How to wear leaf prints



 ‘Green and white feels tentatively hopeful.’ Photograph: David Newby/The Guardian

All the time of writing, we are still allowed to spend time outside. That is not a sentence with which I thought I would open a fashion column. But then, pretty much every sentence I write these days – in a column or on WhatsApp – feels like a sentence I never thought I would write.

Green and white, leaf-based rather than flower-based nature prints emerged as a trend for the season in the slipstream of a Versace spring catwalk show that starred not only a tropical green print dress but, crucially, Jennifer Lopez modelling it. Dolce & Gabbana and Fendi also had succulent greenery on their catwalks that week and a trend was born.
The champagne-clinking days of Milan fashion week feel a long time ago. But trends work in mysterious ways, and there is something about lush greenery that feels right for now, inasmuch as any fashion trend possibly could. Green and white is soothing and calm: the ultimate aspirational values. Last summer and the one before were all about the “moody” floral, with colourful blooms popping against a black background, as if you were walking through a garden after dark. It feels like apt and cheering happenstance that in 2020, the go-to floral has switched from outright moodiness to the more tentatively hopeful combination of green and white.
These Gap khaki trousers have been in my wardrobe for a couple of years. I know fashion is supposed to be wall-to-wall tracksuits and work-from-home chic right now, but I find myself drawn to these. Jogging bottoms can be comforting but so, too, can a bit of sturdiness. And khaki works not only as a foil for leaf prints, but with almost any colour. I particularly like it with rose pink, or deep red, but you can basically treat it like a neutral in the way you would a pair of blue jeans.
If green-leaved succulent plants against a neutral-toned background is ringing bells, that will be because, before it was a clothing trend, it was already every millennial’s go-to Instagram aesthetic. A glossy, heavy-leafed houseplant in a retro raffia planter is comfort eye candy for the post-hipster generation. It is the ASMR of colour palettes. It is a perfect match with organic food shopping, and sea breeze scented candles. It says wholesome. It says healthy. And the green shoots of spring have never seemed more appealing.

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