THE ALAN PAINE BLOG
MEN'S GUIDE TO WEARING COLOUR
Our guide to brightening up your outfits without looking like you’ve stepped off of Sesame Street.
When it comes to style, it’s wrong to presume colour is inherently unmasculine. In medieval times, when some dyes (like purple) were hard to get hold of, wearing a bright colour showed wealth and power. Colour in menswear has a historical pedigree, but also an extremely bright future. As we enter a new season where trends continue to diverge away from corporate conformity and towards ingenious individuality, colour is key.
Having said that, it’s ok if you’re not ready to go full colour straight away! We have put together a guide to help you decipher which colours will work best to make people look, not stare.
STOCK UP ON NEUTRALS
The starting point for introducing any colour into your outfit is having the right shades to complement it. The concept of neutrals is quite simple; a set of low-contrast, malleable colours that work in unison with anything (including each other).
Yes, this includes black, white and all greys in-between. It also includes a light beige and navy.
Making sure you have a wide selection of items in these colours will make introducing standout shades a lot easier and less daunting! You’ll have a ready-made wardrobe of things that can be thrown together, but don’t look thrown together.
If you’re in need of some neutrals we recommend brownies our range of chino trousers and shorts, crew neck t-shirts and sweaters.
CURATE YOUR OWN PALETTE
Each season the fashion world will come up with a selection of colours that are deemed to be consumer favourites and season must-haves. It’s great to look at these trends, lean into them if you wish but the truth is, not all colours suit everybody and you shouldn’t wear a colour just because it’s deemed colour of the moment.
Our advice; figure out a range of colours that work for you, based upon your skin tone, complexion, hair and eye colour. If you’re pale, very light and bright colours will make you look washed out and ghostly - you’re better off opting for deeper, richer shades. If you’ve got a tan or darker skin more vibrant hues will be your friend.
Of course there are many more considerations but ultimately, an important part of finding the colours that work is choosing the ones you like. If you’re unsure, lay your clothes on the bed and take away the ones you never wear. Which colour predominate? Which make you happy?
Hopefully, this process will provide you with a selection of colours that you like and look good in.
LEARN WHAT TONAL MEANS
When we talk about “tonal,” we are referring to different shades of the same colour used together. A useful and simple concept, mixing together different shades of the same colour makes the impact more subtle and rich, though it won’t leave you with much contrast…
Creating contrast between two hues is one of the sharpest ways to wear colour. The contrast however, doesn’t have to be eye-popping, it could be as simple as wearing a Navy blazer with light chinos. When creating a contrast, we recommend choosing one shade as your main colour, think of the other as a supplementary shade and never wear more than three main colours at once.
Though there are exceptions to this rule, the basic principle of it is to prevent you from overcomplicating your outfit. Step outside in a bright red or yellow, paired with two neutrals; white, black, grey or sand.
GO CRAZY WITH NAUTICAL SHADES
The main exception to the three colour rule is with the classic nautical colours; red, navy and yellow. All perfectly acceptable to wear together - as long as you have a white element to break it up.
PLAY SAFE WITH EARTH TONES
Maybe you feel that colour really isn’t your thing, no worries! Stock with earthy tones of brown, olive, slate blue and beige!
Inject some tropical into your wardrobe with our selection of flamingo pieces! Bright, we know, but you can absolutely pull it off! A simple white shirt and navy chinos subtly compliment this show stopping colour.