Everybody likes change, variation is one of many spices of life. You wouldn’t want to eat the same thing day in day out, you would just get bored (or bored and fat – if that one thing happens to be fish and chips.) If your routine was exactly the same everyday – unless you were a bit odd – you would probably get fed up of that pretty quickly to. This is precisely the case with fashion and our clothing choices. Our wardrobes are constantly changing; we update our image all the time, whether by investing in key items or picking up on a specific trend, we don’t want to look the same year after year. But this change doesn’t have to come from anything particularly drastic; you don’t have to remodel your whole wardrobe to create something either a little or a lot different to your current style. Sometimes it’s a simple as trying a new pattern.
I’m sure you have all seen us repeatedly talk about pairing a graphic tee with your leather jacket, jeans and boots for perfect biker look, or a plain Tee with a soft blazer and chinos for classic summer style. But what if you want to shake things up a bit? None of us want to blend into the crowd, and trying a new pattern is one of the easiest ways to mark yourself out. From floral to geometric, psychedelic to navajo, there are some pretty in your face ways to go about it. Below is my round up of some of the key new season patterns.
The Floral Print
Arguably still very much set in the domain of women’s fashion and the ubiquitous surf short, floral prints are undoubtedly an acquired taste. If you can put aside the old stereotypes you might find yourself onto a winner in terms of individuality and stand out factor. The offerings from Jil Sander will certainly give you a clear focus in your outfit with bold colours and loud yet simple designs. As with the block colour trend, this is a look that will need anchoring, so mix floral colour tees and shirts with your neutral greys, black and dark blues to soften the blow. Get it right and get yourself a step above everyone else with an outfit that is both different and bang on trend.
Tip: If mixing a tie with a floral shirt (for work or summer events) remember to take heed of Matt Allinson’s advice on pairing shirt and tie patterns. The easiest way would be to really strip back the look and use a solid colour tie which picks out a colour in the shirt. Keep your trousers/blazer/suit neutral and suddenly it is not an “over the top” look, but a refined outfit with just the right amounts of flair to get you noticed.
On the Catwalk
One thing you will probably notice with these new pattern trends is there similarity; they all seem linked together in some way, whether it is in the actual pattern itself or the use of colours. Psychedelic prints have a strong link to floral designs with their emphasis on tie-dye, but you could also connect it with geometric in the way it creates single shapes and objects on clothes. On J.W Anderson’s t-shirts for example we see the recurring theme of a circle based design.
These prints tend to use much more subtle colours than their geometric or floral counterparts so they can be used in a much more traditional role – replacing a graphic tee or shaking up a more formal look with a blazer, rolled up chinos and some loafers or boat shoes.
On the Catwalk
Geometric prints have been floating about on the edges of recent trends for a while now and with this sudden focus on bolder prints they have started to become much more pronounced. As with floral and Navajo designs, we see bright colours mixed with complex designs and large blocks of colour. Slightly reminiscent of the 90s, geometric patterns make a good alternative to what seem to be the standard floral surf short attire of beach going males – find yourself a more muted colour and subtle design to avoid looking like your are trying to fit in with the masses of teenage boys.
Similarly with psychedelic prints, use them as an alternative to your standard graphic tees and break up your monotone outfits with something a little different.
As with many new trends it takes time for them to filter down onto the high street, hence the large number of product picks from designer based websites. For more reasonably priced items Topman is the place to go, as they have actually released some of the items featured in their S/S11 runway collection already. We will also see more variety in actual clothing items as well as more retailers incorporate these designs into their products. It won’t all be floral shirts and crazy patterned swim shorts – you will definitely be able to pick up many more patterned accessories, such as lightweight scarves, which are often the easiest and most elegant ways to incorporate striking statement patterns.
So let’s get your opinion:
- What do you think of these new ideas? Can they take off?
- Do you think that they will provide a refreshing change?
- Are they going to be able to replace your trend focussed pieces such as graphic tees?
- Have designers gone down the right road in creating new patterns?
- Will you be braving one of these new patterns? Have you already braved them?
- Can you really make these work in an outfit without appearing garish or over the top?
Let me know in the comments below.