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Men’s Dopamine Summer 2024: Must-Have Prints & Graphics

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As an online retailer, staying ahead of the latest trends is key to attracting customers and driving sales. For summer 2024, men’s fashion is all about energetic nautical designs and mood-boosting dopamine dressing. In this article, we’ll explore how you can incorporate these vibrant prints and graphics into your product ranges to create irresistible offerings that will have your customers adding to cart.

Table of Contents
1 The psychology behind the nautical dopamine trend
2 Mastering motifs and graphic styles for maximum impact
3 Strategies for creating versatile, high-value products
4 Why nautical dopamine dressing is trending for summer 2024
5 How to incorporate key motifs and graphic styles
6 Action points for maximizing versatility and appeal

The psychology behind the nautical dopamine trend

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In today’s fast-paced, often stressful world, consumers are increasingly drawn to fashion that uplifts their mood and transports them to a carefree state of mind. Enter “dopamine dressing”—a joyful, optimistic approach to style that prioritizes bold colors, playful prints, and exuberant self-expression.

For summer 2024, this dopamine-inducing aesthetic takes on a distinctly nautical twist, evoking the excitement and adventure of beach getaways and seafaring sojourns.

By tapping into these positive associations, retailers can create products that not only catch the eye but also resonate on an emotional level, forging a deeper connection with customers. The surging popularity of fashion-active collaborations, which often feature vibrant, graphic-driven designs, has further fueled the demand for statement-making prints in the menswear market. As a result, bold, imaginative artwork is now a key ingredient for elevating vacation and swimwear ranges beyond basic.

Mastering motifs and graphic styles for maximum impact

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To successfully ride the wave of nautical dopamine dressing, retailers must curate prints and graphics that instantly communicate a sense of maritime revelry. Key motifs to incorporate include:

  • Sun, sand, and sea elements like shells, starfish, and waves
  • Marine wildlife such as tropical fish, anchors, and sailboats
  • Zesty fruits and iced drinks that evoke beachside refreshment
  • Nautical stripes and rope patterns for a classic seafaring touch

When designing these patterns, favor a bold, illustrative aesthetic that captures the carefree spirit of summer. Naive, hand-drawn styles and whimsical, unexpected motif combinations will help your products stand out in a sea of generic offerings.

Colorwise, gravitate towards saturated, mood-enhancing hues that mirror the vivid shades of ocean life and beach umbrellas. Punchy primaries, hot neons, and juicy fruit tones will all serve to amplify the dopamine effect. For a more commercial approach, try setting these high-octane hues against dark backgrounds—an excellent way to temper the trend while maintaining its eye-catching appeal.

Strategies for creating versatile, high-value products

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To maximize the ROI of your nautical dopamine designs, aim to create products that offer multiple wearing occasions and value-added features:

  • Prioritize versatile silhouettes that seamlessly transition from beach to bar to boardwalk, such as swim shorts with quick-dry linings or rash guards with UPF protection.
  • Enhance perceived value by applying prints to premium, performance-driven materials and eco-friendly fabrications like OEKO-TEX certified inks.
  • Amplify the impact of hero prints by deploying them across multiple product categories—think matching shirt-and-short sets, father-and-son swimwear, or coordinated couples’ offerings.
  • Complete the head-to-toe look (and drive up basket size) by designing print-matched accessories like caps, beach bags, and towels.

Why nautical dopamine dressing is trending for summer 2024

Group of multiracial teenagers looking at camera

The rise of dopamine dressing, fueled by a desire for joy and escapism, is a major driver of the demand for statement-making prints and graphics in men’s fashion. Collaborations between fashion and activewear brands, like adidas x Rich Mnisi, have popularized the use of vibrant colors and bold patterns, making them a must-have for vacation and swimwear ranges.

Nautical-inspired designs, in particular, are resonating with consumers looking for a carefree, beach party vibe. Sun, shells, marine animals, zesty fruits, and iced drinks are key motifs that capture the hedonistic mood of high summer. These playful, conversational prints offer a fresh alternative to traditional florals for shirts, shorts, and swimwear.

How to incorporate key motifs and graphic styles

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To nail the nautical dopamine dressing trend, focus on bold, illustrative artwork that channels a sense of adventure and optimism. Naive, hand-drawn styles work especially well to convey a laid-back, carefree attitude.

When selecting motifs, prioritize those that instantly evoke seaside fun and relaxation, such as sailboats, anchors, seashells, tropical fish, citrus fruits, and cocktails.

Combine these elements in unexpected ways to create eye-catching, one-of-a-kind patterns that will stand out from the competition. Color is also crucial for achieving the dopamine effect. Bright, saturated hues like coral, turquoise, lemon yellow, and hot pink will instantly lift the mood and grab attention. For a more commercial approach, try placing these vibrant motifs on dark backgrounds, which can appeal to more conservative customers while still channeling the trend.

Action points for maximizing versatility and appeal

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To get the most mileage out of your nautical dopamine designs, look for ways to make them work across multiple categories and occasions:

  • Invest in versatile products that can be worn for both land and water activities, such as quick-dry shorts or rash guards with cooling features.
  • Apply prints to technical fabrics using water-based, non-toxic inks with OEKO-TEX certification to add value and peace of mind.
  • Maximize fabric usage by using the same print across multiple items, such as matching shirt-and-short sets or father-and-son swimwear.
  • Offer coordinating accessories like hats, beach towels, and totes featuring the same motifs to encourage head-to-toe looks and higher order values.


By embracing the nautical dopamine dressing trend in your summer 2024 men’s ranges, you can offer your customers the uplifting, feel-good styles they crave for their warm-weather wardrobes. Use bold motifs, bright colors, and mixed-use designs to create covetable products that will have them ready to dive into the new season. For even more print and graphics inspiration, check out our downloadable artwork packs, exclusive to WGSN subscribers.

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