By Pujanee Galappaththi
Printed shirts are fast becoming the centre of all things fun and fashionable, both among men and women. Stripes and checks no longer interest people, and instead, bright and bold prints catch everyone’s attention. Well, there are reasons why prints remain in the spotlight; they are fresh, stylish, bold, and versatile.
It is accurate to say that the printed shirt has now slowly seeped into the Sri Lankan fashion world as well. It is the perfect accessory that combines comfort and style, and is increasingly coming up in fashion conversations, often worn by everyone that is someone.
Arrays of talented young designers and local stores have gotten into the printed shirt scene in Colombo.
We spoke to an up-and-coming local store whose main attraction is the printed shirt; The Twenty Two located at No. 6/1, Peiris Mawatha, Panadura. The founder of The Twenty Two is Tharindu Zoysa and the main designer is Achini Wijesinghe.
The printed shirt can be styled to reflect anyone’s mood and personality. The Twenty Two offers a range of eye-catching prints in Hawaiian, floral, and ethnic, under their brand “Meritland Waves”.
Speaking on the topic of fabric, Zoysa stated: “We focus on both local and international markets. However, our biggest customer base is in Sri Lanka. As such, we make sure the fabric agrees with the climate of Sri Lanka. As soft breathable fabrics are perfect for the Sri Lankan climate, we go with lighter fabrics which make you feel good throughout the day.”
Printing the shirt
There are two standard procedures that most designers and retailers follow when coming up with prints. The first would be purchasing the required fabric and printing a design of their liking on to it before the designing process. This gives a great deal of creative freedom to the designers, and is also the most expensive and time-consuming option.
The second is to purchase printed fabric and make the designs accordingly. This is the option opted for by most designers, including our friends at The Twenty Two.
Speaking on printed fabric, Wijesinghe said: “With the current advancements of technology in the garment industry, purchasing printed fabric is the best option. This allows us to broaden our selection range while keeping up with rising trends. Initially, we finalise the design and patterns. After that, we choose the most appropriate fabrics and accessories for the designs and start the manufacturing process.”
The Sri Lankan shirt
The team at The Twenty Two work to ensure that the island spirit of Sri Lanka is captured in their designs. The use of bright and more elaborate designs strikes the interest of local fashionistas.
Sri Lankans are relatively smaller than the rest of the world, thus sizing is ever confusing, especially when it comes to unisex designs. The Twenty Two, however, has a solution to this – they make minor changes to the standard shirt sizes to match Sri Lankan body types in order to maximise customer satisfaction.
How to style printed shirts
If you have seen folks on Instagram looking ramp-ready in printed shirts and wondered how you could look this glamorous in a generic style, you have come to the right place for the answer.
We asked our friends at The Twenty Two to give us some tips as to how the printed shirt can be styled for different occasions.
“Prints can be worn to any occasion. It can be worn with a blazer for a formal occasion, can be tucked into your pants or jeans for a regular workday, can be tied up with shorts, pants, or even skirts, and can be styled with accessories and shoes or slippers, depending on your mood.”
How to take care of your printed shirt
Something we always forget is to remember that aftercare of a garment deserves the same scale of attention paid at the point of purchasing it.
Again, we got some advice on how to properly maintain your printed shirt. Here’s a breakdown:
• Turn the clothes inside-out before throwing them into the washing machine for an extended lifetime
• Laundering should always be done with cold water
• Do not bleach your shirt
• Try to air dry
We believe the printed shirt will never go out of style. Producing a classic design with a modern touch is the secret behind the evolution of fashion.