Perhaps some of the most controversial patterns that can be placed on a shirt, without an offensive saying or image, is floral. Gender norms prohibit men from experimenting with different patterns or colors because it is looked at as “girly” or “homosexual.” Terms typically associated with the diminishing of manhood in society, but that is a topic for another day. Floral shirts are seeing a resurgence in a large number of design houses and department stores this Spring/Summer ’14.
How can you pull off a floral shirt? First, get rid of any preconceived notions. Wearing a specific pattern of shirt has no bearing on your character or sexuality (for the record I am very supportive of the lgbt community). To wear a shirt with a floral patterns requires confidence: walk with your head held high, accept compliments with a smile, and shrug off any ill comments.
There is a difference between a Hawaiian shirt and a floral shirt. I typically associate a Hawaiian shirt with a wide collar, strange lapels, and ill-fitting. A floral shirt can either contain a subtle floral pattern with tiny flowers scattered throughout or large flowers, often vibrant with color.
Slim fitting seems to be the most aesthetically pleasing because there is less of the pattern. What I mean by this, and no disrespect to larger guys, is that a XXL shirt is a very large area for a pattern, often making it distracting and difficult to focus attention. The sleeves should reach no further than the end of your bicep; my personal preference is around the middle of the bicep. As with all button downs or collared shirts, the general rule for the hem length is to be no longer than your crotch. Ideally, middle of your zipper is the sweet spot.
The main issue with picking out floral shirts is the pattern. I have the mum print shirt from Dana Lee and while it is a little expensive, I love the mum pattern and construction; I haven’t seen anything else that comes close to it. Uniqlo had an array of floral shirts last Spring/Summer that were affordable with patterns I have yet seen to be duplicated. At this moment, there hasn’t been any sign of a revival of those patterns. J.Crew has a few as well as Topman. However, I don’t recommend Topman for purchases outside of cool patterned clothing.
For men out there still not convinced these shirts aren’t “manly” because they have flowers on them, I invite you to think about this: I’m sure you have given a women in your life flowers at some point in time. Think of this as you giving yourself, a giant floral man, as a gift. As cheesy as it sounds, I think it could work.