For those who know me, there is one shirt look that I can’t live without – prints. Ever since the days of Etro and Paul Smith, I’ve always found comfort in prints, paired with jeans or tucked into a suit, It’s a look that has defined my personal style for over two decades. For many seasons now, prints have delighted runway audiences, but seldom have left our armories — unless it’s summertime and we’re on vacation. But prints can often define our style in a way that we want to narrate our own story. For me, prints offer a way to distinguish oneself from the group and it can go a long way to dress up or dress down the whole outfit without requiring any additional accessories; yup, no suit and tie. Of course, we must remember that if the shirt is doing the talking for us, there’s no need to overdo the rest of the look. It is our statement piece, so we must know how to style the look to avoid eye overkill. So, here are some fail safe ways to wear prints.

Seasonal Separates:

Remember the popular Crowded House song, everywhere you go, always take the weather with you? I like to think the same thing about prints. The reason we are more comfortable wearing prints during the summer, is the look and feel it gives. But with global warming, there are warm days in December too. If the temperature matches, it doesn’t matter the day or month of the year – prints can work all year round. Sure linen blazers and suits may not work in the winters, but the same printed shirt can also pair up nicely with your woolen suit too.

 

Urban Maze:

City life can be so monochromatic at times, it’s no wonder we often feel like we are robots going about our days. But the truth of the matter is, there are subtle ways to navigate the routine life by interjecting it with some bold choices. A printed shirt with lavender or burgundy chinos — it screams style and personal choice but it also suits any city’s climate and shows that we can still have fun while living in the city. At the end of the day, prints work if we wear them with confidence and they can actually change our state of mind if we want them too.

 

Ethnic Gold:

We live in India. Every colour, fabric and pattern is available here. One of my favorite brands for prints is Indian, called Play Clan. Their shirts have an ethnic twist but styled and stitched to work nicely with any modern suit or look. If you are looking for your shirt to start a conversation and get you noticed, then their look is a must. Remember, part of our history is what connects us to this land. If men around the world can wear madras prints, why can’t we?

 

Semi-Perma Vacation:

Who doesn’t want to feel like they are on a vacation? I always talk about looking good and feeling good — well, sometimes if you dress the part, perhaps your mind will also take you to your paradise. Casual Fridays were made for this. And of course, nothing works better than a printed shirt and shorts (be bold and have a nice pair of properly fitting white or black shorts in your wardrobe).

 

Swimming In Style:

Printed shorts work if you’re going surfing. I tend to prefer solid colour swim trunks and then pairing them with a print that creates a whole look. Remember, you aren’t just judged when the shirt is removed and you get into the pool. The look outside the pool matters just as much. And wear a great print – well, it can take you from the poolside straight to a luncheon just with a change of pants. You get to keep your chill mood even into work.

 

Dressed Down Vibes:

I’m a big fan of cotton suits. They are fitted and you can breathe comfortably and not worry about crazy crease lines that await you if you had chosen linen. A nice printed shirt tucked into a great monochrome cotton suit (navy blue or khaki are ideal) is just the right feel to give you that casual look but with distinction.

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