Your FAQ’s About Tonal Dressing

all black outfits mens street style
What is Tonal Dressing - PHOTO CREDIT: Yoka

If you’re struggling to crack that tonal look you’ve always wanted then look no further. Here at The Idle Man we’ve compiled this simple style guide for you to have a gander at.

Check out more Mens Style Guide features.

As a born and bred Scouser, I was naturally blessed with a keen eye for style. I know what will make you look and feel good – all without breaking the bank! If you wish to update your look this season? Look no further as ‘Tonal Dressing’ is on the up and trust me, it’s totally boss!

What is Tonal Dressing?

Tonal dressing is a style technique; which allows you to choose multiple pieces from the same or similar colour and you can – wait for it – wear them all at once! Don’t worry, you won’t look like a blob of colour gone wrong nor will you stick out from the crowd (not for the wrong reasons anyway!). If you play it right by choosing various textures, shades and styles then you’ll surely be the leader of the pack! 

How do I get started?

Begin by choosing colours and designs that you really like because this trend is all about pursuing your own style. Also, tonal dressing works with absolutely anything; jumpers, trousers, trainers and even your accessories! Celebrate your personality by choosing pieces that will make you feel happy and confident.

What colour should I choose?

Choose Black

Black is a good colour to start with because it matches flawlessly with other textures and shades. Not to mention, it’s also slimming on the body and continues to still be one of the smartest looks out there! Choosing all black will allow you to be daring but stay feeling comfortable as it’s not too over the top.

all black tonal outfit grid for men
SHOP: The Idle Man Faux Leather Bomber Jacket | Carhartt WIP Chase Sweatshirt Black

Choose Grey

If you’re feeling more confident but still remain slightly on the fence? Why not choose grey? You could use your mood as your own colour guide. If you’re feeling positive, you could pick from the lighter shades? Or maybe you’re having a man-flu day, you could always opt for the darker shades? It doesn’t matter what mood your in or what shade of grey you choose, you’ll always look like a stylish winner!

all grey tonal outfit grid for men
SHOP: The Idle Man Lightweight Nylon MA-1 Bomber Jacket Grey | Lyle & Scott Twill Look Crew-Neck Sweatshirt Grey

Choose Beige

If doom and gloom isn’t really your thing, you can always go with beige instead? I love this colour and not only because it reminds me of tasty biscuits! Beige is perfect because it will inject your outfit with a bit of colour but still hang onto that classic feel.  If you choose beige, I know that you’ll look slick (and quite tasty too!)

a beige tonal outfit grid for men
SHOP: Publish Arch Joggers Tan | Hudson Augusta Suede Penny Loafer Camel

Choose White

What? Choose white? Yes… you totally read that right! White is a colour that can be used all year round and not only during the summertime. You can wear white whenever you like; use it to mix up your style and make it feel fresh.  Although, when the summer does arrive you must kit yourself out head-to-toe in white. I mean, that’s what the summer is all about isn’t it?

an all white tonal outfit grid for men
SHOP: The Idle Man Oxford Shirt White | The Idle Man Crew-Neck T-shirt White

Do I Have To Stay With One Colour?

Another thing about tonal dressing is that it (technically) doesn’t stick with just one colour. You can mix one, two or even three tones together and you will still rock your look. The key secret is to pair similar contrasts together and it’s so easy to do. Why not try some of these combo’s first?

mixed tonal outfit grid for men
SHOP: (from top left to right) RAINS Long Jacket Soil | The Idle Man Jeans in Skinny Fit Black | Edwin Standart Short Sleeve Shirt Blue | The Idle Man Merino Wool Jumper Black | Dickies 873 Slim Straight Work Pant Brown | Dr Marten’s Made in England Classic Monkey Boot Black

Can Tonal Dressing Work With Crazy Colours?

Tonal dressing is all great but what if you’re a fan of bright colours? Maybe you secretly want to make a statement? Well… choosing monochrome might be the way to go!

an all red tonal outfit grid for men
SHOP: Timex Weekender Slip Through Strap Watch Red | The Idle Man Lightweight Nylon MA-1 Bomber Jacket Red | Dr Marten’s 3 Eye Classic Gibson Red

Monochrome pushes tonal dressing to its limits; due to its unpredictable choices in colour and levels of brightness. You can stay simple by choosing only bright accessories or go extreme with a full colour suit. If you’re the confident type, I’m sure that you’ll love this look!

What about my shoes?

Tonal dressing loves your shoes because you can pick anything to match. Whether that’s trainers, loafers or even a pair of snazzy boots – you can wear whatever you like. Just remember to follow the colour charts and you’ll look great!

Should I use different textures?

Never be afraid to experiment with diverse materials as it breaks up the colour and balances out your outfit. So feel free to match your plain jumper with a checked coat or blazer and you’ll surely look different to the next bloke (who’s also wearing one colour!)

textured tonal outfit grid for men
SHOP: Selected Zero Hyde Single Breasted Blazer Grey | The Idle Man Merino Wool Jumper Blue

Can I use tonal dressing for casual and formal events?

Tonal dressing is designed for both casual and formal events because it moulds into anything you want it to be. If you’re planning on heading down to the pub with the lads? You’ll want to feel relaxed but quite slick. Choose from beige, navy or white and you’ll surely pull off your laid-back look.
Or maybe you’re going to a formal event with your partner and (very intimidating) in-laws, so you’ll want to be super smart. Choose head-to-toe black to look classic. You could even mix it up with a bit of colour if you wish? I think a grey tie would do the trick!

Is tonal dressing for every season?

One thing I love about tonal dressing is that it adapts to EVERY season. It doesn’t matter if it’s pouring down with rain or shining with the sun, you can be stylish in every weather! Want to get prepared for the spring season? Check out this guide right here – How to do Tonal Dressing in Spring.

And on That Note

Now that you have become a master in tonal dressing you can begin shopping for your own trends. We have some great pieces and accessories that will be perfect for your first (and many more) tonal outfits.

SHOP ALL CLOTHING & SHOES