Can’t tell your hibiscus blooms from your carnations? Alarmed at the prospect of looking like a florist’s shop front? Our quick how to wear guide will ensure you don’t stray from the garden path and into the jungle…
1. One Print per Look
As a general rule of thumb, print overkill is best avoided. If one component of your outfit features a vibrant print, it’s best to keep the rest of your look a plain and simple affair, so opt for clean-lined separates.
One strong pattern is enough of a statement by itself. For those of a more daring disposition, clashing prints can work; just make sure the prints contrast but complement each other by pairing motifs that differ either in tone or pattern, but not both.
2. Layer for Subtlety
If you’re after a more understated approach to the look, layering is key.
Try wearing a micro-floral print shirt beneath a clean-lined navy cotton knit so just the shirt’s cuffs and collar are showing. A dark tailored jacket will also sit well layered over a painterly bloom print shirt – the jacket will break-up the arresting impact of a full torso floral hit.
This witty contrast of floral detailing against solid hues is a considered way to interpret the look.
3. Catwalk Faux Pas
Try not to copy ‘pure’ looks in their entirety from the catwalk. That head-to-toe clashing floral jacket and shirt combo may look appealing on the back of a 6’3” svelte Scandinavian, but it won’t necessarily translate well into real life situations.
As with all high impact pieces, it’s best to interpret the look according to your own tastes and integrate the trend into your existing wardrobe. The one rule to remember is that you should feel confident and comfortable in your clothing; if you don’t then the look isn’t for you.
4. Adapt to the Season
Remember to stay attuned to the seasons; you don’t want to be wearing a full-on tropical Hawaiian shirt in the midst of winter, nor do you want to be donning a floral sweatshirt during a heat wave.
Whilst traditionally florals have been exclusively a spring/summer look, designers are now catering to a cross-seasonal trend, offering muted, darker tones for winter that contrast with arrestingly bright summer patterns. It may seem obvious, but darker florals should be the choice for the winter months, whilst light and colorful prints should feature in your summer wardrobe.
5. Fit for Purpose
As there is still much conservatism towards this trend from traditionalists, always think of the occasion before you choose to don florals. A Hawaiian gardenia bloom shirt may look great on a Miami Beach Esplanade, but it isn’t exactly boardroom appropriate.
It’s best to reserve your more conspicuous pieces for off-duty occasions, whilst subtle micro-floral accessories can be easily worked into more conservative tailored looks for weekdays.
The Floral Shirt
A flowery shirt can either look really stylish and on point or you could end up looking like a tourist at the beach. So, to channel your inner tourist vibe there are two ways to pull of a floral shirt. The first way is to choose a shirt that is fairly loose fitting around the body and keep the colors to a minimum. Button this shirt up and wear with black jeans or trousers so you don’t deteriorate away from the shirt as the main outfit feature. Floral shirts for men are probably the easiest floral element to style, along with men’s floral tees which can be styled the same way. A floral print t-shirt for men can be worn with jeans or trousers, we have found that tans or beige’s work best if you really want to showcase a top summer trend.
The second way to nail a floral shirt is to wear it open with a plain white tee underneath. This allows you to go for brighter and bolder prints as the loudness is neutralized by the t-shirt seen under the floral shirt. This is the perfect shirt to wear in the summer, to a festival or on holiday. It is an easy way to support the floral trend and is an easy look to put together. Just remember that if you’re wearing any bold print, whether it be florals or any other prints, you need to make sure you can tone it down with a basic pair of jeans or trousers and a plain tee.
If you’re not quite keen on wearing a large floral item of clothing, such as trousers or a blazer, then don’t shy away from the print altogether. Have a look at caps, socks, and even braces or shoes for inspiration. These can show off your personality just as well as any other item of clothing, without giving too much away. Often, you can find great floral prints on canvas shoes like Vans. Converse or even brogues.
More Tips and Tricks with Floral Prints
If you’re looking at trying out floral, great! Just remember to be aware of a few things beforehand:
Floral isn’t just for summer. The print used to be associated with summer beaches and hot days in the sun. However these days, designers have incorporated floral patterns to suit every season. Avoid bright and summery looks for the autumn and winter months – go for navy blues, greys, dark browns and purples. This can be a great way of using the floral print in a smart way.
Limit your floral prints. To be able to pull off this style, you need to limit the use of it in any outfit. Have only one item of clothing featuring this pattern ( or two if you’re wearing a matching suit), and it’ll stand out nicely whilst complimenting the rest of your outfit. This way, you’ll also avoid clashing and looking somewhat clown-like.
If you’re worried about floral prints being too feminine, then you can toughen up the print with some masculine accessories and dark jeans or a blazer. Not all floral prints are bright. You can get a gray shirt with a dark gray floral on it, which can be nice and subtle for your needs.
Wearing Floral Print
- It’s important that you feel confident with what you’re wearing.
- The floral print should be the main part of your outfit so style with minimal accessories.
- Don’t always shy away from brighter colors, always pair them with a complimenting color.
- Floral prints aren’t just for summer, darker prints work well in the winter.
Whilst some of these looks may be a little too out there for the average Joe, it’s easy for the individual to interpret the trend in a way that will adhere to his own sartorial principles, whether that involves going the whole hog with a hibiscus print bomber, or taking a softer approach and donning a micro-print floral tie.
Ultimately, fashion is about expression and experimentation, it’s about raising the bar and pushing boundaries, and the rise of menswear florals illustrates this point seamlessly.
With such a great variety of bloom print apparel and accessories on offer, it’s never been easier for the modern man to incorporate a bit of floral inspiration into his wardrobe.