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The SS 14 catwalks showcased a plethora of jungle prints, floral designs and safari styles which have already hit the high street. For some, the tribal patterns, which appear year after year, just in time for summer, can be a little over the top, reserved for two weeks in the sun, then banished to the back of the wardrobe until the next holiday. This year it’s easy to keep your outfits colourful with designers offering a variety of prints for both men and women and here are just a few to help you add a little colour to your wardrobe without channelling Wham.
A fan of traditional safari chic? Stick to classic leopard spots and snake skin prints, available on everything from loafers and skirts to muted versions on men’s shirts. They’re on trend and here to stay, so every season you can count them as a wardrobe staple. 2014 sees focus on the feather, showcased at the Moncler Gamme Rouge show in the form of outlandish capes which, in more of a structured style, are bound to hit the high street in time for grad balls everywhere. For a more typical take on feather print, look no further than Neil Barrett whose feathered designs appeared in graphic form, contrasting with structured shapes and cycling shorts on his catwalk.
This classic style is definitely to be admired, however to keep your look current, opt for digital florals. A favourite with the fashion pack this season were Kenzo’s aqua prints, paired with androgynous silhouettes for an elegant yet wearable look. Dior’s take on this trend was, in terms of pattern and print, defined as ‘techno florals’. Confused? Imagine Will.I.Am let loose on Paint and you’re not far from the truth. Tropical prints interwoven with text on voluminous organza skirts, resembling upside down flowers, was Dior’s mainstay this season. The high street has toned down this look, offering tropical, digital prints to both sexes on more popular pieces. I’m pining for a digital print bomber jacket, which everyone from ASOS to F&F have produced. Guys, stick to the smaller, more modern prints, unless you’re planning on rocking a seventies tache and flares with your shirts. The look calls for a brave man, exercising enough control over his wardrobe to ensure the rest of his ensemble is neat as a pin. I’m talking brogues/loafers, dark jeans and groomed tresses. Sporting an unkempt beard? Steer clear of florals, or you’ll look like one of the ABBA boys on holiday.
Finally, there’s always room in one’s wardrobe for a little classic Tropicana courtesy of the people’s favourite: Hawaiian print. A definite favourite with men’s fashion, Prada’s SS14 collection sported a huge variety of traditional Hawaiian print to cater to every taste. Girls, I’d suggest a rummage in the local vintage shops to give your Hawaiian style-ups a little originality, a longer shirt can always be cut into a crop to pair with jeans or shorts. Alternatively, tuck into a leather mini or pencil offering for a modern twist on 1950’s florals. Boys, you can’t go wrong with a classic Hawaiian shirt, you’ve just got to have the guts to don one. A friend of mine was wearing his lemon-coloured Hawaiian classic in March and looking fabulous. If in doubt, opt for a classic cut, preferably a short-sleeved number and team with jeans for a laid back look which will take you from day to night.