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There’s nothing like a colourful printed shirt to shake your warm-weather style (and cheerful mood) out of hibernation mode. Because if you’re anything like us, the idea of putting on another grey knit is probably unthinkable. But before you invest in the wildest, brightest style you can find, know that not all patterned shirts are created equal — this shouldn't be news if you’ve ever stepped foot on festival grounds. So we’ve broken down the styles that should be your seasonal go-tos depending on where you’re headed. Time to signal the start of spring with your style.

Office appropriate

Yes, printed shirts have a place in office settings, even if your dress code tilts in a smarter direction. That said, we’d reserve the flamingo prints and wild colours for the rooftop bars. Instead, look for a classic silhouette, like an Oxford, but with some interest – think stripes or dots. This Polo Ralph Lauren style is great because it maintains the same style as some of your office staples but comes in fun candy colours and an allover stripe pattern. As a safer alternative, reach for this Tom Tailor design with small triangle prints. It add a bit of interest without looking ostentatious. 

Festival uniform

Festival season is upon us, and if you’ve secured your ticket, you’re about to walk into a mosh pit of ridiculous patterned shirts. Don’t be one of the ridiculous guys wearing one. There are plenty of styles out there that will bring the fun without featuring oversized toucans on them. Opt instead for a more subtle floral pattern. Choosing a vintage-inspired style with a sun-faded design is a nice way to differentiate yours without going too bold. Bonus points if you go for a camp collar style. 

Photographed: Jack & Jones Blackpool Shirt ($56)

Date night approved 

A romantic night out is a great opportunity to show you care about style by choosing a more interesting shirt, but there's a fine line between looking silly and stylish. (No pressure though.) Luckily, this micro-floral pattern strikes the right balance. It’s the right level of formality for fine dining without looking like you take yourself too seriously. Plus, what date doesn’t like flowers?

Weekend ready 

If you’re tired of your off-duty uniform of plain tee and jeans, then a printed shirt is the perfect way to jazz it up. And because it’s the weekend, you have a license to go more bold, so reach for an unexpected print you might not usually wear, like this oversized polka dot one by Selected Homme. And go for a colour that stands out without being overwhelming, like an olive green, while you're at it. A looser-fitting camp collar style is another way to keep things more relaxed – it is the weekend, after all. 

Words: Allison Pavlick
Photography: Andras Hari
Styling: Millie Rich
Styling assistant: Alexander McCalla