Well-worn advice to ‘wear prints in summer’ is not only vague, but lazy. Menswear is, after all, awash with a multitude of different prints and patterns that encompasses everything from food packaging to the animal kingdom. So endorsements like “umm, yeah, prints man” from your local men’s fashion week hanger-on is just plain unhelpful (and annoyingly unclear).
So we’ve asked the menswear gurus to share their secrets for putting prints into play. But first, a few words on how the big-name brands are doing it…
On The Runway
Not all designers took their cue from fine art. Christopher Kane co-opted the white noise of a broken television and applied it across everything from long sheer raincoats to oversized box tees and joggers. Varying thicknesses and lines were used but his message was clear: white noise is more than just a loose input wire.
“Printed shorts let you channel this season’s colourways without requiring too much thought,” stylist Jenna Riddle explains. “A tailored cut that finishes above the knee is a flattering choice that is a quick sartorial fix.”
Fancy getting more bang for your buck? Invest in printed tailored swim shorts that can double up in your everyday wardrobe – and remember that the same rules apply.
The all-over print pyjama suits we see on runways don’t always translate well to the everyday, which is why you should pick a focal piece and surround it with neutral hues.
“The shark collar is bang on-trend this season,” says Mr Porter’s Style Director Olie Arnold. “Wear it on its own, or layered with a clean white T-shirt underneath, à la Gucci.”
Arnold’s no. 1 rule? “Wear with confidence.”
Just as the bomber jacket hits peak saturation, brands are repurposing the old-school MA-1 by splicing it with recent trends – one of which being florals.
“The MA-1 bomber jacket was the first military-issued garment to cross over into mainstream, and has since been reworked by modern Japanese brands for an East-meets-West look,” explains Arnold.
“Pair with classic selvedge denim and your best blank canvas sneaks and you’ll easily counter the print overload.”
Available in a multitude of florals, checks and graphics, the printed bomber jacket is a go-to summer staple that’ll provide a punch of originality. Granted, there’s no guaranteed longevity in the piece, but all the trend boxes are definitely ticked.
Wearing head-to-toe floral tailoring is no mean feat. Yes, it might look great on the FROW of a Gucci show in the surrounds of Westminster Abbey, but not so much waiting on the platform at Westminster tube station.
“Unless you’re a celebrity, don’t even bother trying a fully floral suit,” says Martha Gill, International Fashion Executive at The Sunday Times Style. “Instead, let a subtly printed blazer provide the statement – nothing too garish but nothing too insipid either.”