When it comes to paisley this season: Go big and go bold

The Globe and Mail

(Kevin Van Paassen / The Globe and Mail/Kevin Van Paassen / The Globe and Mail)

No longer relegated to hippies and golfers, paisley trousers are finally shaking off the dust of dubiousness. For spring, the kidney-shaped print entranced many designers, who applied it to dresses as well as pants and more than often blew it up in scale. Less psychedelic than sophisticated in such incarnations, it can be a suitable choice for the office. Here’s how to make it work.

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1. Silk is an obvious material choice, but anything too oversized will end up looking dated or, even worse, like pyjamas. Instead, opt for structure with a tailored pant.

2. While you may not want to go head to toe à la Stella McCartney’s take, follow her cues when it comes to accessories – i.e., keep them minimal and include a sharp shoe.

3. Play up the polish by adding a preppy vibe. A collared shirt underneath a slim sweater pushes the print outside its casual context and makes it much more boardroom appropriate