As spring approaches it’s time to decide upon which trend to nod your head towards. The old faithfuls of nautical or military (a navy stripe here, a gold button there); the nouveau chic of ‘picnic geek’ (lashings of gingham, a touch of tweed topped off glasses) or sports luxe, which I believe is just a euphemism for ‘preppy chav’. While undeniably wearable, these styles often have the air of being a tad too familiar and dare I say predictable. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a horizontal stripe as much as the next guy but it feels as if it’s time for something else. Enter the floral. Previously the reserve of men who wanted to emulate Elton John’s Versace clad top-to-toe look, florals are undergoing an overdue transformation courtesy of some of our favourite menswear visionaries.
The go-to man for British florals, Paul Smith, has this season opted for small and delicate prints in a masculine palette of blues and browns, making the designs easy to wear in a formal style, by distilling the prints via his own personal brand of eccentricity. And where Mr Smith goes others are bound to follow. Equally as British, but a tad further up the scale in terms of cool kitsch meets mod is the newly announced collaboration between Liberty of London and Fred Perry. Courtesy of Liberty’s signature paisley and floral designs, the bovver boy essentials will be adorned with either a hint of a twee bouquet, under a collar or around a cuff, or for the more daring, the buttoned down preppy designs also come in an all over print.
The size of the plumage on your print is all important, and for SS10 the look has settled at either ends of the spectrum. Small blooms and barely there buds are looks that interpret the trend with an air of mannish modernity; for an easy way to work the look opt for a simple and well tailored shirt, such Freesoul’s Fargo shirt. If you’re a little bolder and like your trends with a retro twist then head to the high street.
This season no-one is doing bold, better than Topman. The menswear team here have created board shorts with more than a knowing wink towards hawaian shirts and the surfer dude aesthetic of the 90’s (still popular in Australia from the first time around – I hear they’re a little behind the times). Not to be out done Asos are offering a sterling selection including a must have highlight from Junk de Luxe (seen below); If you buy just one floral indulgence this season – make it this.
The key to pulling off this look with aplomb is rooted in moderation. One piece of floral clothing is enough for any gentleman, any more and you’ll risk looking like you’ve sold your attire as advertising space to Interflora. The other tip you’ll need to remember is to let your floral piece set the tone of your outfit. If you opt for a shirt, such as All Saints graphic/ kaleidoscopic take on the trend, then you’ll undoubtedly want to keep the look polished, with well tailored trousers and brogues. Of course fashion is flippant and next season I’m sure there’ll be a new way to wear florals (embroidered on leather, if Christopher Kane’s A/W collection is anything to go by), but for now follow the ‘beans advice and you’ll be sure to stay in sartorial favour.
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