Whenever I think of floral shirts, the first image that enters my head is Ed Macfarlane – lead singer of the Friendly Fires – leaping about the stage at Glastonbury, belting out a roaring rendition of Hawaiian Air. It is not just the obvious connotations of the song title that resonates with me, nor the Marc by Marc Jacobs shirt he is wearing but something deeper lures me in to the mystic of floral shirts other than the waves or sun drenched beaches of some far-flung exotic island.
Floral patterns often get a raw deal when it comes to fashion but over the past few seasons they have managed to distance themselves from the image of overweight car salesman and instead have made their way (minus the flowers around the neck) onto catwalks and high streets where there is not a jot of sun, sand or sea to be seen.
There is no escaping the floral trend this season; be it Topman, ASOS, Urban Outiftters appealing to the wider male population or the high end designers such as Marc Jacobs, Paul & Joe, Ami and Dries Van Noten – who has gone floral crazy for S/S’14 – flower power (I promised myself I wouldn’t use that phrase) really is key for your summer wardrobe.
From blazers to socks, shirts to shoes, t-shirts, caps, trousers and bags, we here at MFM can guarantee, at one point or another this summer, when it eventually arrives, you will be wearing something covered in floral motifs in an array of colours you never thought imaginable.
How To Wear Floral This Season
The question therefore isn’t when you will wear it, but more a case of how. Floral tones by their very nature are not the shy, retiring type and thus the male population automatically believes you have to be over-confident, brave or stupid (or all three) to wear it. Which simply isn’t the case.
Although a little male bravado does help in making floral look good, it is far from the be all and end all; the key is making a choice as to whether you go subtle or all out because if you do not know where you lie in the floral field, this is where the troubles will find you wanting.
Frankly, we here at MFM feel the best course of action is to take the subtle approach. Head to toe floral is rarely a pretty sight and you are far better off wearing one floral item of clothing combined with block colours to offer a far more refreshing palette as opposed to looking like a pair of you Nan’s old curtains.
So, without further ado, here’s a few ways in which you can incorporate the floral spectrum into your soon to be needed, summer wardrobe.
The floral shirt is possibly the easiest place to start as you will find them in abundance, but what to team them with. It would be easy to say a pair of jeans and leather jacket – which is all well and good – but why not think just a little differently and pull on a suit instead. The traditional values of a suit paired with the devil-may-care floral shirt may not seem a marriage made in heaven but trust us, with a good pair of dress shoes (no socks of course), not only will you look great, you’ll also look a little distinctive to the masses.
In much the same vain as the shirt, the floral tee is a safe choice when thinking of your floral wears. For this you can keep things a little more casual by teaming it up with a pair of good skinny jeans, light blue denim jacket and a pair of on trend trainers.
This is where floral begins to veer towards the braver males among us; the floral blazer can so easily look cheap and nasty so do not over burden the rest of your outfit. Keep it simple – a plain t-shirt and chinos/trousers/shorts are ideal while your shoes or sandals should also be understated – let your blazer do the talking and the rest of your outfit can sit back and listen.
It takes a certain kind of gent to wear any patterned trouser so to don a pair covered in flowers is not for the faint hearted. If you do decide you have it in you to pull this look off may we suggest you wear a plain t-shirt – white is always good – and something like a leather jacket, open shirt and hi-top Converse to give your look a bit of attitude.
Men often assume that floral clothing means you have to dress like a peacock but hopefully the above outfits and the vast amount of floral clothing doing the rounds this season will help to dispel this myth.
The way we dress and the clothes we put together are always about creating a balance between patterns and plains and it is exactly the same formula when it comes to choosing the right tones and floral patterns.
Us men are not known for being too adventurous in the fashion department so if you usually wear a navy blue suit no one is expecting you to suddenly go head to toe floral. Take it easy, keep it simple and you never know, one day you may feel brave enough to pull on those floral trousers.