Traditionally, men’s fashion has always leaned towards the conservative, matching the staid greys, blacks and browns of 20th century job-in-the-city existence. Responsibility for carrying the torch of fashion progress in flair, colour and style has always rested on the shoulders of women, but a cultural shift has occurred in these modern times that has seen men embrace a more colourful palette into their lives and wardrobes. The next baby step of evolution, coming this spring and summer, is print.
This new addition though isn’t the kind to arrive quietly. By its very nature it is loud, demanding attention from both wearer and observer. So how then, are prints best worn by men? It seems a great risk. After all, it’s dressing in brightly coloured flowers and animals, suns and moons and more and more as far as imagination will allow. It could be a fashion disaster waiting to happen, a car crash of contrast. Can men, resistant to colour and pattern for so long, be trusted with such choice? With just a handy tip or two, it can work, and it depends on what look the wearer intends to achieve.
Wearing print boils down to statement or subtlety. It would be easy to assume that with prints being bold and striking, they must be the showpiece of a bold summery look. But you don’t need daring or bravado to pull it off. Print is much suppler than that, and can be used to embellish a more traditional outfit with a touch of personality too. Both methods, naturally, require a bit of know-how to help it all come together in a way that won’t blind passers-by.
To really make a statement requires a great fit. A baggy shirt dilutes the striking impression of the motif and is harder to pair with the other key ingredients to make the overall look work. A shirt such as this navy floral print from Next is perfect if bought in the right size. It’s still advisable even with a strong approach to limit print to just one item per outfit, in most cases this is likely a shirt, and it’s essential that it fits the wearer’s shape well.
However, don’t be afraid to try print shorts or trousers in the summer, such as this navy floral pair or if you’re feeling particularly carefree, these pink floral chinos could be paired off to stunning effect with a smart white shirt. In any case, the trade secret is to contrast your print with other items that are plain and trim. A print shirt looks ideal with a pair of slim chinos and a brown belt, highlighting the contrast and keeping the busyness of the print manageable. The look should then be completed with the right footwear, perhaps a pair of mens casual shoes or espadrilles available at Next, as long as the design is clean and simple.
The subtle approach is equally as uncomplicated. A print shirt can add a wonderful flourish of detail to a classic look, using darker and plain layers such as blazers and cardigans. The trick, once again, is in the fit so make sure you have a simple, sharp tailored jacket to complete the subtle look. You can also rock a print shirt under a full suit, provided the tie is plain and the fit is exceptional. The tailoring range at Next provides the right kind of shape and sharp look required to create the stunning contrast, so pick up a smart jacket to bring it all together.
It’s clear that print is really no gamble when worn with the right complements, and both the bold and more reserved approaches mean their use is not limited to the beach, park or anywhere else out in the sun, but can be worn indoors and at night to eye-catching effect.