There are so many things to consider when putting together a new outfit, and the color of clothing you choose is one of the most important aspects. Think: How often do you buy shirts and pants that you love only to find that you have nothing to wear? Well, color coordination can solve that problem.
Often when shopping, men will grab something that looks good without a coordinating shirt or pants in mind. And this often leads to trouble when it’s time to put together an outfit.
If this sounds like you, it’s time to stop spending money on clothes that are impossible to style. Rather than simply telling you "what colors go with brown" or "which colors go with red," our guide will teach you how to pick the perfect coordinating shirt or pants no matter what.
Matching colors isn't about luck. There is a method to the madness. Read on to learn how to coordinate the perfect outfit every time.
Methods for Coordinating Your Shorts, Shirts, Pants, & Jackets
When it comes to matching, you have a few options to keep in mind. There isn't only one way to coordinate your outfits. Rather, it's about choosing the method that best complements your own personal style.
While we could have simply listed out colors that match together, we'd prefer that you know how to do it without ever needing to refer to a guide again. As the saying goes, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
Let's dive in.
For some outfits, you may choose to go with a monochromatic style. This look is characterized by using variations of a single color, usually differing only in lightness and darkness. Here are two examples of monochromatic matching.
Another way to coordinate colors is by dressing in complementary colors. These colors sit on opposite ends of each other on the color wheel. By the way, keep that color wheel handy. Here, you can easily choose a color and it will automatically match you with a complementary color.
Some basic examples of complementary colors include red paired with green, blue paired with orange, and yellow paired with purple. As you can guess, outfits coordinated with complementary colors tend to stand out from the crowd. Here are two examples of outfits coordinated with complementary colors.
Green and Red
Blue and Brown
Pro-tip for Complementary Coordination: When choosing complementary colors, muted colors tend to work best.
Your third option for color coordination is the analogous theme. Analogous colors are those that sit beside one another on the color wheel. For example, red paired with orange or red-orange. Here are two examples of analogous coordination.
Mint (Green-Blue) and Blue
Yellow and Green
Neutral Palette Coordination
If you’re the type who likes to keep things simple, run to the store, grab a shirt, and go, then you should consider building a wardrobe centered on a neutral palette. Neutral wardrobes include basic neutral colors: black, white, nude, khaki, gray, olive, and navy blue.
By shopping with a neutral wardrobe palette in mind, you can almost guarantee that any pair of pants and shirt in your wardrobe will look like they belong together. This makes it easy to grab an outfit, go, and still look put together.
As you can see, you could blindly grab any one of these pants out of your closet along with any one of these shirts and they would all coordinate perfectly together!
Mistakes to Avoid
- Avoid wearing shirts that are too close to your skin tone. For instance, if you have a light or pasty skin tone, cream or pink shirts can make you look washed out and won’t complement the look of your skin. Similarly, if you have dark skin, dark brown may not look as good due to the lack of contrast.
- Don’t neglect your shoes. If you want a foolproof outfit every time, stick with classic shoe styles in neutral colors. As a general rule, if you choose to wear a belt, make the belt the same color as your shoes or accessories. For example, tan shoes with a tan leather watch or black shoes with a black belt.
As you can see, there is a method to the madness of outfit coordination. Hopefully, this guide helps you pull together outfits each morning with a little more ease. If you’re ready to upgrade your wardrobe, start by browsing the Vintage 1946 2022 Fall Collection. Complimentary hemming is always included with any pair of trousers purchased!
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