“Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” Fashion can relate to the sarcastic quip à la Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, because the fashion editor was right, florals aren’t new. They sprout again every season.
So, what’s the forecast this time?
While floral prints were easily worn on swim shorts and t-shirts in season’s past, other – more serious – men’s fashion classics continue to bloom. But before you set out on a flower power pursuit, we’ve laid out the necessary top soil for a more than fertile floral style for men.
Breaking It Down
The hibiscus is back this season. So too is the palm frond and fern – forming a strong Hawaiian contingent in support of the floral print. The Italian elegance of paisley is another big floral to bud, alongside newcomer Chinoiserie – oriental florals once reserved for china and ceramics.
The second floral point to mention: muted colours. Sticking to the Seventies influence seen in men’s fashion, the floral print is subject to the dark side. And if brightness becomes a floral piece, the background is nearly always dark and neutral tone.
With the ground work laid, here are the key bold floral print pieces for men to adopt this season.
If you’re betting on just one floral piece in your wardrobe, make it the short-sleeved shirt. Both high and low price brands have stocked up on the summertime Hawaiian shirt, so it’s easy to pick up one in your favourite colour. Just remember (as always) the fit is everything; finding a shirt that sits effortlessly across the chest and never tight on the arms – letting the sleeve cut a few centimetres above the elbow.
And then the collar: the Cuban shirt Fifties-style collar is making a comeback, especially smart done up under a neutral blazer.
A basic t-shirt, as an undershirt, is great way to layer. A neutral t-shirt adds some much needed ‘peace’ to the boisterous floral and eliminates any touristic connotations. Finally, keep your chinos or shorts neutral too for the safest option. While we wouldn’t normally suggest you try the double-floral look (akin to double denim) some high-profile celebrities including Kevin Hart, LeBron James and Scott Disick have been seen wearing matching shirts and shorts combinations. You won’t want to go too loud, but double-floral could be the next big thing in menswear.
Floral tailoring has certainly received its fair share of the limelight, so it’s essential to tap a suit in flower pattern, before they wilt and die away. A colourful and vibrant alternative, florals instantly perk up a two-piece party suit and add some extra summer romance to a party blazer and denim combination.
After selecting your botanical best, layer the jacket with a neutral shirt (crisp white or jet black for something super fresh) and team leather brogues or a pair of white sneakers for a street wear edge. Alternatively, flip the switch and wear a statement floral button-down under a block coloured suit – losing the tie to let the flower shirt feature under the jacket.
A floral suit or separates is the biggest bud statement to make this season, so it’s important to counterbalance all that pizazz with masculine elements – cool sunglasses, a sharp short haircut and above all, incredible confidence.
The bomber jacket is a menswear essential. While sleek and minimal will always be tasteful, bold floral bombers are a statement way of working patterns into the typically neutral coat.
The once-military jacket is best lightweight, and with slim and fitted cut (not puffer style) – seeing you work the versatility of the jacket florals as a cool replacement suit jacket over trousers or as a stylish alternative to an active cropped coat over jogger pants or jeans.
For subtle print-age, stick to fern or palm styles in muted colours; while the brave should look to paisley or hibiscus flowers – in pastels and primary hues for a dressier aesthetic.
From pocket square to footwear, the floral accessory is for the man who is a little bloom shy – but still wants to divulge in the fanciful flower. Never one to forego the finer things in life, plant the print over low cut sneakers for floral kick or a rose-pattern brim on a cotton snapback cap.
Outside street wear, floral pocket squares and neckerchiefs are lightweight and easily styled fabrics to adorn muted tailoring while a flower-power tie adds a springtime aroma to the boring business suit.
And for the man who wants the real deal, add a boutonniere to your lapel. It’s the perfect way to add some physical floral to a suit jacket, without looking like a wedding bouquet.