The Art of Wearing Contrasting Colors

Written by Contributor

Most men choose to play it safe with their wardrobe choices. It’s not that we don’t want to look good. We’re mostly just conditioned to focus more on neutral or darker colors. Almost every male wardrobe is filled with whites, grays, and a few black clothing pieces. Some of the more daring ones might add darker shades of blue along with maybe a pair of sharp khaki pants. There’s nothing wrong with wearing neutral grays or a monochromatic outfit. But the problem is that most men tend to ignore the power and importance of color. But don’t worry, this blog will show you how to correct this small wardrobe oversight so you can put your best foot forward with every outfit you put together.

Why Do Men Need To Understand Color?

We’ve all seen memes that highlight how most men struggle to differentiate between similar shades. Or, how most men simply don’t know of any colors beyond the rainbow. And unfortunately, while this may seem stereotypical, many men actually struggle with understanding what colors to choose, and what occasions they can be worn most appropriately. When you understand color and start applying this understanding to your wardrobe choices, it helps you with:

  • Avoiding embarrassing outfit mistakes.
  • Guiding people’s attention to the best parts of your outfit.
  • Giving off an aura based on the color of your outfit.
  • Making shopping for new clothes easier and more precise.

Applying Colors To Your Wardrobe

You’re probably wondering how a better understanding of how colors work can help with an actual outfit. You can’t base an outfit simply on the fact that complementary colors like red and green work well together. There is much more at play, such as the color shades, as well as how visible the colors are in the outfit. Too much of both could make you look quite eccentric, to say the least. A male outfit needs to find a delicate balance between colors, specifically those that belong to the dominant parts such as your shirt and suit as well as those belonging to accents such as ties, pocket squares, and lapel pins. The truly dapper man is the guy that knows how to bring colors together, not one that simply buys an expensive suit off the rack.

The Base or Foundation Colors

Almost everything you wear will add some shade of color to your overall look. Whether it’s a pair of trendy eyeglasses or a three-piece formal suit, both have colors, and both play important roles. When choosing the base color for your look, try and imagine what the overall outfit will look like. Try and isolate each piece of the wardrobe and examine what value it adds to the whole outfit in terms of color.

The foundation colors of an outfit refer to the colors of the largest and most visible bits of clothing you intend to wear. For example, your formal shirt and tailored suit are common foundation pieces that can make or break an outfit in terms of color.

The color you choose here matters very much. Neutral shades like white and gray will take attention away from the foundation to focus it on other aspects of the outfit. If you want your accents to grab the most attention, a muted and neutral outfit is the best way to direct people’s eyes to them. Neutral foundations and colored accents are often a safe and easy look to pull off for most body types.

A brightly colored foundation is also a great way to grab attention. But it can often be very difficult to match them with other pieces commonly found in the male wardrobe. Bright foundations are also usually not suitable outside of casual events. The trick is to create a colorful palate without creating a clash of colors or a garish look.

The Defining or Accent Colors

Other than bright foundations, accents are what define the direction your outfit intends to take. Accents are typically smaller articles from your wardrobe that can both complement and accent your outfit at the same time. The same grey suit can suddenly appear very different when styled with different ties, pocket squares, jewelry, and shirts.

Neckties are one of the most common pieces of accent clothing, and can frequently be seen in many formal settings. Neckties look best when they either belong to the same color family as the shirt or a complementary color family. Pocket squares are less common than ties, and many people often make the mistake of matching them with the color of the tie they are wearing. Remember, the pocket square is an entirely different accent, and should either complement your jacket or belong to the same color family.

© 2021, Contributor. All rights reserved.

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