Printed shirts: can you (and should you) pull them off?

Bright and bold printed shirts are having a serious style revival, and it’s not just the street style friendly bloggers or hipster East Londoners that are picking up on the summer staple. At a weekend party just passed in Devon, I couldn’t help but notice that almost all of the men scattered across the lawn sipping on champagne and tucking into canapés, from the 20-somethings to the 60+ alike, were all nonchalantly sporting a printed shirt. Some paired theirs with a simple chino, whilst others wore with full linen suits and panama hats. It would appear, gents, that the printed shirt is no longer the reserve of “lads holiday” photos or fancy dress parties, but a piece that should garner a serious role in your summer wardrobe. Here are a few rules to help you avoid looking like your slightly pervy uncle on an all-inclusive cruise around the Caribbean…

1. Keep everything else simple

PRINT SHIRT 1 - TGJ
The printed shirt is best worn alongside plain colours; think a navy chino or sand short and plain shoes. Same goes for the shape of your other garments, a bright shirt and billowing trousers does not a style-icon make, instead opt for clean lines and basic styles.

Keep it botanical

PRINT SHIRT 2 - TGJ
Unless attending an ironically themed Miami pool party, hula girl prints are a strict no. Stick exclusively to florals and botanics unless otherwise advised.

3. Make sure you can actually pull it off

PRINT SHIRT 3 - TGJ
A tropical printed shirt is not the kindest on its wearer, so wear with caution. Those with pale skin or a more rotund waistline should think very carefully before donning a printed shirt.

4. Approach it with a subtle nod

PRINT SHIRT 4 - TGJ
If you’re feeling like you want to enter into this trend, but haven’t quite built up the nerve to go full-bore tropicana, then consider wearing a brightly printed shirt beneath a block coloured sweatshirt with just the collar peeping through.

5. Keep it undone

PRINT SHIRT 5 - TGJ
In general, printed shirts look better un-tucked and worn with a casual disposition. But if you’re looking to nod towards this seasons 50s mod trend, then tuck in to higher waisted trousers for a more fashion-forward take on this trend.

Main image: Pinterest, featured image:  Getty

Holly

Holly

Holly Macnaghten is the Fashion Director at The Gentleman's Journal

Further Reading