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Menswear: How To Design For The Male Customer

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

With printed shirts and shorts back on trend, this season is a man’s time to shine. Bec, creative director of Longina Phillips Designs, talks about the bourgeoning male market.

Will it be as big as it was in the 1980’s? Lets hope so, because back then it was brave, bold and boundary pushing.  Men took risks. They wore pink and lilac pastels (as demonstrated by Hopper in Stranger Things, S3).

This next generation are ready for it.

They want to plant their tongue firmly in their cheeks and say, “Look at me! I’m ironic, I’m fun, I don’t care what you think.”  This generation are aware of sustainability and reusing what’s already been made.  Vintage is important again.

The Print School Best Industry Based School for Textile Designers

The most obvious print for menswear is the Hawaiian shirt.

and all the directions they can take.  Short sleeve button ups are decorated with sun-bleached palm tree scenes, or Japanese-inspired Hawaii. Eighties tribal and textures are important, with literal interpretations and sometimes taste put to the side!

Otherwise it’s go loud or go home, with bright garish clashing prints.

Designing for menswear is super fun again. Gone are the boring foulards and ticking stripes, now we get to be expressive and enjoy creating these prints.  (Having said that, there will always be a conservative market there for safe prints, so best not to forget it all together.)

Menswear Summer 2020


+ When we create menswear prints, imperfection is key.  A rough texture over the top of the print to give it a vintage vibe, sunfaded and washed out effects to dull off colour, and flowers that are not overly feminine or pretty, but a little bit weird or spikey, as long as they are not too rounded and soft.

+ If we do use pastels, pinks or anything traditionally ‘feminine’ we balance it out with neutrals.  After all, we have to ease the market in, not all boys are ready to be loud!

Check out the Menswear summer collections, Valentino, Etro, and Dries Van Noten.  They did not shy away from print and colour.

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