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How To Wear Color

Written by

Andre 3000: A man who wears color well.
(Photo from Google Images)

It takes confidence to wear color. Color draws attention to yourself and says you're comfortable enough in your own skin to be seen. In recent years, wearing color has been a marker of style for men who put effort into their look. Perhaps you've been wanting to wear color, but wonder how to do it well and subtly enough so you don't look like a clown. Here's how:

Start with one color, and make it the right one
Maybe it takes a real man to wear pink, but does pink complement your skin tone? Dark-skinned men tend to look better in bright colors because the contrast is striking. Paler skin tones match well with more subdued colors (light blue for instance), and medium-skin shades can wear just about any color (but avoid matching your skin exactly with olive or pistachio green shirts). A nice touch? If you have blue or green eyes, match the skirt to your eye color.

Don't match socks to the color you're wearing
Unless you wear stylish argyles or other print with your chosen color IN them, don't match solid color socks to your bright shirt. Black or brown socks only please. Matchy-matchy is trying too hard.

The crazier the color, the smaller it should be
Try a brightly-colored pocket square or tie for instance. Or maybe a neon belt. You don't want the color to overpower you or for people to notice the color while you fade into the background. Unless your personality is bigger than the color and then, the world is your oyster. Wear what you want.

Feel the color
On the inside. Something about the color must speak to you. If you like blue, pump it up a few notches with an electric indigo or bring it down with a light robin's egg blue, but if you're not “feeling” the color, you'll look uncomfortable. Sure go a few paces outside your comfort zone by popping the shade of a color you love, but don't wear neon on the first go round, unless you really, really dig neon. Then go for it. If you're unsure about a color (purple, mayhaps) wear it around the house first and see if you start feeling it before donning the color in public.

Go slow if you need to
Try a bright stripe in your pinstripes or a colored watch before going whole hog.

Go easy on the colored denim
This trend works well with the under-30 set. Wear it past that age and you risk not being taken seriously. Not because it's not cool, but because colored denim is trendy and whimsical. Unless you are too, skip it in favor of adding color with a scarf or shirt.

Overall, just remember that one color does not fit all. What works for your pal may not work for you. Complement your skin tone, age, and comfort level with a color that works for YOU.

Next trend: Mixing patterns. But let's not get too crazy right off the bat.


See more Colors: Beeswax, Black, Brown, Coral Rose, Fuchsia, Green, Honeysuckle, How To Wear Color, Indigo, Khaki (Color), Lavendar, Magenta, Orange, Peapod, Pink, Purple, Russet, Silver Cloud, White, Yellow

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