Wearing Works of Art: The Watercolor Print

Below you'll find another blog post from Poplin contributor, plus size fashion guru and resident watercolorist, Jordan Richardson. Read on!


Ever since I was a little girl I have loved art. The creativity, freedom and challenge of expression have always drawn me in. I got to taste even more of the art world when I entered college and took art history classes. I was enchanted by the work painted along the gilded halls of Versailles, spooked yet intrigued by the ever darkening works of Goya, and palpitated at the supreme artistry of Bernini's sculptures. So it would make sense that I would gravitate towards clothing that had some art influence woven in.

Watercolor is my medium of choice when doing fashion illustration. The fluidity and dynamism of the suspended color in water is, to me, sort of magical. So when I noticed that more and more watercolor-printed pieces were showing up on the market I knew I wanted to share them with you, Dear Reader. These colorful and fluid pieces are easy to incorporate into a wardrobe since they are usually great patterned pieces that can draw the eye to wherever you please, and disguise other bits. So I've pulled together a few pieces that I felt worked nicely with some style keywords. Enjoy!


Effortless, Memorable, Polished

 Watercolor Keyhole Tank. Lane Bryant. $44.95

This shirt is for those looking to ease slowly into the watercolor trend. This simple yet polished tank is a great work piece that adds some artistic interest with the watered down striping. For trends that can incorporate a lot of colors, finding one that sticks to a single color palette can help the piece be not only work appropriate, but less overwhelming.


Bold, Vintage Inspired, Urban

 Ikat Print Pleat Fit & Flare Dress .  Adrianna Papell. Nordstrom.    $89.90 sale $180.00 original

Venturing into a more pattern-heavy watercolor print, this beautiful Adrianna Papell dress works for almost any occasion. Add a structured blazer for work meetings, or a chunky statement necklace and a strappy heel for drinks with the ladies or a summer wedding. Then try it with a little cardigan to meet the in-laws. This piece really is a chameleon. It's quite the statement, but with its classically flattering circle skirt silhouette, it's a piece that you will pull time and time again.


Artsy, Modern, Minimalist

 Watercolor Floral Shift dress. Forever 21+. $22.80

The classic shape of this dress is enhanced with a vibrant diagonal watercolor motif that will flatter by pulling the eye up to the face. It's an easy summer breezy piece that will likely make you smile every time you pull it on thanks to the vivid colors in the print. This would especially be good for diamond body shapes and inverted triangles.


Boho, Relaxed, Chic

 Abstract Geo Crop Top. Forever 21+. $15.80

Yes, a crop top! This easy piece would be great over a slinky cami dress for some coverage, with a high waist denim or skirt, or layers over a longer cami. The loose fit and earthy pattern give this top a very relaxed feel, great for a casual day out.


Put Together, Interesting, Tailored

 Studio African Violet Skirt. Eloquii. $68.00

This dark floral can easily transition from spring to fall, and on into winter. This simple pencil skirt has the potential to go with all sorts of colors in your closet and is just fun and interesting. Pulling this on with even a simple blouse and a cool necklace will make you look like you spent all morning trying to figure out what to wear.


So hopefully you have been inspired by the artistry of watercolor. Just think of the possibilities of art on fabric — think Starry Night on a sweatshirt, or a Haring-inspired set of sneakers. We can all add a little art to our lives.

Happy Shopping!


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