Color matching. The premise sounds simple, but like many of the guys I know, we can sometimes have a difficult time actually coordinating colors and putting together great looking outfits. For me, the problem has existed for as long as I can remember. Somehow I learned in middle school that blue and gray looked OK together and I ran with that for years…seriously. As I continued to get older, I realized that my closet was looking pretty morose and monochromatic. Then, I remembered a life lesson from my childhood, courtesy of Mr. John Witherspoon:
Now, it goes without saying that one should not wear a mushroom shirt, mushroom belt and mushroom lined jacket, but coordinating an outfit is what I consider the mark of a really well dressed person. I’m not a fashionisto or super-trendy guy by any means, and I’m definitely trying to incorporate these guidelines into my daily wardrobe as myself. While some people will try to convince you that clothes need to match, the prevailing wisdom among the fashion forward is that things must “go” together. Matching is an apparently entirely voluntary process. For coordinating or matching, however, I’ve found that a color wheel is a great tool to get you on the right track.
Working with a color wheel is relatively easy. The main way to use it for coordinating colors is to pick a color exactly opposite your primary color or choose a color adjacent to the opposite of your primary chosen color. For instance, let’s say you decide to wear a red polo one afternoon and need pants or shorts to match. A standard green short would be a good fit, but if you’d like to avoid looking like Christmas in July, you should opt for yellow-green or blue-green. Even the choices behind green (mint, olive) would also be great matches. Otherwise, there are some other basic rules of thumb:
- While khaki does go with everything, its best suited for darker, more saturated colors as opposed to pastels
- Along those same lines, black also goes with everything, but is best suited for brighter colors, however orange should be avoided at all costs (unless you want to look like a Jack-o-Lantern)
- No one really likes white socks…at all
- Finally, step out of your comfort zone! Throw out the rules every now and then to express your self-confidence and embrace your individual style
For a more advanced way to coordinate your colors, check out this cool Color Matching tool courtesy of Color Explorer.