People often ask me what is the biggest single aspect of any outfit that impacts on how it looks – is it the cut? the fabric? the price tag? I always give people the same answer – it’s the colour!! Most people have a standard go to colour that they fall back on in the face of the multitude of shades available. A kind of colour comfort zone which we all run to when overwhelmed with choices, If you don’t believe me just look in your own wardrobe and you will see a clear colour tone that represents the majority of your clothes. My default colour is navy blue, I could literally fill a whole wardrobe with the plethora of navy and dark blue polos, shirts, jackets, waistcoats ect that I own. Now if you are happy living your life in one tone of colour then great, feel free to stop reading now and carry on with your life. But if you would like to add new colours into your wardrobe then carry on reading.



The first step in working out which colours are going to work for you is to work out what colour you are!! Yes you might think this is teaching you to suck eggs but seriously when was the last time you stopped and took a good hard look at yourself or rather your skin? So now look at your forearm, in order to best judge which colours should form the basis of your wardrobe, you’ll need to determine if your skin is fair/pale, medium/olive, or dark. Once you have decided on that issue then read on for some useful tips and hints.


  1. Fair/Pale Skin

Do you have red, blonde or light brown hair? Do you easily get burnt from summer sun? If so then the chances are you’ve got pale skin and light features, so colours that clearly contrast with your skin tone will – quite literally – bring some colour to your complexion.


Colours To Wear

Darker colours like brown, burgundy, bottle green, dark blue or grey will all work well as these shades contrast with your skin tone.


Colours To Avoid

Soft, pastel shades or bright colours will only wash you out - think white, light beige and stone, choose richer shades such as camel, khaki and slate grey. Also if you want a brighter colour such as red, it can work when worn in bold shades like crimson.


  1. Olive/Medium Skin

If you’ve got olive-toned skin that tends to tan easy in the sun, then you have a warm complexion which suits a much wider spectrum of colours than those with fair complexions.


Colours To Wear

You will look your best by opting for shades that are either a little brighter or darker than the middle ground. What does that mean exactly? Choose pale beige rather than warm sand if you’re opting for light for example. A good summer look is all-white or mixing light neutrals a good example would be throwing on a white linen shirt and a stone pair of chinos, which will accentuate your skin tone.


Colours To Avoid

Since you want to enhance and contrast your skin tone with your colours you need to avoid similar shades to your natural skin such as pistachio, mustard, olive and mocha brown. The last thing you want it a colour that blends into your skin tone and makes you appear looking washed out.


  1. Darker Skin

Like those with medium skin, men with darker skin often have a wider range of colours to use to complement the natural hue of there skin.


Colours To Wear

The colour of your skin is perfectly positioned to work with the majority of hues and shades, as it doesn’t run the risk of being washed out like comparatively pale skin tones. Therefore this is the time to be adventurous, think bright colours such as cobalt blue, jade or emerald green and vibrant pink. These men should really embrace the full rainbow of menswear colour.


Colours To Avoid

Please be aware that your skin tone will contrast with bright colours but it also means it will blend in with traditional menswear staples such as brown, black and navy. This can be troublesome when looking to dress for more formal and corporate occasions. Make sure you add a flash of brighter colours such as a purple tie with that lounge suit or perhaps an light blue bow tie, anything to add colour to your outfit while staying suitably corporate is worth doing.



I have two very important points I would like you to take away from this blog. Number one is that the most important thing to remember is that no matter how expensive the shirt or how well designed and fitted it is – if the colour doesn’t complement your natural tones then it’s not going to give you the best results. Number two is that just because one colour has worked for the majority of your wardrobe in the past it doesn’t mean it has to be your future – be adventurous and try something new and if the colour is right you might just be surprised how good you look!!


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