Paisley. Once thought to be exclusive to carpets and curtains in Victorian homes, it has in recent years quit the halls of home décor and carved out a nice little niche for itself in haute couture.
That isn’t to say that paisley prints are reserved solely for custom-fitted, au courant French fashion houses; just the opposite. The pattern has been making the rounds and has reached a point of critical mass, the precipice so common to style in which a trend, used carefully and creatively enough, can no longer be contained to the runways and begins cropping up everywhere in everyday dress.
That is indeed where paisley finds itself today.
It is not a style to be mishandled; like most vintage movements it is used best when it is used sparingly and paired appropriately with modern motifs. At its safest point is a lightly spotted tie, a tip to the trend for those too timid to invite stares (no judgment). A step toward the middle of the spectrum would be this: a dark paisley paired with a light suit. And finally, for those more willing to go to extremes: a vibrant paisley paired with a dark three-piece.
For the less formal, a shirt. Recalling the whacked-out wearers who pioneered the look in the late ’60s (think Hunter S. Thompson), the paisley shirt is a gamble; one must a) be completely comfortable pulling it off and b) be careful, even if comfortable, not to take it to its utmost extreme. We recommend the more muted colors: blues, grays, light greens and browns.
For the even less formal, the Adidas X Opening Ceremony Men’s Paisley Patchwork T-Shirt should do the trick.
Not even shoes have been able to escape the paisley invasion: this collaboration from Vans and Liberty might come on a little heavy for the average joe (and should never be worn with any other pattern, let alone paisley), but for the adventurous, looking to make a statement, the shoe most definitely fits.