Once you've shed your office garb, forget pale solids and civilized stripes. This summer, the look in men's after-hours wear is the oversized print shirt. There's nothing traditional here: Bold florals, exaggerated paisleys, dots, modern art brush strokes, geometric and abstract patterns , all in rich, earthy and contrasted colors that carry through from summer to fall.
"Men used to be peacocks--now we're at it again," says designer Luke Friedman of Cafe, a medium-priced line of men's printed shirts, shorts and pants. He has been designing print shirts for a couple of years, but customers were a select few. Then suddenly, this summer, men of all ages and occupations, in search of more personal expression in their casual wear, began snatching them up. "These shirts are an art form," Friedman says. "They make a very personal statement." In other words, choosing a shirt is like selecting a painting--but at a much more affordable price.
Stylist: Jane Vernon, Celestine / Cloutier; grooming by Katharina, Celestine / Cloutier; models: Dennis Peterson / 213; Anthony Sabato / It Models; Dave Cruser / Nina Blanchard; Greg Gilmore / Click, and Danny Stamper / Hero