How To Wear Plant Prints

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How To Wear Plant Prints

Words by Mr Tom M Ford

14 June 2016

Bold botanicals are back in bloom, thanks to the bumper crop of trendy tops this season. Here, we sow some sartorial seeds of inspiration, to help you find (and style) your pick of the bunch.

It may be almost 50 years since the Summer of Love, but we’re once again at the height of Flower Power. Designers have been cultivating the vegetation-inspired print for a few seasons now, but this year their efforts have bloomed into a veritable rainforest of riches. From Saint Laurent to Valentino, and from T-shirts to camp-collar shirts, everyone’s vying to outdo each other on the fecundity front. If you want to add to the pollen count, we’d suggest a few pieces that combine retro-inspired shapes with very strong graphic statements. Accessorise them judiciously, and you’ll not only have an off-duty outfit that may well become a hardy perennial; you’ll also be doing your sartorial bit for biodiversity.

“A rose is a rose is a rose,” opined the author Ms Gertrude Stein, and Sir Paul Smith seems to have taken her at her word with this multi-floral print T-shirt from his PS line, crafted in soft cotton jersey but given a punkish edge with its cut-and-paste graphic. Sidestep the thorny issue of pattern overload by teaming it with a pair of neutral track pants for a suitably upscale downtime look – Club Monaco’s cotton-jersey versions are among the most fragrant.

The bold-print, camp-collar shirt is becoming a style evergreen – quite literally, in the case of this satin number from Stüssy, adorned with an eye-catching bamboo print. To get in the thicket of it, temper its bold red sheen with dark jeans, such as this deep-blue pair from Italian smart-casual maestro Isaia, and you’ll be ready to hack your way through the urban jungle, keeping a wary eye out for peckish pandas as you go.

Question: what’s deep blue, graphically sharp, and extremely succulent? Answer: this camp-collar shirt from cult Japanese brand KAPITAL – a favourite of the writer Mr David Sedaris, among others – adorned with a striking print of flowering cacti. To keep the look from getting too “aloe aloe aloe, what’s going on here?” add some wide-leg cargo shorts, like this cotton-linen pair from Incotex, safe in the knowledge that no-one could ever accuse you of being spineless.