“Does this shirt match these pants?” “Can I wear this tie with this jacket?” “Is this color too loud?” To the newly initiated, wearing color is intimidating. It can be difficult deciding which colors go with which, how much color to wear, when, and why. And understandably so! When done wrong, color will make you stand out in all the wrong ways. However, the exact opposite is true, as well. When properly executed, a colorful outfit will make you stand out amongst the crowd. You’ll catch everyone’s eye and keep their attention – for good reason. Luckily for you, we’re here to help you get a handle on color-coordination.
When it comes to picking colors, some people have a natural knack for eyeballing it and getting it just right. The rest of us – not so much. This is no reason to despair. We have a simple and easy tool at our disposal for figuring out colors: the color wheel. Lifehacker has a great in-depth article breaking down the color wheel and how to discern matching colors. There are 5 schemes to focus on when choosing complimentary colors:
Pair colors where the circles are in each scheme.
And one more thing to note: neutral colors go with everything. You’ll never go wrong pairing items with black, white, gray, brown, or dark blue.
If you want to see the color wheel in action, check out these posts from Jack Threads and Business Insider.
How to Wear Color
How and when to wear color is going to be largely dependent on your own personality and what you want to project to the world. Some men just want to accent with a little color. Others want to show up and be seen. Both are correct, if done properly. If you’re new to wearing color and want to experiment, I recommend starting with one of the neutral colors mentioned above and accenting with a coordinating color. Once you get comfortable adding in one or two accent colors, then start experimenting with an outfit full of color.
I’d recommend keeping it to 3 colors or less and building the outfit around one primary color. If you’re looking to be both bold and fashion forward, try your hand at color blocking (this is very fashion-forward and trendy at the moment). Again, I only recommend that if you’re really comfortable with color and want to standing out.
Finding Color Inspiration
Like everything else style related, it’s good to have sources of inspiration to pull color combinations from. Don’t go at it alone. The best source of color inspiration is right outside your front door….. nature. Your best combinations will come from different earth tone variations, gardens, lakes and oceans, animals, clouds, and even the colors at a farmers market.
Just think about how trees change colors through the seasons and how those colors shift together. But don’t think that getting inspired by nature only means the color green. While it’s very dominant, there are plenty of other colors combinations to take in. You just have to look for it.
Blue, brown and white.
Yellow is a great accent color. As inspired by orchids.
Blue, green and white.
Red, white and blue.
Inspired by fall tree colors.