Tag Archives: color

5 Tips To Nail The Color Game

I’ll start with an apology for a potentially misleading title; if you’ve come to look for advice on how to punch up your wardrobe with bright color I’m afraid you’ve come to the wrong place! Subtlety is the boss in menswear and this isn’t likely to change despite the best efforts of all the stylists out there.

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Here are five tips to nail the color game:

1. Navy and grey are king – period.  These should always be your first two choices for almost every item of clothing – be it a suit, an odd jacket or trouser, an overcoat or rain jacket, a sweater, even ties. The most important factor is how beautifully they combine together providing the base for your wardrobe to be built outwards from.  Combine all of the above items in any way you desire with a white or baby blue shirt and you’ll be absolutely on-point for every possible occasion.

2. Baby blue and white – the crown princes to the king.  This is fairly obvious but it needs to be stated every once in a while just to keep your mind at ease.  This applies to the world of shirting more than anything else – the fact that 90% of shirts sold are in these two colors is a telling stat. The warmth of baby blue works perfectly with every complexion; while the crisp and sharp appearance of white is pretty close to perfection.  You can never have too many of either.

3.  Brown.  Potentially a surprising choice but I’m still stunned by the lack of brown worn by guys on a daily basis.  The obvious place to begin is with leather goods – shoes, belts, watch straps, wallets and bags.  The richness and wealth of patinas that can be formed in brown leather is unparalleled and with it comes the ability to absolutely transform even the most basic look.  Brown is also a perfect compliment for navy, baby blue and grey – be it in a tie, the border on a pocket square, the stripe on a white shirt or via the richness of a cashmere sock.

4.  Green – the third color.  I refer to it this way because while being a great complimentary color it’s also equally strong standing on its own.  Olive chino’s are a wonderful break from navy, a military inspired field coat is great for a secondary jacket option as is a rich forest green wool sweater or overcoat to work beautifully when combining with navy and grey.  Quietly green has rightly emerged as the go-to third choice.

5.  Pink and purple – a nod to nature.  When I need a bright hit of color in the flower department these are my go-to; the deeper and richer they are the better.  The same goes for using these colors to compliment the basic pieces in your wardrobe; in essence we’re taking what happens in nature and applying it to our clothes.  A pink shirt with a brown tie on a navy or grey suit, a purple check shirt worn with a light grey cardigan with a navy blazer; rich and full with enough pop to be visually interesting.

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My last piece of advice – play with all the shades and textures of cloth that are available to you.   Clients are always surprised by how many shades of each color there actually are and by how different they look when done in different cloth types.  An olive green in cotton twill looks, feels and has a mood that is completely different than when it’s done in a wool flannel.  Most importantly though have fun with this part and keep experimenting – it is exactly for this reason that I suggest working from a limited color base in the first place.  Master this aspect first and then decide if you want to become bolder in your sartorial decisions!

I’d love to hear what you think of my suggestions – did I miss something?  Too conservative and boring?  Too aggressive?  And also don’t hesitate to send pictures of you best combinations.

Thanks for reading  – take care.