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70s Funk: The Paisley Shirt

November 28th, 2012

The 70s are back baby, and bold prints along with them.

This paisley shirt came in last week, and I’ve been wearing it almost every day since.

Here’s three ways to pull it off.

 1. The Creative Profesional

Pair a paisley shirt with a sharp business suit for a heavy dose of personality in the workplace. Definitely better for the creative professionals than the investment bankers.This is one of those high-risk/high-reward moves, probably not the safest play for those still figuring out their personal style.


Generally, earthy, masculine tones make it easier to pull-off than bold or bright colors.

If you’re going to try a shirt with a bold pattern, make sure the pattern is visually interesting and appealing. This one, for example, is not a simple repeated print. Up close, this pattern is a real work of art with amazing detail and a tasteful blend of Fall colors.

As with any garment that makes a statement, fit and confidence are essential to pulling it off.

  • Gold Plated hand-engraved shades by Matsuda ·
  • Brown/Orange paisley shirt ·
  • Burnt orange wide knit tie by Corneliani ·
  • Gold collar pin by WANT ·
  • Vintage gold tie bar ·
  • Brown wool flannel pocket square by Armstrong & Wilson ·
  • “Stella” Watch by Brera Orologi ·
  • Olive striped socks by Paul Smith ·
  • Burgundy tassel loafers by Johnston & Murphy ·
  • Brown leather briefcase by Frank Clegg x Dan Trepanier
  • · Brown hopsack double breasted suit

Worsted Wool Suit in Coffee

2. The Tailored Hippie

Gotta love a comfortable casual look with an air of formality.

Here, the fabrics are casual (washed chambray, broken-in chino, paisley cotton) but the fits are tailored and hint at classic menswear (double breasted jacket, slim trousers, button-down shirt), making this a look that can work for a variety of occasions – from a laidback office environment to a weekend trip upstate.

Be weary of competing patterns. Allow the paisley to be the sole statement by pairing it with solid colored pieces.

Unstructured double-breasted jacket in washed chambray? Hell yea. Another sample sale find that I think (hope) didn’t go into production.

These broken-in chunky longwings are another great example of casual meets dress.

It’s always good to keep the pieces of an outfit cohesive in terms of formality.

  • Tortoise shades by Matsuda Eyewear ·
  • Washed chambray double-breasted jacket by Club Monaco (Sample) ·
  • Off-white wool knit scarf by Lands End ·
  • Brown/Orange paisley shirt ·
  • Forest green wool cardigan by Uniqlo ·
  • Watch by Montblanc Timewalker Automatic ·
  • Nato Striped grosgrain watch strap by Corvus ·
  • Slate chinos by Helmut Lang ·
  • Brown striped socks by Kenneth Cole ·
  • Brown leather longwings by Florsheim

3. The Layered Weekender

Throw on a printed shirt for a casual weekend, and blow off the comments from your boys – deep down they respect your confidence.

Over a t-shirt, under a cardian – it’s a great layering piece worn open too.

The photo below is also a great example of the proper length for a casual shirt. It should hit roughly halfway between the waistband and the bottom of the crotch – meant to be worn untucked, but just long enough to tuck-in.

More earthy Fall tones mixed here – works every time, as do suede Chukka boots.

  • Gold Plated hand-engraved shades by Matsuda ·
  • Brown/Orange paisley shirt ·
  • Olive cotton t-shirt by Sunspel ·
  • Brown wool/linen cardigan by Club Monaco ·
  • “Stella” Watch by Brera Orologi ·
  • Slim brown leather belt Vintage ·
  • Brown suede boots by Massimo Dutti ·
  • Tan moleskin peacoat by Filippa K ·
  • Canvas backpack by Filson
  • · Brown corduroys by H&M

Pima Corduroy Trouser in Chestnut

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford