Been feeling like your wardrobe is a bit more “blah” than “blazed” these days? Do you stick to a drab palette of black, gray, blue, and the occasional khaki-colored neutral? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, consider injecting some life into your wardrobe with a few brightly colored pieces.
Although color coordination can be a tricky thing for men, a few splashes here and there will update all the clothes you already own and ensure that you stand stylishly apart from the crowd. Sound good but not sure how to pull it off? No worries; here are our six rules for wearing color.
1- Use color to accessorize
Color need not be restricted to core wardrobe items. Colored accessories are a perfect way to show your playful side. A brightly colored belt is a fast, inexpensive and easy way to enhance all your existing outfits. Bright blue, green and red D-ring belts are all great additions (especially for a preppy summertime look) for those men who are a little wary of wearing color. Pair the belt with jeans and a white button-down shirt (or polo shirt) for a casual look during the day. Alternatively, to add color in your business wear or evening wear, consider adding a colored pocket square to your blazer — one pop of color can go a long way.
2- Wear one bold piece at a time
One bold piece of color can be incredibly eye-catching, but more than one will simply leave you looking like a clown (in most cases); this is because the colored pieces will be competing with one another. A forest green trench coat worn with brazen attitude looks impeccably stylish when paired with dark denim or khaki trousers. The important thing to remember with this rule for wearing color is that the rest of your outfit should be confined to neutrals and basic cuts.
3- Complement your color
When selecting a color, pay attention to your skin tone. The darker your skin tone, the brighter the color you can get away with. Those with very pale skin should choose lighter to more medium hues.
4- Color block
There’s a lot of talk about color blocking, but it’s actually a very simple idea to execute: This involves combining various blocks of color (sans print is ideal for beginners) with other colors. The question is: Can you pull it off? You can. Be open to pairing, say, a sun-faded orange tee with red beach pants in the summer. It’s a refreshing change from your standard blue jeans.
5- Layer your colors
If you’re afraid of making too bold a statement with a colored shirt or sweater, don’t be afraid of testing the “colored water” by layering your look a bit. In the colder months, wear a dark blazer over a colored shirt or sweater. For spring and summer, stay cool by layering a white polo shirt over a brightly colored one (layering the same piece is another useful styling tip).
6- Keep it all in the family
Don’t be afraid to wear two colored pieces at once; just remember to keep them in the same color family. For example, wearing a printed shirt with a solid-colored tie that picks up your shirt’s color goes a long way in showing others you know what you’re doing. For specific combinations, check out our guide to color coordination.
Color it up
In recent years, wearing color has become a sign of style for men who care about their appearance and whose wardrobes extend beyond flannel shirts and ripped jeans. Though the initial jump to new shades and hues can be intimidating for many men, simply follow these rules for wearing color to ensure that your relationship with red, green, yellow, and even fuchsia remains coordinated.