When it comes to wearing a printed shirt, men usually fall into one of two camps. There’s the ‘wouldn’t go within a ten mile radius’ type who would rather go without a shirt than face the perceived indignity of wearing some form of pattern. Then there are those who approach wearing a printed shirt as if it were a birth right, always erring on the side of loudness. For them bolder is better.
These two sharply polarised positions on the printed shirt (and indeed on print in general) leave little room for sensible sartorial appraisal and mean that this versatile piece is either routinely shunned or approached with all of the subtlety of a brick through a window.
We like to think of ourselves as sitting on the fence, sympathetic to the concerns of the minimalist but receptive to the expressiveness of the maximalist. Yes, a printed shirt can single-handedly turn you into a walking faux pas, but isn’t a wardrobe just so stale without a smattering of pattern?
The solution? For those predisposed to turn their nose up at this divisive item of clothing, cast out of your mind eye-wateringly busy designs and instead think smaller scale – micro polka dots anyone? For those who have a penchant for unashamedly flaunting their love of loud print, we prescribe the same approach. Scale back your ambition a little and think boldly tasteful, not attention grabbing at all costs.
To prove that we’re not all talk - and that the printed shirt can work for all creeds of men - here are four ways to wear printed shirts well.