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Guide to wearing colors for men

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Your style suggests a lot about your status, success and integrity. Paramount to this rule is your sense of color. Think about it: if you’re a thirty-something banker still trying to pull off that purple Dolce blazer with gold loafers, you may feel fun and flashy, but you’ll also look like a man-boy with fashion ADD. So to avoid appearing like you dressed in skittles, let’s properly train your color sweet tooth. Here’s your guide to wearing colors, fellas.

The 3 colors per outfit rule3 color outfit

To master your outfit, you'll want to follow the golden rule of color; never wear more than three main colors in an outfit at once.

While there are exceptions to this rule, let’s start with the basics first.

The rationale behind the three color rule is to prevent you from over-complicating your attire. In turn, you may rock one pop of color at a time, like red or yellow, combined with two neutrals: white, black, grey and sand. So for example, if your outfit already has white and grey, you can don that cool orange tie.

Now, let’s learn when this rule doesn’t apply.

Go nuts with nautical colors

The one exception to the three color rule is with nauticals. These are your classic sailing theme colors: red, navy and yellow. They’re totally acceptable to wear all together, as long as there’s at least one white element to break up the outfit.

This means you can’t wear a navy shirt with red pants, but it’s a “yes” for a navy blazer over a white shirt with red pants. Picture it. Okay? Or alternatively, you can wear a striped white-and-red shirt with navy pants— get the idea?

As long as there’s one piece of white clothing in your nautical outfit, you’re good.

flashy outfit

Earthy tones play it safe

Maybe color rules aren’t your thing. No worries. Then just stick with earth tones: brown, dusty rose, olive, slate blue and beige. These colors naturally match together because they belong to the same hue family. You can’t go wrong here.

earth tones

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The case of the baby pink

You may be surprised to learn that the pink shirt trend wasn’t some random hiccup of the 2000s. Actually, it first became popular with preppy lads back in the 1900s. And since then, it surfaced as a trend, maybe every other decade or so, known for it’s adorably masculine-ish appeal.

Here are the basics for pulling off the pink shirt. At the risk of sounding like a fashion snob, we advise wearing the pink shirt in either of these two scenarios: when it’s a current runway trend or during breast cancer awareness month. In any other scenario, it just feels ironic. But be that as it may, every gent, is of course, free to spread his fashion seeds— even with pink shirts.

Wear metallics with caution

Finally we’ll talk metallics. With its high-shine glitz, they’re a strong statement-maker that should only be donned in small doses. They’re best worn as an outfit accent like silver Oxford shoes or a bronze belt. And if you’re super eccentric, you might proudly rock some shiny black pants— your call.

Colors are an acquired skill. Nobody’s saying you must neglect your natural color instincts, but as a stylish gent, learn to train your senses.

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