More than any other aspect of attire, colour influences an observer’s first impression of the wearer. For each man, there are certain colours that have a transformative effect. This is why every man who aspires to be well-dressed needs to understand which colours suit him best.
The goal of men’s business and formal clothing is to draw attention to the face. The colours of the clothing surrounding the face should complement this goal. Two simple rules will help any man develop a personal colour strategy:
- The degree of contrast in a man’s complexion and hair colour should dictate the contrast in the colour of his clothing. For example, a man with a pale complexion and dark hair will look best when there is a high contrast between suit and dress shirt (such as a dark suit with a white shirt). On the other hand, a man with less contrast between hair and skin tone should favour monochromatic colour schemes.
- A colour found in the face can be highlighted by wearing an article of clothing that echoes it. This may be the olive tone of the complexion, the blue of the eyes, or the ruddy colour of the cheeks.
In addition to choosing colours that work best with one’s skin tone, hair colour and facial features, the season of the year should be taken into account when coordinating dress shirt, suit and tie.
Spring Dress Shirts
For spring, dress shirts in light shades of blue, pink and lavender are appropriate. Spring is also the season for multi-colour stripes and checked patterns. Classic white shirts are never out of style for spring.
Summer Dress Shirts
In summer, it’s time to wear brighter colours and to create contrast between light and bold shades. Gold, red and bright blue in solids and patterns can be paired with white and other neutral colours. The lighter shades of spring can also be worn in summer.
Autumn Dress Shirts
In autumn, heavier fabrics in earth tones should dominate. Now is the time to turn to burgundy, forest green, brown and deeper shades of blue. Checks and stripes are still acceptable, but in darker shades.
Winter Dress Shirts
Navy, black and shades of gray and heavier fabrics such as oxford and flannel are perfect for the cold weather of winter. Herringbone and checked patterns in darker shades are well-suited for both fall and winter.
By combining a personal colour strategy with these tips about seasonal colour choices, any man can be confident that he is using colour to its full advantage in his attire.