There are three sorts of men. Those that don’t do colour at all. Those that do it too much, and badly. And the ones who know how to use colour and wear it well.
When I met my husband I found him a stylish dresser. He always looked very smart and appropriately dressed. When I got to know him a little better I had a look inside his wardrobe and found something rather surprising. It was very neat and orderly. But it was made up of three colours – black, white and blue. And as black and white aren’t really colours that meant he was restricting himself to blue! He had some brown shoes and belts, and a few some colourful ties. But even his casual wardrobe was denim jeans, a black jumper, a black jacket, over a blue, or grey or white T shirt or casual shirt. Blue – with black, white and grey – becomes the safe option for all seasons.
Many men are the same, unless their wife does the shopping for them.
Then the problem will be an entirely different one – they will have a range of lovely sweaters, slacks and polo shirts in an array of rainbow shades. They hang around at barbecues with their peach “vintage” T shirt, or their khaki cargo pants with a purple polo shirt. They go to the National Trust in their red corduroy slacks with a checked or striped shirt. These poor men fall into the second group, along with the loud types who think that life is a beach party. Their favourite garments will be Hawaiian shirts, surfing shorts and and hi-top trainers in neon shades.
And the third type of man is fairly rare. These men have an instinctive sense of style and an a knowledge of what suits them. They like colour and know how to use it. This man with his warm muted colouring looks co-ordinated and nice without being over the top. He can wear these shoes, trousers and belt with any number of shirts, jumpers or T shirts and always look pulled together and sharp. The colour is quite nice on him, although I think it may look better if it was a bit deeper or softer.
Another way to wear colour is to add one bright item to a fairly sober outfit – here Marks and Spencer combine an acid yellow with a dark charcoal outfit.
If have to wear a suit for work then a colourful tie is useful, but these days men often prefer to leave off their ties. If so wearing a blue, grey or black suit with a colourful or even patterned shirt is an option. In colder weather a colourful jumper over your shirt, or a polo neck can be nice with a suit. There is always the colourful socks option. Noticeable socks work well if you are long in the leg – but if you are short keep the colours of the lower leg sympathetic with each other. Here is one of my fellow CEOs who likes his socks bright.
Colour analysis determines the underlying shades in your skin, hair and eyes and ensures that the colours you choose flatter your natural colouring. Once you know that say deep, or cool, colours will suit you best you can introduce more colour into your wardrobe. In a world of dull, grey men (especially if you are white, grey haired and plain) you will have a real problem standing out in business. Wearing a tie, shirt or jacket that makes you look fresh and lively will help you stand out from the crowd. Alex, one of our Board members, looks really nice in his mid-blue suit and his light turquoise tie – just a little bit different from run-of-the-mill, and a look that suits him perfectly.