One of many a fashionable man’s troubles is putting together a colourful outfit, and not looking like a bag of skittles at the end of it. Colour can be downright intimidating, it’s natural to want to not stick out like a sore thumb, we worry about attracting the wrong kind of attention. While almost no one with would say anything negative outright, we fear to be even thought of as garish.
A hallmark of the true sartorialist, is the ability to integrate colour into their style repertoire, giving what once was a nondescript outfit, a defining character. This style-conscious individual disregards gender norms and traditions placed on colour, and wears whatever shade or tint they favor. This person is comfortable in their second skin, unafraid of the spot-light and of their audience.
In the Building a Versatile Wardrobe post, I taught you about men’s fashion staple pieces, and in the How to Coordinate Colours in Clothing: A Basic Chart post, I gave you a chart outlining how to coordinate colour. Using the information from those posts, putting together a nice outfit should be simple.
Provided, are examples to get your creativity going. The outfits will be classified as either beginner, intermediate or advanced. Each level has two examples
You can go full-on neutral (beginner), go semi-neutral with one colourful garment (intermediate), or be multi-coloured (advanced).
Setting up an all neutral look is about as easy as it gets. Colours like white, brown, khaki, navy, and blue work with virtually anything, even each other.
Beginner Look 1
In this sample we have a grey oxford shirt, khaki chinos, a pair of grey leather chukkas, and to top it off,a navy wool peacoat for when the temperature dips. Nothing flashy, but it works.
All neutrals (2 greys, khaki, navy)
Beginner Look 2
Pair a white v-neck, with a pair of dark blue jeans, some tan brogues and a navy blazer/sportcoat for a cool understated look.
All neutrals (white, dark blue, navy, brown/tan)
Neutrals are great, but sometimes an outfit needs some pop, not too much but enough to be noticed. Choose one colour/pattern that stands out and build the rest of your outfit around it. With neutrals to anchor your focal point, you can show off just about any crazy piece you want.
Intermediate Look 1
Green is my favourite colour,but sometimes it can be a hassle to work with. Keep the look clean by combining the jacket with a black long-sleeve, light blue jeans, black boots and a grey toque.
4 neutrals (2 blacks, blue, & grey) + 1 stand-out colour (green)
Intermediate Look 2
A man in pink catches people’s attention, in a good way. Balance the pink short-sleeve with grey shorts and a pair of navy driving mocs.
2 neutrals (grey & navy) + 1 stand-out colour (pink).
Working two stand-out colours into your outfit is a bit harder to pull off .You really got to know what you’re doing,or else you’ll look clownish. It takes a little more planning, but it’s simpler than people imagine. We know that neutrals work with pretty much anything, all that’s left is that we put on two(or more for the adventurous) colours that we already know pair well.
Advanced Look 1
The easiest way to inject colour into your style is through accessories. Thanks to the white dress shirt, grey trouser, light grey sport coat, and brown shoes, the orange scarf and a green tie work together seamlessly.
4 neutrals (white, 2 greys, brown) + 2 stand-out colours (orange & green).
Advanced Look 2
Pants and coats occupy the most real estate in your outfit, and red and yellow are strong colours, the trick is to wear them in muted shades and combine them with more modest pieces. A blue chambray shirt and a pair of black boots tame the look so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
2 neutrals (blue and black) + 2 stand-out colours (yellow & burgundy).
If you’re ever in doubt, feel free to refer back to the colour chart.
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