|An example of how Zara mimics luxury designers. The outfit to the left is Prada.|
|Geometic print detail|
|Original Zara product shot|
This goes well beyond friend and family observations to perfect strangers at cafes and restaurants in London, where in the normal way talking to strangers is on the same social scale as kicking a puppy. Ego boosting facade aside, what nags at my curiosity is why people feel compelled to praise print with such veritable sentiment. Of course there is the possibility that people think these trousers are hideous and that when caught starring they feel compelled to cover their tracks with a seal of approval yet the frequency of comments over such an extended period of time leads me to an alternative elucidation. The majority of people are scared of print and colour in clothing, especially when used in combination and thus feel the need to make their feelings known. Monochrome designs are somehow less intimidating than a Mary Katrantzou myriad of abstract visual features. Utilising plain blocks of muted tones seem the staple for most. Significantly in the affordable menswear bracket one can observe a lack of colour or pattern. Cough cough Next, cough cough Burton. With London Collections: Men having come to a close earlier this week it can be seen that this is not the case at the forefront of fashion, with newcomers Agi & Sam to stalwart Alexander McQueen utilising print resoundingly well, but I refer to the common (without intending to sound homocentric) heterosexual man who relies too heavily on denim and an array of suppressed colours used in isolation.
Now do not get me wrong, I don't think flamboyant patterned bottoms are suitable for everyone or for every occasion. A world of Liberace imitators is not required. I stand firm on my personal credo that any man can look good in a pressed white shirt, well fit jeans and polished shoes. However, I feel an ache of dejection that more men who have the bodies for print lack the confidence to adorn themselves with it. The suitability of print can often only be judged on a case by case basis particularly with the likes of abstract designs that uniquely incorporate hundreds of shapes and hues. As a general rule printed trousers will look impacting on anyone and a cut or design can be found that will showoff the wearer in their best light.
My advice to men (or women) wanting to try printed trousers is to pair them with very plain tops and shoes that are a featured colour of the print. For example when wearing my sassy pants I will always team with a black shirt or jumper and black shoes. By using a colour that is an integral part of the design the outfit will remain cohesive and not be too overwhelming. It is about keeping the individual looking sleek and not a mess of colour and shape.
A foray into the world of printed trousers is one that requires cojones. Expect attention and comments, but follow my advice and this will only be positive because an added benefit of wearing print is it makes you feel good. Certainly in my experience I feel happy to have stepped out of the proverbial box and into the literal dressing up box of print and pattern that is available. I am confident that those of you who do to will feel the same. The colour yellow is widely accepted to induce happiness yet it is common knowledge that wearing yellow can be tricky. So skip the clothing equivalent of prozac and go straight to valium in the form of stripes, periodic swirls and repeated triangles.
Is that Cristo Clear?