Let’s face it … stitching for guys can be tough.
It seems in many cases out there, embroidery for guys assumes that he loves A) golf B) hunting, C) grilling or D) beer. Or possibly golfing while flipping burgers and drinking beer, which sounds a bit hazardous to me, honestly.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with stitching for stuff like this. In fact, the fun of these occasions is that it is a great time to pull out that bright and bold GRILLMASTER design to splash across an apron, or stitch a big buck’s head across a bright orange sweater. Many of these occasions and hobbies call for bold, straightforward designs. The problem is in all other occasions, the fella might not wish that big bold solid stitch design to scream I LOVE GOLF with as much vibrance as a Hawaiian shirt at a Metallica concert. Guys sometimes want to be subtle.
Lucky for me, ladies are not always stuck with the assumption that we want our designs to loudly profess our love for a certain hobby or affiliation. Sure, we CAN have those designs (I myself am a proud nerd and will wear it with bold stitchy pride), but other times our designs can be things we think just look neat, and call for no occasion whatsoever. I don’t know a darn thing about koi fish for instance, but that won’t stop me stitching a light pretty design of them on a shirt, and it’s safe to say no one will assume it’s because I’m a koi farmer. Why can’t we treat menswear the same?
Can’t we just stitch them something that looks cool, for no other reason than that?
The first key to stitching modern menswear, then, is to find more subtle, decorative ways of using embroidery. If you walk into a modern menswear section at your local mall, you’ll actually find LOTS of embroidery and stitching on stuff for guys (in fact, I’ve had a hard time finding something without embroidery so I could decorate it!) but you’ll notice that most of it is tonal colors, running stitch, appliqué, or one-color decorative accents. These kinds of designs rarely proclaim any proclivity towards fishing but usually look cool and guy-friendly all the same.
The truth is, if we’re really talking apparel here, lighter designs are a natural choice anyway to ensure your design doesn’t pucker or cause weird draping issues, especially on lighter garments. For tees and button-ups, designs with more open areas will sit better on the fabric and let your design sit with a more subtle, masculine effect. Try using tone-on-tone effects by choosing a thread color that mimics your garment.
You can also try branching out in subject matter. An easy way to stitch for contemporary men’s fashion is to not take the “subject” so literally and use decorative type designs instead. Heraldic motifs, tribal designs, and simple shapes like a cross or fleur-de-lis make great accent pieces that just look cool, and are all guy-friendly.
So next time you fire up that embroidery machine to make a dude some cool embroidered wares, give your typical designs a pause, and try a design that’s light in stitch, subtle in color, and heavy on attitude. The guys will thank you for it.
Want to achieve a similar effect as the designer garments shown?
Similar to Metropark shirt:
Similar to Xelement jacket:
Similar to English laundry shirt:
Similar to Mark Nason boots:
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