Striking and playful patterns have colonised a swathe of tailoring this spring, from shirts and blazers to suits and shorts. Combined with dress-down pieces, they exude a joyful elan.
Take Bottega Veneta, which presented its unstructured boating blazer (£1,280) in striped lime/maroon cupro (a silky cotton) with matching shirt (£590) and coordinating trousers (£810, all pictured); I’d channel Paul Weller in his The Style Council era by pairing the blazer with white jeans, a simple T-shirt and loafers without socks. The brand’s royal-blue/bronze version would look great with blue jeans – as would Gucci’s emerald pyjama-inspired jacket (£1,290, pictured) with bee motif and white piping, or Dolce & Gabbana’s tailored double-breasted blue silk-twill jacket (£2,200) in a beautiful floral and bird design.
The label’s double-breasted cream silk twill jacket (£2,200), with a print inspired by Palermo’s Chinese Palace, has echoes of silk pyjamas and would work well thrown nonchalantly over shorts and shirt or T-shirt and chinos. Similarly, at Hermès, the Oxford boating-meets-The Who impact of a graphite/navy striped cotton blazer (£1,730, pictured) with screen-printed mint-green flora can be paired with relaxed, loose-cut dark trousers. In contrast, at Alexander McQueen, polka-dot/tattoo motif cream cotton tailored pieces (piped shirt, £425, cropped loose trousers, £460, and single-breasted blazer, £1,125, pictured) go beautifully together.
The new tranche of patterned shirts, meanwhile, is perfect for uplifting summer tailoring. Those at Berluti (£520) use linen from Normandy (an area known for its printing prowess); one featuring irregular blocks of blue, yellow and white on grey (pictured) is inspired by bauhaus style and looks sharp with a blue jacket. At Boglioli, a 1970s-inspired geometric print in yellow/white/grey cotton (£210, pictured) adds energy to a cream suit. Dries Van Noten’s shirts fuse contrasting prints, such as leopard print with palm trees (€360, pictured). And at Marc Jacobs, a bamboo design (£305, pictured) brings pastel separates to life.
Versace takes the printed shirt and lengthens it, creating Berber-style shirts (£1,220) in a dot print edged with the Greek Versace motif. The matching silk blazer (£1,880) and loose-fitting trousers (£370, all pictured) work best independently. Either would look cool when temperatures soar – both for day and evening, while the hip option is the silk-twill hooded bomber (£1,786).
There’s a further raft of bombers in patterned silk and satins, mostly retro-inspired tour jackets. Many are in bright colours that are more suited to the peacocks among us, but one brand that has a more restrained approach is Valentino, whose classic raglan-sleeve reversible baseball jacket (£1,645, pictured) in taupe/ivory satin is embroidered with birds in flight.