How to match your shirts and ties
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"I've had my eye on some floral shirts this season, but I have no clue if this is a style I should try to pull off, and I'm even more clueless on how to wear it. Any suggestions?" - Tanner via email
Flowers are starting to pop up everywhere – in gardens, on window sills, and on clothing – and while the latter may seem intimidating to pull off, we fully support it. Floral shirts can have a novelty feel, but it’s a strong trend for summer 2020, and we think you can pull it off, Tanner – just avoid pattern clashing that will leave you looking like your grandma’s sofa.
Sure, you could pick a pair of floral shorts for the beach, or hedge your bets with a floral pocket square for formal outfits, but we reckon shirts are the best way to fully take on the flowery feeling this spring, without stepping too far out of your comfort zone.
If you want to pull off florals in a relaxed way, opt for shirts with short sleeves in loose, light fabrics. Tighter shirts, especially with long-sleeves, tend to look stuffier, but if you want to wear florals for more formal occasions, try an Oxford with a subtle pattern in muted colours.
A camp collar shirt is ideal for holidays or other off-duty occasions when the weather is warmer. The loose-fitting shape will suit most body types, and you can wear it open over a plain t-shirt, or done up if you want to look a little smarter.
Larger is better when it comes to pulling off floral prints this season. That might sound counter-intuitive, but avoid the tiny ditsy print favoured by early-2000s dads in bootcut jeans, and instead look to tropical-inspired styles.
Remember that confidence is key when it comes to pulling off a statement shirt, so if you’re worried about styling bright colours, try natural botanical shades like greens and reds on a darker background. This will mute the bold pattern, helping you dodge the potential for an Ace Ventura-style fashion faux pas.
To avoid overwhelming your look, stick to a single floral item as the focus of your outfit, and balance it out with simpler elements in block colours. Pair your floral shirt with slim black jeans for a cool, casual weekend or date night outfit. Darker trousers are a fail-safe option for toning down any statement-making pieces, as they neutralise the bold colours and patterns.
For a smarter look that screams party on top, business on the bottom with a nod to Tony Montana stylings, pair your shirt with tailored trousers. It brings a summery twist to your work outfit, and will carry you easily from the boardroom to the bar. And when the weather’s not feeling quite as tropical as your shirt, wear it untucked under a leather jacket or suede bomber for an ultra-cool finish.
Words: Ella White
Illustration: Ryan Gillett
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