Color combinations are your express pass to nailing men’s fashion. The ability to enhance your appearance through a mix of tints, tones, shadows, colors, or hues as they’re technically referred to, makes up the basis of every outfit. Your wardrobe is likely packed with almost every color of the rainbow, just begging to be paired with the right piece of clothing.
Although rules are meant to be broken, the fundamentals of color theory can teach you how to master men’s clothing color combinations. From no-brainer wardrobe pairings to more complex mixing and matching, we’ve got you covered with the best clothing color combinations for every man.
Color Theory Crash Course
We’re not going to spend too much time on the theory of color combination for clothes, but to ensure you get the most out of your wardrobe, it’s worth the artistic detour into the science of color theory.
Lesson #1: visible light is made of colors, often represented by a color wheel.
Lesson #2: there are three primary colors; red, blue, and yellow.
Lesson #3: mixing primary colors create secondary and tertiary colors. For example, blue and red form purple, blue and yellow make green, and red and yellow produce orange.
Lesson #4: primary, secondary, and tertiary colors are represented by the color wheel.
You can describe these colors by their tint (colors mixed with white), tone (colors mixed with grey), and shadow (colors mixed with black).
Colour combinations come from mixing and matching the tints, tones, and shadows of colors. These color combinations can be monochromatic, complementary, triadic, or analogous.
Monochromatic: one color and its various tints, tones, and shades.
Complementary: opposite colors on the wheel.
Triadic: three colors equidistant from each other on the wheel.
Analogous: color combinations next to each other on the wheel. One dominant color, a secondary support color, and a third accent color.
Even Reddit knows we need some help with color combinations for men’s clothes! User atomicpenguin12 posted this color combination infographic, and the top comment is, “thank you for the info, but I’m still wearing the same 3 shirts with the same 2 pants, in the same pair of shoes.”
Hopefully, with the addition of our help, your men’s clothing color combinations will be leaps and bounds above the rest.
Black Goes With Everything, So Does White
Black and white are the bedrock of fashion, the Ying and Yang of your wardrobe; the epitome of monochromatic color combinations. Black and white clothes are everywhere because they’re used to create pretty much every color you can see. Both are foundational colors that you can use to your advantage.
The most popular use of black and white is for suit color combinations. Black suit, pants, shoes, a white button-up shirt (cufflinks optional), perhaps a white pocket square, and of course a black tie.
Individually, black and white can add the final touch to your outfit, like the hint of a white t-shirt under a blazer, adding accents to a sophisticated ensemble. Or, as fashion focal points, like a pair of pure white sneakers to draw onlookers’ eyes.
However, you choose to combine your colors, remember that black goes with everything and so does white.
The Grey Area
Grey is a shade of black and white; as such, the grey area of color combinations is about matching your clothes to your chosen shade of grey. Pair light shades with lighter colors, like white, soft blues, and pastel pinks. Darker shades also complement dark grey, but we recommend adding dark reds or blues and a touch of black. You can even go all grey everywhere if you’d like.
In The Navy
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t wear a blue suit. A blue suit color combination is clean, classy, and above all else, eye-catching. A navy blue suit with matching suit pants and a pressed white button-up shirt is one hell of a fashion combination.
But what about other colors? Well, first of all, avoid black. Most of the time, blues are too dark for black (though rules are meant to be broken, so have it!), we recommend touches of red to complement your navy blue or pair of beige chinos to draw attention to your blue outerwear.
Nature, wealth, and a glow of envy are all associated emotions with green. This triple threat combination makes green a flexible color for mixing and matching your outfit. With your knowledge of tints, tones, and shadows, green color combinations are a walk in the park.
Dark green hues like olive, mixed with khaki tones, offer an army fatigue vibe, while forest greens and blacks maintain that incognito look without disappearing into the shadows completely. As for something a little more distinguished, green partners nicely with brown, burgundy, and navy.
Dressing Up in Burgundy Or Red
Red is a powerful color, bringing danger, with equal parts passion and intimacy, plus the usual suspects, romance, and love. When it comes to men’s fashion, red and burgundy clothing is a statement color that is often difficult to master. A restrictive color for contrast and harmony, if you’re dressing up burgundy, go to the old faithful and choose navy blue for a smart casual look accented with neutral browns.
Soft, subtle, and full of class. Beige pairings go best with lighter hues and tones – white and blue – for that Cuban holiday vibe. Need a fashion challenge? Mix in more beige, tan, and yellow-based shades for a Smooth Criminal aesthetic reminiscent of a 1920s speakeasy.
If that’s too much beige for you, break it up with richer tones–maroon, navy, or brown. And if the weather is warm enough, skip the sock and use your natural skin tone to accessories your beige pairing.
What Can The Color Brown Do For You?
Brown works the same way as grey in that the shade determines the style. Tan and camel are lighter shades of brown that pair impeccably with more golden tones, like creams and beige, or even soft blues and white. On the other hand, darker tones play best with neutral colors. Think back to our Green Machine pairing for an ideal outfit using the color brown.
The Six Tenants of Color Combinations
- Balance the contrast and harmony of your colors;
- Pair bold with neutral to avoid clashing;
- Never underestimate the power of blue and red;
- Light shades complement darker hues;
- Bright colors cut through darks and blacks;
- Rules are meant to be broken; get creative and have fun with your men’s clothing color combinations.