Wearing the Floral Trends : The Guys’ Guide

Filtering down from the runway to high street, it seems every designer and high street retailer are all getting in the floral movement.

A bold, and historically feminine trend, the floral trend does not come without any difficulties. A culmination of colors and rounded edges, the floral prints draw the eye to inconsistencies, but also can mask areas of uncomfortable attention. The most important rule of thumb to remember is to avoid the botanic garden approach.

Subtle floral accessories from Paul Smith SS14

To begin with, wear only one print per outfit to avoid print overkill. If one piece of your outfit features an exciting floral print, it is advisable to keep the rest of your look plain and simple, as one vibrant pattern is enough to be a statement by itself. If you are one of the sartorially adventurous, try clashing prints, which should only be executed when the different prints complement while contrast each another by paring prints that differ either in pattern or tone — but never both.

Floral statement pieces from Dries Van Noten SS14

The learning curve is vital when wearing loud, floral patterns. Try paring a micro-floral printed shirt underneath a slim-fit navy knit, of which only the busy cuffs and collar are showing, to achieve a subtle look. Additionally, a dark-colored blazer or a lightweight, long spring jacket can act as a breaker, minimizing the screaming effort of a sharp color shirt.

Layering aside, try not to copy the runway looks directly. That head-to-toe floral look may look appealing on an olive-skinned Italian hulk, but it may not translate well into reality. It is best to interpret the look according to your own style and assimilate this trend into your current closet.

Floral suiting from Gucci SS14

If you are more sartorially conservative, start with something small — floral motifs are not solely limited to apparel, but accessories as well! From neckties to shoes, and everything in between, you can find floral prints on anything from designer brands to high street retailers.

Last but not least, though floral prints are perfect for warmer weather, it may not be suitable for all occasions. For instance, a Hawaiian shirt may look great when you are walking alongside the Jersey Shore, but it is not exactly workplace appropriate. It is best to reserve the loud pieces for non-business attire, while micro-floral accessories can be seamlessly paired with your tailored suits for work, or any other formal occasion.

From left to right: printed linen shirt by Etro, drawstring-hem floral shirt by Sacai, slim-fit printed cotton western shirt by Levi's Vintage Clothing, short-sleeved printed cotton shirt by Raf Simons

From left to right: printed linen shirt by Etro, drawstring-hem floral shirt by Sacai, slim-fit printed cotton western shirt by Levi’s Vintage Clothing, short-sleeved printed cotton shirt by Raf Simons

Whilst some of the runway floral looks may be a little too out there for the average city-dweller, it is actually extremely easy for everyone to include floral patterns into their daily outfits. Whether you are going big with a hibiscus print bomber jacket, or taking a baby step with a pair of micro print floral socks, ultimately the most important aspect is to be yourself and to be confident in what you wear. Trends come and go, so it is key to find a way of creating your own style to stand out from the crowd.

Originally published June 2014. Updated May 2016.

Wearing the Floral Trends : The Guys’ Guide

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