Every Autumn and Winter I dedicate an outfit formula post to floral patterns on dark backgrounds. The backgrounds are usually black, but can also be dark colours like navy, chocolate, charcoal, and eggplant. A dark background toughens the floral and allows for the seamless integration of a black support act. The colours of the flowers can be neutral or non-neutral. Some floral patterns are more abstract and moodier than others.

A dark black floral dress or skirt combined with a short black leather or pleather jacket and black boots is an almost flop-proof outfit formula with a strong ‘90s vibe. Here are some examples.

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Below are four other ways to wear dark florals into Fall and possibly Winter. These looks can be a subtle nod to the Dark Romance trend.

1. Toughened Cosy Knitwear

Floral knitwear is rare, and quite unique. Here’s a chunky matching floral twinset of pullover and cardigan with striped detailing on a very dark navy background. The set is combined with very dark blue wide crop jeans, that may as well have been black. Casual black boots finish off the look and match the model’s hair, and work well with the casual slouch of the knitwear. Choose a bag to match the palette to finish off the look.

Toughened Cosy Knitwear

2. Pretty Skirt and Sweater With an Edge

Here’s a pattern mix that’s well matched because the pattern of the top is the inverse of the pattern of the skirt, and slightly larger in scale. The top is knitted and the skirt is woven so there’s a textural variation too. The sweater is tucked to create waist definition with the flared skirt. Pointy-toe flats add soft edge and match the model’s hair. Wearing statement socks is on-trend, and these fishnet socks add another layer of textural interest. Choose black fishnets or sheer black hosiery if that’s more your thing. The black bag stays within the confines of the palette.

Pretty Skirt and Sweater With an Edge

3. Floral Suit and Tee

Here’s a silky and soft floral pants suit worn with a printed tee and sandals. The colours of the tee match the palette of the patterned floral. The outfits can work on a warm Fall day. The printed tee is unexpected, creating an interesting juxtaposition of casual and dressy. Choose a solid tee, shell top or tank top that works with the pattern of the suit if that’s your preference.

Floral Suit and Tee

4. Draped and Pattern Mixed

Last, a pattern-mixed floral and pinstripe can be a yummy combination. The colours of the black and white pinstripe are repeated in the floral, creating a visually harmonious effect. Proportionally, the volume and drape of the top are a fab pairing with the extra wide cropped pants because of its asymmetrical hemline. The shorter length on the one side visually lengthens the leg line, which elongates the outfit. The pinstripes draw the eyes up and down too. Black sandal booties are a great choice for a warm Autumn day. Add accessories as desired.

Draped and Pattern Mixed

I don’t wear black, so my version looks a little different. Last week for a dinner date with hubs I combined a navy floral dress with knee-high whiskey boots and a bag that matches the boots. I popped a long red coat over the lot because it was cold when we walked back home. The exact items are shown in the collection below. I felt fab!