A Masculine Approach To Florals

Let’s face it, there are certain trends that we’re not all going to agree on. There’s always going to be the more controversial styles that divide opinion, but it’s important to keep an open mind. After all, if we never took risks, our lives (and wardrobes) would remain rather dull and uninspiring.

The style divider we want to focus on in this article happens to be one of SS14’s hottest trends: florals. But forget all about the OTT prints paired with more OTT prints on the runways. Today we’re talking specifically about making florals wearable for the everyday male – guys who might need a little extra encouragement when it comes to such a vibrant and polarising pattern.

The Right Type Of Floral

The thought of adding florals to your wardrobe can be pretty intimidating. Stereotypically feminine and flamboyant, it’s hard to imagine how this type of print could come across stylish, or even masculine.

Well, it turns out 2014 is all about finding the right florals for your wardrobe. High fashion designers have been pushing darker and edgier prints on the SS14 runways, which are not so overtly garish, tacky or as in-your-face as the traditional Hawaiian shirts that instantly spring to mind. Coming in subdued palettes of black, grey, blue, burgundy and olive, these contemporary motifs are much more wearable and versatile.

So, from dark and subtle florals for those building up their confidence, to bolder styles for guys wanting to make a statement – the power of the flower is not to be underestimated in a gentleman’s spring/summer wardrobe.

The High Summer Outfit

Florals are the perfect print to use as a foundation for your warm-weather style. In particular, a simple floral tee or shirt teamed with neutral legwear – from trousers and chinos to jeans and shorts – will produce an effortless and comfortable outfit for high summer.

Ideal for creating casual weekend looks, a floral shirt gives off a relaxed vibe; one that shows you are confident in yourself and your style. Opt for short sleeves when the temperature increases, rolling up the hems a couple of times for additional detailing.

A small tweak that makes a big difference to your overall aesthetic is buttoning your shirt to the top. We all know the stereotype: the Italian fashion designer with a garish floral shirt unbuttoned half way down. Remember, whether you’ve got great abs or not, no one wants to see your cleavage. Instead, buttoning all the way up is a slick, of-the-moment styling technique that nods to a mod influence. Effortlessly cool and masculine.

Alternatively, you can go the other way: unbutton your shirt completely and wear over a plain white tee or vest while on the beach this summer.

If it’s an off-duty weekend look you’re after, throw on a reverse-print floral tee. A bold pattern printed on the inside of a t-shirt can help pare-back an overwhelming motif, giving it a subtle look and feel that you can easily work into your wardrobe. Wear yours with stonewash denim for a contemporary twist on the classic jeans and t-shirt combination.

If you’ve opted for a bright floral tee or shirt, make sure the lower half of your outfit is toned down. Alternatively, if you have invested in an on trend pair of floral shorts, anchor them with a simple white linen shirt.

Lookbook Inspiration

he by mango summer 2014 zara 2014 jigsaw ss14 new look ss14 pull & bear ss13 h&m ss14 minimum summer 2013 pepe jeans ss14 burton ss14 topman summer 2014 scotch & soda ss14 zara man may 2014

Key Pieces
  • Son Of Wild Eden T-shirt In Floral Print
  • Selected T-shirt With Floral Print
  • Native Youth Polo Shirt With Floral Print
  • Liberty Shirt In Floral Milford Print With Short Sleeves
  • Pepe Chino Shorts Straight Fit Floral Print
  • Topman Grey Marl Floral Jersey Shorts
  • Topman Indigo Tropical Floral T-shirt
  • Topman Black Floral Polo Shirt
  • He By Mango Floral Print Piqué Polo Shirt
  • River Island Navy Bellfield Floral Print Shirt
  • Ovadia & Sons Camp Hibiscus-printed Cotton Shirt
  • River Island Black Floral Print Shorts
A Refined Take

When it comes to tackling florals, many guys want to take a more refined approach to the trend. And there’s no reason why the sartorially-inclined among us can’t work florals into both our smart and casual ensembles, seeing as men have been donning the print for years. In fact, florals are one of the most traditional patterns out there and can make an extremely elegant addition to an outfit, when utilised correctly.

For instance, try combining a dark micro-print shirt with a pair of faded denim jeans. If the pattern is understated enough you’ll hardly notice it, particularly on an evening out in a dark bar or club. When someone gets close enough, however, the print will indicate self-assurance and confidence when it comes to your style.

Another, more subtle, way of approaching the trend is by layering a floral shirt under a well-cut jacket. We recommend a plain blazer in a dark, earthy hue to both tone down and complement the print.

On a cool summer evening you can achieve this same neutralising effect by throwing a lightweight cardigan over your printed shirt.

Lookbook Inspiration

boohoo ss14 zara may 2014 he by mango ss14 selected homme ss14 he by mango summer 2014 ovadia & sons ss13 H&M Summer 2013 ted baker ss13 zara may 2014

Key Pieces
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Striped Printed Shirt
  • Penfield Banning Floral Shirt In Blue
  • Ted Baker Childz Printed Shirt
  • Paul Smith London Cream Flower-print Cotton Shirt
  • Paul Smith London Westbourne Floral Regular-fit Single-cuff Shirt
  • Paul Smith London Slim-fit Floral Shirt
Make A Statement

Not everyone will want to take an understated approach when it comes to florals. Let’s face it, prints and patterns by their very nature are designed to draw attention and liven up an outfit in some way – so why not go the whole nine yards?

Opting for less expected pieces featuring a floral print is the trick here, whether it’s a clean and contemporary bomber jacket, a pair of statement trousers or a patterned blazer. If you’re feeling extra confident, why not consider clashing or contrasting your printed outerwear over a floral shirt, tee or polo?

Yet perhaps the boldest and bravest way of tackling this trend would be to opt for an all-over floral suit (or short suit). This look is not for the faint-hearted, nor suitable for the majority of offices, but it would certainly make you stand out at your mate’s garden party this summer.

Lookbook Inspiration

zara febraury 2014 Woolrich John Rich & Bros ss14 scotch & soda ss12 scotch & soda ss14 scotch & soda ss13 ti for men ss14 uniforms of the dedicated ss14 paul & joe ss13 David Naman ss14 river island ss14 zara may 2014

Key Pieces
  • New Look Bomber Jacket With Floral Print
  • Universal Works Windcheater Jacket In Floral Print
  • River Island Blazer In Floral Print
  • Vito Suit Jacket In Floral
  • Asos Slim Fit Blazer In Ditsy Floral
  • Asos Slim Fit Smart Trousers In Ditsy Floral
  • Topman Black Monochrome Floral Skinny Fit Blazer
  • Selected Blazer With Floral Print
  • Kolor Floral Cotton Bomber Jacket
  • Valentino Slim-fit Cotton And Silk-blend Trousers
  • Gucci Slim-fit Flower-print Cotton-blend Trousers
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Printed Garment-dyed Chinos
Subtle Touches

Finally, there are many ways of simply nodding to the floral trend in a way that is both subtle and sophisticated. We are, of course, referring to the finishing touches of a man’s ensemble: accessories. From socks and ties to pocket squares and eyewear, accessories offer the easiest way to incorporate florals into your look this season.

Similar to the refined take we mentioned earlier, subtle touches are best applied when the rest of your outfit is pared-back. For instance, a floral pair of socks will really stand out when worn with a sharp black or navy suit, while a floral tie looks particularly striking set against a crisp white shirt.

Likewise, a floral pocket square stuffed or tucked neatly into the top pocket of a summer blazer will add a dash of panache to your ensemble, while a floral bow tie makes the perfect sartorial addition to a summer dinner party or country wedding outfit.

If you’re not a fan of statement accessories, another understated way of adding florals to your look is via detailing. Keep an eye out for contrast collars, sleeves or hems featuring floral print, which work best when the rest of the garment is plain and neutral.

Lookbook Inspiration

bershka march 2014 asos ss14 primark ss14 asos spring suiting 2014 duchamp marc jacobs ss14 massimo dutti ss13 angelo nardelli ss13 clements & church 2013

Key Pieces
  • Brave Soul Chino Shorts Floral Turn Up
  • Another Influence T-shirt With Floral Pocket
  • Topman Pink Floral Print 3cm Tie
  • Reiss Becker Flower Motif Socks Navy
  • Topman Pink And Plum Floral Socks
  • Jaeger Floral Print Pocket Square
  • Ted Baker Petalo Floral Pattern Tie
  • He By Mango Floral Silk Bow-tie
  • Paul Smith Ditsy Floral Pocket Square
  • J.crew Floral-print Wool-twill Pocket Square
  • Obey Tourist Socks In Red
  • Raf Simons Slim-fit Contrast-collar Cotton Shirt
Final Word

So there you have it, our round up of the best ways to introduce florals to your wardrobe this summer.

Whether you decide to take a subtle or statement approach to one of SS14’s hottest trends, just remember that it’s all about leaving your comfort zone and taking a risk. If you can master this print, you can master any style!

Now you’ve heard from us, we want to hear from you. Will you be donning head-to-toe florals this year, or is this look simply not for you?

Let us know in the comment section below…