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 (thank you Gail), and the message was this. She loves buying floral shirts but doesn’t want to appear mumsy (did I get that right?) And I think we can all agree that I don’t have all the answers (haha), 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 blue jeans 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!
And then I added in my studded, bright pink flats!
So the recipe is the same: shirt + same floral top + flats, yet the look is quite different, I think!
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 pants 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?).
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!
Then we styled her brown ankle boots that have a small heel and I think she looks more polished.
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 photoshoots! 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!).
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!
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 athletic sneakers! And mom was able to wear her orthotics in them which is a prerequisite for walking!
Do you love floral shirts? Or do you feel frumpy wearing them? I love hearing your logic!
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