The Ultimate Guide on How to Match Clothing Colours

mens colour matching street style
PHOTO CREDIT: W Magazine

It can be confusing, trying to pick an outfit. What should you pair your yellow tee with? What bout those baby blue chinos? It’s ok. We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide on how to match clothing colours so you can get ready with ease. 

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Does this tie match? Will this shirt go with those shorts? What jacket shall I wear? We’ve all heard or even asked these questions but what are the answers – and more importantly what are the correct answers?

Colour matching clothes can make your entire outfit, or alternatively ruin it – and by ruin it, we mean completely doom your whole day! You aren’t born knowing how to match clothing colours, and the thought can be very intimidating. But it’s actually really simple to do, and like everything in life once you know, you know. Here are the best little tips and tricks that every style conscious man needs to know, to keep you on the straight and narrow. We promise it’s really easy.

Keep it in the Family

We’ve all heard this one before, and it’s the same with the colour family. It’s pretty easy when you think about, keep pastels with pastels, and metallics with metallics. A colour wheel is your best friend (once you get the hang of it!)

Now we’re not saying, print one off and stick it on your bedroom wall, but just have a quick glance at your new bezzie, and nothing else needs to be said. On a colour wheel, ‘complimentary’ colours actually means colours that are opposite each other on the spectrum. So colours that are opposite each other on the wheel, tend to go well in terms of outfits. Opposites attract and all that…

Colour wheel diagram
Photo Credit: Imgur

Fade in and Fade Out

Remember when girls were dying their hair half blond and half brown – some even added blue or pink or even grey? Well FYI, that little trend is called ombre. Ombre shouldn’t just be restricted to hair trends – try it out on your clothes. Different shades of the same colour look effortlessly cool, but at the same time strategically planned. You’re winning in the style stakes.

One Thing at a Time

One print for the sprint. If you want to race through the fashion world, then allow one printed item to dominate your outfit. An average person will only be able to pull off one print per outfit – now we’re not saying you’re average but in this instance, just be average – you don’t want to look like Keith Lemon! Choose your favourite printed item – whether it’s a jacket, shirt or pair of trousers, and leave the rest of your outfit plain.

mens prints outfit
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Monochrome is a must

When in doubt, choose black and white. Nothing else needs to be said. Black and white are the two colours that suit everything, so use them to their full advantage. Neutral colours also work with this strategy – think browns, navy, grey and burgundy.

Colour matching for men diagram
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Be Colour Cool

Stick to the one colour trick. Similar to only wearing one printed item at a time, the one colour trick is when you simply wear one colour and keep the rest neutral. Go back to school. We all know that primary colours are yellow, red and blue, and whilst they may have looked horrendously bright in our Crayola felt tip pen packet when we were 7, if you tone them down they’ll work together perfectly.

White shirts go with everything. Trust me. Don’t question it, look into too deeply or reject it. White shirts go with everything. Grey isn’t dull or boring, it compliments all those bright jumpers your mum bought you. Great for dulling down vivid colours, use something grey to manage the boldness of stronger, brighter colours. Not only will you earn kudos for your strategic stylish use of colour, but grey itself is a smart, sophisticated colour that’s cool, classic and chic.

mens basic colour shirt outfit grid
SHOP: Farah Vintage Oxford Shirt White | Levi’s Long Sleeve Commuter Workshirt Grey

Match your skin tone

Know what colours suit your skin tone and use them to your advantage. Dark skin tones can naturally pull of brighter colours, whilst paler people tend to carry of navy blue, grey and burgundy better.

Shoes – Black, brown and burgundy shoes are definitely your best bet. By all means, you buy those chequered white loafers, but are they going to go with anything? Will you really want to wear them once you’ve returned home from Benidorm? No.

Final Note

So if you only take a couple of things from this article, then remember: opposite colours on the wheel look good together, white shirts are always a safe bet, and if you’re struggling, choose one printed or brightly coloured piece, leaving the rest of your outfit neutral.

Once you’ve mastered the tricks of the trade, it really is that easy, and you’ll soon be strutting down your local high street with pride. With these simple tips, matching clothing colours has never been easier. That is unless you’re colour blind…

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