Colour for Men

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.

badly done and well done - but grey and blue is boring
badly done and well done – but grey and blue is boring

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.

Tats and matching cat
Tats and matching cat

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.

Colourful shirt
Colourful shirt

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.

Yellow jumper, grey outfit
Yellow jumper, grey 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.

Nick Horne, Knightstone Housing
Nick Horne, Knightstone Housing

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.

Man in blue suit and light green tie
Board member Alex

3 Responses

  1. Stephanie

    Nice! And very handsome men! I like the yellow socks and also the turquoise tie. Black and white and grey can be great on men, but I do love a touch of colour when it’s appropriate. One of the things I enjoy most about Italy is looking at men’s fashion. Italian men tend to wear classic colours in suits, but the cuts are often modern and some will add a touch of colour. In any case, I find that they tend to be extremely attentive to detail, so there’s always something interesting to observe. For casual wear it’s not unusual to see cashmere pullovers in unusual colours.

  2. Joyce

    ouiiee… this is a hot topic ;~ )
    My husband can be soooo annoying when it comes to clothing. Here’s a story – try not to gasp too loudy.
    Yesterday, my Husband went to the story to buy runners. He comes home and says, “I don’t like these, but I bought them anyhow”. Now, you need to know that before this event he had been wearing Very Bright blue (bad bad bad – aavery bad blue) runners he bought on sale…….and……….too big to boot! anyhow…I have been having “snit fits” about his Bright Blue runner for many months. He was informed, “they are embarrassing, so silly so Not what you should be wearing” and so when he said he had bought new ones…I was expecting…….something half decent.
    I flip open the box lid…………and there is Bright Blue runners with bright Orange stripes.
    “Back to the store with these!” I scream
    Also………….he has this ridiculous ritual going on that he saves his change to buy shoes. Yeap, Im not kidding!!! its some childhood thingy he is hinging on to, and its well…..insane but whatever. I have lived with this man for over 35 years……… it never gets dull, that’s for sure. hahah.
    anyhow……..WE, returned the shoes. We bought another pair, in a grey, no wild colours (retired he wears runners most of the time) WE also bought a pair that fit!
    Oh I could go on forever…so I’ll keep it to this one story, but trust me, its not the only one……….someday I’ll tell you about the time we went to a wedding……….in Value Village attire, the day he discovered brightly coloured shirts etc………..eeekkkkkkkkkk………….. I don’t wanna remember!!
    Joyce :~ (

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