are interesting at best but generally WAY beyond the mainstream woman’s taste and pocketbook. I often find myself saying, “yeah right” and am very insulted that they believe they can sell such outrageous crap to ANY women. Let’s call these high end, pricey, “designer frump”
    Beyond fit, I think it’s pretty much personal taste, comfort, color, pattern, and cut that dictate what we buy and what we decide looks right on our form. OR
    Is it possible frumpy is totally in the eye of the beholder???
    Sorry if I got off on a tirade there…

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I love a good tirade Jude!!!
      I have to agree with the fact that some designers are going more for art than wearable clothing. Who wants to look like a sack of potatoes anyways?
      But, the absolute truth is that is does depend on your perspective —the eye of the beholder. What one person considers frumpy could be very fashionable in another’s view. And as styles change, so will our own perspective I believe….it’s such an interesting philosophical question!!
      Thanks for joining the party—-it’s fun to wax poetic!!

  • Carrie @ Curly Crafty Mom

    I have to say, wow… I am always impressed by how much work, thought, time, etc. you put into each one of these posts. The ‘mumsy/frumpy’ looks are DEF. improved in each one. And, I had to laugh when you said you gave away those pants after this post! lol! I am loving those pink flats and your hair looks beautiful straight! You all did wonderful!


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks for such an enthusiastic comment Carrie!!
      Those pants were a surprise…I mean I knew they were a little big, but I didn’t realize how bad they looked until these pictures!!
      Thanks again!!

  • Wow! I’m definitely impressed with how you transformed an outfit than leaned towards frumpy into one that is totally modern and so much more appealing and put together looking. I also realize I have been guilty in the past of the matching bright yellow everything (or other bright color) and totally going overboard….and how much better it looks toned down a bit as you’ve shown. Also guilty of going frumpy and too sloppy at home when there are better options.
    Thanks for such a great post!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I think we all learn in our fashion evolution—and it really is that–an evolution. We do tend to get stuck in our ways and trying new things can be good mentally and aesthetically!!
      But they are just clothes—we should have fun with them, right?
      Thanks for stopping by!!!

  • Tessy Onyia

    Wow! @jodiefilogomo:disqus I absolutely love your posts, the outfits and the pose are always amazing!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      That’s so nice of you to say so Tessy!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  • I absolutely LOVE this post, Jodie!!! You really show that just making a few tweaks to an outfit can make such a big difference! That’s why it’s so important to try things on and play a bit with them…

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Exactly—and get out of our ruts!!!

  • Love this post – I’m a floral fan as well, but totally agree, most floral pieces have to be styled JUST right to work!


    • Jodie Filogomo

      It can be tricky…but I suppose any piece of clothing could be? Like those brown pants I’m wearing in the frump picture–totally awful. But Nancy’s brown pants are fab!! It’s so interesting!!

  • Laura

    I do agree some florals can be a bit frumpy. I think it tends to be a combination of the colors and size/type of pattern and the fit of the shirt that makes it feel frumpy. Jodie, your fabulous outfit I am absolutely loving! The sleek silhouette and fun flats are not frumpy at all!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I used to think it was the small flower patterns—I hated those for awhile. But lately I’ve seen a couple shirt with that pattern that I like—so fit is probably key along with modern details!! It’s an interesting hypothesis!!
      Thanks for the lovely compliment Laura!!

  • Great job, they really look better in the after pix! 🙂

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Laurie—it was fun to see if I could make them appear both bad & good!!

  • Mother Daughter

    I like all of these non frumpy looks. lol Though I have been guilty in the not to distant past about being too matchy matchy, pointed out to me by daughter. I have to laugh about Candace pointing out about the ear jackets, I knew something didn’t look right but wasn’t sure what the problem was. lol

    • Jodie Filogomo

      i know…that ear jacket thing really got me thinking, because this certainly isn’t the first time I’ve worn these earrings!! Maybe most people don’t notice especially in real life because my hair is in the way??
      I think sometimes I go the opposite extreme of matching, just because my mom loves to match! It’s all a balance, right?

  • Candace

    All of your looks definitely look fabulous! I also love the fact you all wore simple jewelry. Definitely keeps the attention on the beautiful florals. One thing…and please don’t think I’m being petty. I promise I’m not 🙂 Your ear jackets. That silver part should go behind your ear and the stud at the front. Just wanted to let you know in case you didn’t 🙂

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Wow Candace—I’m so glad you told me that about the ear jackets—-I really had NO idea! I can’t believe I’m been wearing them this way for months & months!! Well…it’s a good laugh anyways, right?
      And, of course, I don’t think you’re being petty—it’s like telling someone they have spinach between their teeth—I consider that a good friend. So thanks!!!

      • Candace

        No problem at all <3

        • Jodie Filogomo


  • I enjoyed seeing your before and after style photos. Side by side shots truly give the full story. Seriously loving your dark floral top and Nancy’s coated jeans. All three of you look great in your fabulous looks!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I always love to see before & after photos!! Not just in fashion, but also with home decorating and such—to me it’s such a clincher!!
      Thanks for the lovely words Jennie—I hope you’re recovering well!!

  • Great looks! I loveee your shirt!

    Don’t forget to join the Fashion Frenzy Linkup on Wednesday!


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Annessa!! I’ll be there!

  • donnaduck

    Mom looks soooo much younger and slimmer in the second look!! I never realized how baggy pants can make you look older! But now that I see it, I’m going to look for more fitting pants for ME! And Jodi, I love your second look- you totally make that blouse more trendy with those jeans.

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I think that has been one of the biggest things I’ve learned lately. I’m one of those who always would err on the side of looseness (because I thought tight was terrible), but I think the right fit is a big thing! And wearing pants is more challenging because of all of the fit points. I think that’s where spandex in our jeans really makes a difference!!
      You’ll have to tell me how you feel after you go shopping!!

  • I’ve come across your posts a few times from link ups, and I just have to say I LOVE how you showcase styles for a variety of ages. The smiles on all three of you always look radiant. I love florals, great tips!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much for the kind words Kelsey!! I really appreciate it!!

  • I despise Capri pants! Everyone here in Sun City wears them…so my husband renamed them Sun City shorts! Hahaha
    You did a great job showing frumpy to fabulous!!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      I can’t totally say that about capris because I have a pair. I’m hoping it the way they fit and how they are styled….maybe I should do that as a challenge next summer?

      • Yes, the fit and styling DOES make a huge difference! #challenge

  • Lorena Lorena

    Hi J – I looooved how just changing the trousers to jeans made a huge different with that pretty floral button down. As usual well done 🙂

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Lorena—it is amazing how the look can be so different, right?

  • What a great post! You styled these florals so good. And I love the side by side shots showing the difference.


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Janeane—-I’ve always loved the idea of the before & after looks!!

  • I love that floral shirt you’re wearing Jodi! I can barely recognize you in that first photo! Ha ha!

    I still like Nancy’s “frumpy” look. Didn’t appear frumpy to me at all : )


    • Jodie Filogomo

      That’s what my husband said about Nancy’s look too! Maybe that’s a good thing that I couldn’t find much bad clothing in her closet?

  • Queen of Rods

    You’ve illustrated that it’s all in the styling. Nancy’s outfit is particularly flattering and very slimming…and I love your pink shoes 🙂

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Janet!!

  • Love what styling an outfit can do! You’ve totally elevated these looks and I loved looking at each one. Lovely!


    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks so much Mary!!
      I’ve always loved the before and after in styling and beauty—it’s so interesting how certain details can make a difference!

  • I always like the way you turn ordinary clothes into extremely stylish! These changes from frumpy to fabulous are incredible!

    • Jodie Filogomo

      Thanks Olya! This was a fun challenge!! And it continues for 2 more posts!!!