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Subverting expectations around what workwear should be

I own a corduroy parka by Engineered Garments. It’s a few years old. The corduroy fabric is embroidered with a floral pattern. It’s more subtle than it sounds; navy embroidery on navy cord. It won’t take an eye out. Nevertheless, every time I wear it, people tell me how much they like it, often complete strangers.

I’m a friend to floral. But of course, it’s got to be deployed in the right way and at the right time. The only appropriate occasion to wear flowery braces is if you’re an expert on Flog It! While a flowery lining in your business suit just means you once went to a Paul Smith sample sale in the late 90s.

The flowery stuff we’re looking at here, hasn’t even happened yet. It’s part of Engineered Garments offering for Summer 2020 and yes, it’s all sorts of bold. A daunting mash-up of crispy denim and psychedelic efflorescence –  sartorial fearlessness not included.

This is the kind of floral I can get behind; used to subvert expectations around what workwear influenced garments should be. Typically, as you’ll see from the shots, the EG styling is nuclear. The full head-to-toe looks are unlikely to manifest IRL. But, assuming you’re not a solicitor, taking one piece from the selection and weaving it into your day-to-day is entirely plausible. For me, the trousers are too fancy-boy. While just a gilet seems something of a cop out. I reckon when the time comes I’ll go for a jacket; either the Bedford blazer, or more likely the button-up chore style.

I’m genuinely hyped for this stuff. It feels like a swerve in a really interesting direction for EG. Floral is a dangerous game; so easy to get wrong, so rarely on point. Remember, we live in a time where many middle-aged blokes still have ‘going out shirts’. Most often slim-fitting white cotton with flowery detail poking from under the cuffs and collar. The Debenhams classic. A more monstrous garment it is difficult to imagine. Still, I guess such shirts do have the exact amount of style required for their natural habitat: a big night out at provincial curry house with the missus, featuring five pints of Kingfisher, a whispered row through gritted teeth and a couple of off-colour jokes at the waiting staff’s expense.

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