Printed Shirts for Men are a Playful Summer Style Essential

Here's how to wear them.

Printed shirts are one of my favorite summer-style choices. They’re an easy way to be a bit playful with your clothing whether that’s through loud colors or prints you wouldn’t normally wear. And they somehow manage to look good without crossing the line towards being tacky.

What’s more, printed shirts are everywhere. We wrote last year about the onslaught of summer shirts, and this year is no different. In fact, there’s probably an even greater variety of styles, shapes, and prints than ever before.

Printed shirts are pretty easy to wear. They’re usually casual so go well with a wide variety of pieces. Although, as with many statement clothing pieces, a few pointers are always welcome.

In this article, we’ll look at some tips for how to wear printed shirts, and then feast your eyes on some cool styling ideas.

Rules for Wearing Printed Shirts

Here are a few dos and don’ts that can help you tastefully style a printed shirt:

Let your Shirt Steal the Show

The safest bet in styling is to keep only one statement piece in your attire which, in this case, is a printed shirt. Allow your shirt to steal the limelight, and keep your bottoms minimal and neutral.

Avoid Layering Prints

Using two types of prints in an outfit is possible, but it isn’t easy. In most cases, we’d suggest avoiding layering printed shirts.

If you really have to do it, try combining a smaller or subtle print shirt with something that’s more eye-catching on top. This way, you’ll still have only one piece of clothing as the center of focus.

Go Fun, Not Funny

There’s a fine line between a fun yet tasteful print and a shirt that makes you look like a 6-year-old making terribly naff fashion choices.

Printed shirts are inherently flamboyant. You don’t need to go too over the top with your shirt’s print or color choices.

Not Formal Suitable

Printed shirts are usually pretty casual. They’re not typically suited to formal events. As much as fashion has loosened up, some ground rules still require you to stick to the classic dress code for formal occasions.

How to Style a Printed Shirt?

The following outfit styling ideas are a surefire way to turn a lotta heads, so let’s get you sorted for your printed shirts.

Tailored Linen Suit – Say No More

Printed shirt blazer jacket
Photo by Delsignore

Layer up your printed shirt with a tailored linen suit for a preppy look. Skip the belt and undo a few buttons to give the outfit a casual flair.

This attire works well when you’re aiming for a dressed-up look yet want to keep the cool and spontaneous vibe alive.

Keep the jacket or throw it in the back seat of your car to make the outfit fuse with your day-to-night commitments.

Keep it Cool with Shorts

shirt over vest
Deposit Photos

Pair up a floral shirt with a basic, structured vest. Slip into a pair of raw-hem denim shorts to make the attire crisp yet more on the laidback side. Finish off the look with white sneakers and accessorize as you like.

It’s the little details that matter and this outfit is showcasing exactly that. The white base of the Hawaiian shirt is made to fuse well with the white tank top peeking from underneath and that’s the kind of effort that makes a difference. 

Read more about wearing shirts with shorts

Oversized and Printed – Perfect Duo

Oversized printed shirt
Photo by AndreaA

How easy-going is this classic pairing of a printed shirt with relaxed legged trousers? Minimal prints like these are a great choice for people who shy away from making loud, dramatic choices.

The oversized cut of the shirt is working as a promising complement to the casual expression of the outfit. White sneakers and sunglasses, what’s a better way to top off a summer fit?

Create a Smart Casual Silhouette

Printed shirt chinos
Photo by Delsignore

A black button-down shirt with green palm accents tucked into a pair of tailored black linen pants is an unusually stylish way to create a modern sleek look.

Putting on a black belt is a classic way to introduce a dressier touch to the equation. Roll the sleeves and loosen up around the collar, and you’ll look trim yet casual.

Matching Separates

Shorts and chunky sneakers

Print over print is usually not a winning combination but that’s when two prints are irrelevant to each other. Pair up your printed shirt with shorts or relax-fit trousers in the same print for a laidback outfit.

Get Beach Ready

What’s a better place to flaunt a Hawaiian shirt than a seashore? A printed shirt paired with shorts creates a look made for the beach. Match the color of your shorts with the color of the pattern in your shirt to create a cohesive combo. Put on headgear in a matching lighter hue just like this white hat which is really making that beach look come alive.

Layer it up

T-shirt and shirt
Photo by Andrea A

Layering is the safest way to introduce prints to your outfit, especially if you feel outlandish as you visit the territory of printed clothing. Layer up your printed shirt on top of a basic tee and pair it with casual drawstring trousers. Casual, in your comfort zone, and still making a statement, sounds good and looks even better, doesn’t it?

The Forbidden Combination

Print on print shirt
Photo by Tinx

Prints on prints can work after all. Take a symmetrical or small print shirt and top it off with a louder piece to create a dynamic look.

Keep your bottoms minimal and basic to neutralize the outfit. Such combinations are a good choice when you’re aiming to create a striking statement and stand out from all.

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