My Vendetta Against “Cute” and 5 Rule-Breaking Ways to Wear Floral Prints


I hate the word cute.


Throughout my twenties, I constructed a complex web of fashion rules to ward off being called “cute”. I draped myself in head-to-toe black. I avoided pink at all costs. Floral prints were a no-go. I wore a lot of hefty boots.

This isn’t news to you, I know. I’ve splattered by anger about being called cute, and then having my contributions be entirely ignored all over this experiment.

And let’s be real. This is a woman’s problem. You’ll be hard pressed to find a dude that’s sidelined at work because his boss thinks he’s too cute or adorable to have a worthwhile opinion.

But, I’m 30 now.

I’m 30, and I’m exhausted of dressing myself in a way so that other people might listen to me. Instead, I’ve perfected my you-better-not-mess-with-me face. I’m getting more comfortable with saying, “You’ve interrupted me and I haven’t finished speaking.” And, best of all, I’m wearing whatever the hell I want to.

Today is the first day of spring. (HALLELUJAH.)

I’m celebrating by (finally!) wearing floral prints. Each outfit below breaks my nothing-too-girlish fashion rule, and at least one other fashion rule, too. In The Devil Wears Prada, Miranda Priestly may not have thought florals for spring were groundbreaking but, for me, they definitely are.

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  1. Mixing patterns correctly requires one smaller pattern and one larger pattern, both in similar colors.

    (Well, I didn’t entirely break this rule, BUT before now I’d never consider combining two different nature prints. Here I’ve got floral on top, and safari on bottom.)

  2. Pear-shaped women shouldn't draw attention to their wide bottom halves.

    (I’m wearing the darker pattern on top and the white on bottom - a definite pear-shaped no-no.)

  3. No white after Labor Day.


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BROKEN RULE: It’s either a dress or pants, but not both.

This is a new-to-me fashion rule! I’ve never braved wearing a dress over pants, but was inspired by a photo from Copenhagen Fashion Week. I also loved this look from a practical perspective: I’m notoriously cold, so the jeans give me an extra layer of insulation until summer hits.


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  1. Women shop in the women’s department.

  2. Round faces shouldn’t wear high necklines

This outfit made me feel like an usher at a snazzy movie theater where they only play films that pass the Bechdel test.


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  1. Socks and sandals do not go. Ever.

  2. Never wear anything too revealing.

    (Oh hey, mini dress!)

  3. Round faces shouldn’t wear high necklines.


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  1. One dress at a time, please!

    (This is another new rule. I’ve never layered dresses on top of each other, but I loved this combination. I felt like Michelle Dockery’s character in Godless (the Netflix Western with a cast almost entirely comprised of women) and I was ALL ABOUT THAT.)

If you’re thinking, “Where are the flowers here?” they’re on the bottom dress. I wanted to play with subtle florals, and I liked how the pattern could still be seen through the sheer white layer.



Are there patterns or styles that you’ve strayed away from? How do you feel about florals? I’d love to hear about your journey with fashion rules.

As you saw in this post, my rules run the gamut from well known (No White After Labor Day) to personal (Never Wear Anything Too Girlish). Are you curious about how I crafted my fashion rules? Drop me a note below if you're like to read more about that process.

Women’s Month continues on Friday. I’ll be back with a post spotlighting another inspiring woman!


caught feels for florals? Let’s Shop!