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How to Style a Floral Suit for Different Occasions

by Busines Newswire
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The polarizing world of men’s floral suiting—a sartorial gambit that has sparked admiration, bewilderment, and more than a few cringes over the decades. But one that I firmly believe, when executed thoughtfully, can elevate a dapper gent’s wardrobe to transcendent new heights.

The Appeal of Floral Suits

Donning a floral suit is not a decision to be taken lightly. It requires an almost ecclesiastical level of confidence and personal style conviction to pull off successfully. After all, you’re essentially cloaking yourself in the botanical equivalent of sartorial semaphores — those vibrant blooming motifs are guaranteed to turn heads and spark reactions, whether approving or aghast.

The truly great floral suit devotees understand that this look isn’t about blending in demurely. It’s a subversive statement piece that commands attention and frankly, a healthy sense of whimsical irreverence. You need to be prepared to own that maximalist energy and double down on the inherent effortless grace.

That said, when deployed with judicious restraint and an understanding of complementary patterns/colors, a beautifully tailored floral suit can project an aura of insouciant cool that few other looks can match. A dashing high-wire act of masculine swagger and florid audacity.

Debated origins of a floral suit

The leading theory points to the subculture of post-WWII British aristocratic “Sloane Rangers” and their penchant for irreverent country club attire. Floral prints, formerly relegated to female dress, started appearing on daring young lords’ blazers and trousers as a twee two-fingers to propriety.

This cheeky aesthetic was a direct influence on the 1960s “Peacock Revolution” in men’s fashion led by iconoclasts like Sir Hardy Amies. Suddenly vibrant floral suits, once confined to the halls of stately manors, were the ultimate power move for projecting hip, continental flair on Carnaby Street.

From there, the floral suit rode a wave of subversive sartorial subcultures – from London’s teddy boys and Saville Row punks to the legendary “Pitti Peacocks” who made masculine florals their calling card. Each iteration pushed the vibrant prints into bolder patterns and unexpected color combinations.

Fashion advice

These days, the floral suit still retains its aura of irreverent maximalism and whimsical boundary-pushing. It’s a calling card for sartorial risk-takers and dapper individualists — the suiting equivalent of a Jazz musician’s improvisational solo or abstract expressionist painting.

So should you wish to dip your toes into this verdant, petal-strewn realm, I’d advise starting relatively subdued with a classic navy suit featuring a tonal floral pattern. Or maybe a sporty linen number with an abstract botanical print in relaxed earth tones. Softly introduce the eye to the concept before jolting it with overwhelming blooms.

Alternatively, you could make a real statement by anchoring your floral jacket or trousers with crisply solid, complementary separates. A beautifully tailored floral blazer feels infinitely more approachable when paired with simple navy slacks and a soft knit tie, for example.

The key is always balancing those bold patterns and hues with impeccable tailoring and thoughtful accouterments that project casual intention rather than unhinged mania. You want to look like you’ve given this ensemble the utmost consideration, not just grabbed the most lurid thing you could find.

Business Events or Special Occasions Only?

I do believe there’s a way to channel floral suiting’s inherent whimsy and joie de vivre into even relatively staid business settings…so long as you approach it with thoughtful restraint and sophisticated accouterments.

Business meetings

For boardroom forays, I’d counsel steering towards subdued micro-floral patterns and tonal earth colorways – think soft greys and taupes with hints of botanicals that require squinting to fully detect. Pair that with a crisp solid shirt and subtly complementary tie, perhaps in a rich burgundy or forest green knit. You want the overall look to project a sense of sartorial intentionality and respect for corporate decorum.

The key component is ensuring the tailoring is absolutely immaculate, with nary a wrinkle nor drape out of place. Meticulous finishing details like functional cuffs, a gently slanted vent, and razor-sharp lapels will instantly elevate your floral game to refined territory. This is menswear as an art discipline, not some novelty costume piece.

For slightly more relaxed business settings like client pitches or networking events, you could potentially venture into bolder territory with something like a beautifully cut navy suit featuring a tonal floral pattern in shades of indigo and slate. Pair it with a buttery yellow knit tie and crisp white spread collar to really make those blooms pop against the darker base.

Celebrations 

Then there are life’s celebratory occasions that practically beg for uninhibited botanical maximalism. Weddings, festive garden parties, dapper birthday soirees – these are the sartorial playgrounds where you can go full horticultural peacock with something like a double-breasted linen suit covered in oversized cabbage rose prints or tropical hibiscus motifs.

For these events, I’d advise leaning into the inherent levity and sheer joie de vivre of the floral aesthetic. Maybe pair that statement suit with a cheerfully patterned shirt and a jaunty pocket square in a vivid complementary hue. You could even get whimsical with your accessories and rock a pair of funky floral-printed shoes or lapel boutonniére. These are the occasions for cutting loose and treating your suit like a veritable hanging garden.

The most important factor, no matter the setting? Confidence and intentionality. Never leave the house looking like you just grabbed some lurid floral number on a whim. Even if you’re attending a pool party, there should be a sense of thoughtful pattern interplay, tailoring finesse, and accessories that all harmonize into one cohesive artistic vision.

So go forth and turn every event into your own personal catwalk of botanical splendor! Let the raised eyebrows and double-takes wash over you like rain on freshly unfurled petals.

After all, what could be more refreshing and life-affirming than cloaking oneself in nature’s vibrant bloomers? It’s an unabashed celebration of beauty, color, and creative audacity — the calling cards of any truly transcendent dresser.

So by all means, embrace your inner floral dandy! Revel in the opportunity to cultivate an air of joyful, irreverent confidence that few other looks can provide. Just don’t be surprised if you start turning heads and garnering double-takes wherever you go. After all, that’s half the fun of daring floral suiting — it’s a walking jazz solo begging to be appreciated by those with equally refined sartorial tastes.