Designer and style god Tom Ford said several seasons ago: “Men don’t need a lot of options, they just need the right options.” And for the most time, we’re inclined to agree. Contrary to what most fashion-forward people would have you believe, it’s actually the simple. Timeless and stylish pieces (which are worn correctly) will make you stand out. The true reality is that many men could have a wardrobe packed with as few as 19 items and still be recognised to be better dressed than 90% of the population.
However, there is always an exception to the rule and this theory doesn’t really come into play when it is applied to colour, as a natural instinct most men tend to be overly conservative and reserved. By now, we all know how easy it is to pull off neutral looks and layers that are composed of black, navy, grey and white. However, if you really want to stand out from the crowd , then it’s time to start embracing bolder tones and hues. If your still wandering around with a colour clampdown, here is the first part of our guide on how to ´successfully´ wear colour all year round.
Purple The Colour Law
- Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Blue violets and mauves.
- Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Reds and greens.
- Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Yellows.
- Recommended: Navy, grey, white and beige.
The most regal of all hues according to the Ancient Romans and Greeks, purple is often one of the first colours men try when looking to expand their palette. That said, many frequently get it wrong. The easiest way to wear purple is to use it sparingly as an accent; wearing it head-to-toe just screams Marvel comic villain. It teams extremely well with beige, grey and shades of blue, from sky and duck egg to cobalt and teal.
Providing you opt for a shade that’s either a little brighter or darker than the middle ground, like magenta, purple works best on those with olive or medium skin tones. Ties and pocket squares in purple are the ideal pieces to start with; combine them with suits in neutral colours and light-coloured shirts for maximum effect. Purple dress shirts also look great when paired with navy or midnight blue suits, and for the especially ballsy amongst us, why not consider a purple blazer or a pair of chinos for the summer months?
Green The Colour Law
- Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Yellow greens and blue greens.
- Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Reds and violets.
- Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Mauve pinks.
- Recommended: Blue, white and grey.
We know what you’re thinking, why would Pantone make a hard-to-wear shade its ´Colour of the Year´? It’s not some wicked joke of the fashion industry, in fact the colour gods have done us a favour. While most of us are no strangers to moss or khaki hues, there are so many other green tones that can be introduced to your wardrobe and help take your outfits to the next level. No matter what shade you opt for, this masculine colour always looks best paired with blue, white and grey, while darker military variants complement similarly earthy hues such as brown and mustard.
As for what you should look to invest in, green is arguably the easiest and most versatile on this list to pull off. The only real consideration to be made is skin tone. Those with pale or fair skin should stick to deeper shades like bottle green, while anyone with an olive/medium complexion just needs to avoid shades too close to the skin, such as olive. Finally, guys with darker complexions have the pick of the lot, along with the added benefit of being able to wear bold, bright hues like jade green.
Once you’ve figured out the perfect shade for you, look to pick up a couple of pieces that will serve you well now; chiefly outerwear and chinos or cargo trousers, then follow up with short-sleeved shirts and shorts during the warmer months. Aside from tailoring, a year-round green option can be found in the form of accessories (socks, lightweight scarves, pocket squares, etc.), which will add a point of interest to an otherwise pared-back look.
Pink The Colour Law
- Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Reds and mauve pinks.
- Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Blue violets and yellow greens.
- Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Blue greens.
- Recommended: Brown, beige and white, along with darker shades of green and blue.
If you are still hung up on the idea that pink is supposedly for girls, then think again. It’s no myth that until the end of the 19th century pink was (in the Western world) actually thought of as a masculine hue. Connotations of girlishness gradually came in the early 20th century as marketers repositioned pink as a feminine colour. Whether dusty and soft or bold and bright, pink has been big news for several seasons now. And the shade is not about to fade away anytime soon, if our menswear experts are anything to go by. Lucky, then, that it pairs well with plenty of colours you probably already have in your wardrobe, including brown, beige, blue, white and darker shades of green, such as olive.
That said, wearing pink does come with its caveats. If you have fair skin, you should be wary of wearing pastel shades close to your face as it can wash your complexion out. If this is the case, try balancing it with darker colours; for example, a pink dress shirt with a navy blazer and blue tie. Another option is to try a bolder, richer tone of pink instead. An Oxford shirt is arguably the most versatile piece you can opt for in pink, as it teams well with everything from a brown tweed blazer and indigo jeans to a grey suit. Pink chinos or shorts are another great addition to your summer wardrobe, while pink socks can add the perfect pop to an otherwise understated outfit.