Style Guide: A Man’s Guide to Wearing Prints

Many men scare away from sporting a bold print and there’s no denying that it’s not always the easiest of trends to pull off. This doesn’t mean that florals have to be reserved for your Nan’s curtains though!

From camouflage and stripes, to funky illustrative designs, prints have been absolutely everywhere this season. So if you’ve been avoiding them until now, this is your time to embrace them!

Though some of the more vibrant and eccentric designs should be approached with caution, if worn well, a quirky print can bring some real individuality to your look. After all, deep down doesn’t every fashion conscious individual want their outfit to stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons?

If you’re a bit wary of how to adopt the trend, here are some of our top tips for pulling off the look, whether it be a subtle hint at the trend, or the full impact.

Failproof Florals

Just to make this clear from the get go, when I say ‘wear florals’, in no world do I mean sport a Hawaiian shirt in every colour of the rainbow. That is unless you want to look like an extra from Forgetting Sarah Marshall and let’s face it, if Russell Brand couldn’t even pull off the look, I’m not sure if anyone else has any hope.

In all seriousness though, if done right, florals can look brilliant. An all over floral print looks particularly great in the summer months, whether it be in the form of a floral shirt or a pair of statement shorts. As a rule, the smaller the print, the easier it is to pull off. Another one of our top pointers would be to pair your floral item with something in a block colour to avoid overkill. Double denim may have had it’s moment, but I’m not sure if we’re quite ready for a double floral trend within men’s fashion.

For those of you who aren’t quite ready to brave anything too vivacious, you can incorporate floral elements into your outfit by layering a floral item underneath something a little more within your comfort zone, or by accessorising with a printed hat or tie.

For a floral print with a rebellious streak, check out some of the latest McQ and Vivienne Westwood pieces.

Men's floral fashion

SHOP: PS by Paul Smith Rose Print Shirt /  Polo Ralph Lauren Reversible Bucket Hat / Polo Ralph Lauren Floral Swim Shorts / Vivienne Westwood Floral Sweatshirt

Go Graphic

Bright colours and a vibrant print doesn’t have to mean gaudy. Best worn for casual occasions, if paired with some more understated items, a statement print can really bring your outfit to life.

Quirky graphics and illustrative designs are really having a moment thanks to brands such as Kenzo and DSquared2, and they’re a really fun look to wear. Try pairing a printed t-shirt or sweatshirt with some low key jeans to make the design really pop.

A shirt in an all over graphic pattern can have a bit of a novelty feel to it. But hey, they’re great for on holiday!

 

Graphic Prints

SHOP: Kenzo Popcorn Shirt / Vivienne Westwood Diamond Orb T-Shirt / Vilebrequin Postcard Swim Shorts / DSquared2 Magazine Cutting Hoodie

Spots and Stripes

For a traditional take on the trend, opt for a timeless polka dot or stripe print. These are a lot more subtle than other louder prints on the market and give a classic look that can be worn by anyone.

The nautical trend is perfect for daytime wear and is really easy to create by pairing a white and blue striped top with a pair of navy chinos and boat shoes.

For a more formal look, a pinstriped shirt perfectly complements a smart outfit. An understated polka dot is also a fantastic way of working a print into formal wear. Try pairing a close polka dot print shirt with a pair of chinos and a tailored blazer for a stylish evening look.

If stripes are your thing, you can’t really go wrong with Paul Smith, who’s signature style is the rainbow stripe motif, after all.

spots and stripes

SHOP: Fred Perry Polka Dot Polo Shirt / Paul Smith Dot Socks / Vivienne Westwood Blue Striped Shirt / Paul Smith Spotted Bow Tie / Polo Ralph Lauren Striped Polo Shirt

Carry off Camouflage

Camouflage is a look that hasn’t ever really gone out of style and it is the perfect way to throw a bit of masculine print into the mix. Ironically, it’s a look that far from blends into the background, so to avoid looking like you’ve nicked Action Man’s outfit, it’s best to limit yourself to one camouflage item at a time.

A camo jacket or combat style overshirt are probably the most popular options, as they are perfect for layering over the top of a laid back everyday look. A printed t-shirt is also a really easy way to adopt the look, paired with neutral tones, to perfectly complement the camo design.

For an urban twist on the military look, check out some of True Religion‘s latest collection.

wear camouflage print

SHOP: Versus Versace Camouflage T-Shirt / Moncler Camouflage Trainers / True Religion Camouflage Bucket Hat / Versus Versace Camouflage Hoodie

Muted Monochromes

For a more subtle take on the trend, opt for something in black and white. It’s a more sophisticated twist on the look and it’s also much easier to work during the winter months, when colour trends are more muted.

Monochrome doesn’t have to be boring though. Just because the prints are made up of a black and white colour palette, doesn’t mean they can’t still make an impact. To quote Karl Lagerfeld: “Black and white always looks modern, whatever that word means”.

The good news is, if you’re usually one to shy away from anything too garish, going monochrome is a much easier way introduce a bold print to your wardrobe. A statement jacket looks amazing layered over a clean and simple outfit. Alternatively, create a funky sporty look by pairing a bold t-shirt with some black sweatpants.

Wear monochrome print

 

SHOP: Versus Versace Lion Print Shirt / Adidas Speckled Superstar Trainers / J. Linderberg Floral Swim Shorts / McQ Swallow T-Shirt

Subtle Accents

If your style is a bit more reserved, the easiest way to drop a bright print into your look is by working it into your accessories. A statement bag, a printed hat, or even a quirky tie, are all great ways of adopting the trend and there are so many options available. Pair them with a more muted outfit to instantly brighten up your look.

statement accessories

SHOP: Giuseppe Zanotti Trainers / Paul Smith Striped Cuff Links / Hugo Boss Stripe Pocket Square / Barbour Green Tartan Scarf / Herschel Camouflage Backpack