Ladies seem to know it from the day their born – what colors they just cannot wear. Yet men can suffer from poor color choices, too. The wrong hue can make a man seem sickly, tired, weak, old, or even less assertive depending on the situation or event. Even opting to play it safe by always wearing black or blue can send the wrong message. You don’t need to know if you’re a Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter – but any fashionable man should know what colors they truly look good in, and which to avoid. Read on for a mans guide to colors and some intermediate adaptations you can use in daily life.
The Basics –
- Fair skin or fair hair should avoid lighter pastels and neutrals. Ivory, beige, light yellow and light green can give men an unhealthy looking pallor as though one feels nauseated.
- Darker complexions should avoid piling on the dark colors so as not to send the message of being a Johnny Cash wannabe or secret service agent.
- Bright colors and patterns should be used as single statement pieces or accents only. Don’t match a bright yellow pocket square with a bright red shirt and yellow and white striped tie. The look will be far too dizzying.
- Be very careful about mixing too many colors all at once – regardless of hue or intensity – it’s usually a recipe for failure.
The Science –
You probably don’t remember it, but somewhere around fifth grade, your art teacher pulled out the color wheel. This broke up the primary colors (red, yellow, blue) into a triangular pattern, with the secondary colors (orange, green, purple) in between each mixture of two primaries. There are even tertiary colors and variants depending on whether or not colors are mixed in equal amounts or whether or not black is also added to the mixture. Generally, colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel are suitable complements to one another. Pair these, and you should be in the clear. But we’d say you have a little bit of leeway to veer a little outside the direct 180-degree opposite and still be safe.
When in doubt – ask a fashionable male whose style you trust. Or, visit a tailor or menswear boutique with fashion consultants. As you’re finding your way, these men can be powerful allies as you develop your own color skills.