The printed shirt is a firmly established favourite in the men’s fashion scene. And if you haven’t gotten on board, now is the perfect time. Originally making a massive comeback from the good ol’ 70s, the printed shirt is now a staple in any stylish man’s wardrobe… Only when it’s done the right way though.
Where print goes wrong… and boy, can it go wrong.
While we love a good printed shirt, it can be tricky to get it right. But that’s why you’re here, right? For us, there are two major ways that printed shirts can go wrong.
1. Choosing an... *cough* ugly print
We’re going to honest here, some prints should have never made it past the design phase. Yes, individuality is great, and so is being confident in what you wear but some shirt prints are going to put you on a fast-track to cringe-town.Another problem with prints that aren’t quite right is that they often only last the season and you won’t be able to re-wear it again after the year’s over. Trust us when we say, you can still sport confidence and individuality without sacrificing good taste, logic and common decency.
2. Styling it wrong
Look, styling is hard - even for the most experienced of men and women. But we find that a lot of men do need just a bit of help and a nudge in the right direction when it comes to the wardrobe. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have bad taste - sometimes it’s just a lack of inspiration - but perhaps those shoes don’t go as well with those pants as you thought… and maybe don’t wear that jacket because it clashes with your shirt. And please no, don’t wear that tie.
Do you get where we’re going with this? Sure, you have a collection of amazing pieces in your wardrobe all perfect to style with your favourite printed shirt! The trick is coordinating the right pieces with your outfit.
How to master it and make it right again
To avoid some serious fashion mishaps occurring, we’ve put together a handful of easy tips and tricks to master the printed shirt and score a win every time!
Make your shirt the statement - avoiding styling with more print
Mixing and matching your prints is definitely a thing, but it requires some very advanced fashion know-how to pull it off. Our number one tip for printed shirt novices when it comes to print-on-print looks is to simply not do it. Make your print shirt the statement in your outfit. This keeps your look on-trend and sophisticated, while reducing the risk of a print-overload disaster. This isn’t to say you can’t try it down the line when you’ve gotten the hang of it.
Get the right fit
There is already a lot happening when you opt for a print shirt, so it’s important to get the fit right. Too baggy, and you risk looking like a clown. Too tight, and you’re trying too hard. Having a the right fit in a shirt is important for all styles, but prints can make these missed marks stand out a whole lot more.
Style with the right pieces
The beauty of a print shirt is its versatility. Sport with jeans for a casual weekend look or dress it up with come chinos and a blazer, or heck even a suit! The key to this is pairing the right print shirt with the right outfit.
If you opt for the printed shirt and casual jean combo, keep the jeans plain. This means no rips, zips or colour washes - it will make the look too busy. Keep the attention on the shirt, and the shirt alone.
If you’re feeling the print vibe for your formal event, try sticking to one colour palette. Style your shirt with some bottoms that accentuate a colour in the shirt. For example, blue patterns look great with blue pants - it’s a no brainer. But a red pattern also looks great with blue, especially if you pair with with tan shoes to bring out the warmth in the red and complement the blue. Alternatively, make the colour pop with your blazer and tie choice, and opt for a pair of neutral bottoms.
Take baby steps
If you’re new to the print-scene then baby steps are key. Stick to shirts with 2 colours in the print. This makes it easier for you to style with the rest of your wardrobe and keeps the look toned down. Once you begin to feel comfortable with prints, you can move on to more colour and start experimenting - just keep our previous tips in mind of course.
Check out Ed Harry’s range of shirts - prints included - here.