In the world of men’s formal wear, conservative color schemes represent safety. The old-guard color palette of black, grey and navy with white or powder blue shirts will certainly serve you at the ground-level of creating a classic image. There is nothing inherently wrong with sticking to the basics, but stretching beyond the bounds of the conventional, when done correctly, can make you stand out from the crowd.
Just like anything else, finding the right colorful touches takes practice. You may not find that colorful twist the first time you try. There is a fine line between sharp fashion sense and lack thereof.
Here are 5 tips for adding color to your formal wardrobe.
1. Match color to your skin tone- Pale colors emphasize features on lighter skin tones whereas saturated colors provide a pleasant contrast against darker skin tones.
2. Get some patterns- No polka dots or kaleidoscopes but classic patterns that integrate bright colors can be a safer way to add a bit of flavor to your shirt. There are plenty of shirts available that pattern lines in pinks, purples, blues, greens and even louder colors.
3. Bold your tie- The era of intricate patterns and novelty ties has all but passed. Choosing a bright tie places a tertiary color at the center of your body allowing you to leave it at that, or match smaller touches like cufflinks, pocket squares or socks with it. Brightly colored ties can be a loud but safe choice as they are generally more accepted even in conservative dress. Matching touches, however, can take a bit of practice.
4. Cover your ankles- When done correctly, socks can add the right amount of flare to your formal appearance. If matched correctly, it results in a very thoughtful and refined look. Bold colors or minimalist patterns that correspond with your tie or pocket square are the best options here.
5. Three is the magic number- When you coordinate your shirt, jacket, pants, tie, socks, cufflinks and pocket square, only use three different colors. Four is often too many and appears disjointed. Two is conservative and can seem boring.
When you’re ready to discuss colors stop by our suit store in Philadelphia, we can help you find the right colors and styles to make your wardrobe pop. Our tailors in Philadelphia possess decades of expertise helping men find their palette.