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How To Deal With Colour Combinations

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A lot of the questions we often get asked involve colour… Typically by men frustrated with how to handle certain colours.

Creating colour combinations might seem confusing at first glance but we’re here to simplify the process.

Blue and green should never be seen? Break the rules and opt for navy and black? In this feature we’re here to show you how to deal with colour and how to effortlessly create stylish colour combinations.

Keep It Classic

To start with keeping things classic will always make things easier. You don’t lose any style points here either, as often the best colour combinations and outfits utilise classic colours.

Think about it… How easy is it to create an outfit around a white shirt? Pretty simple right. Everything goes with white and every colour or print can be combined with white. On the other hand try and create an outfit based around a Mustard colour jacket… More difficult right?

When you create an outfit around classic colours there’s less room for error.

Tones of grey, black, white, brown, navy… These are all classic colours which should take up 80% of your wardrobe. You

Combining the key classic colours, and using different tones allows you to effortlessly put together outfits with little room for error.

Classic Colour Combination: Navy & Grey

Just one example would be navy and grey… A stylish colour combination which is simple to pull off.

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Use Darker Tones

If classic colours bore you but you’re still afraid to pull off colour using darker tones is something we highly recommend.

Similar to using classic colours, darker tones leave little room for error. Combining colours and creating outfits around darker tones really is simple.

Like red but don’t dare to wear it? Opt for the darker tone of Burgundy. Blue? Go darker and use Navy. Use darker tones of green, yellow… You get the idea.

This way we can inject colour but avoid the issue of getting it drastically wrong and looking like a pack of Skittles…

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How To Deal With Bright Colours

There’s two ways to deal with colour. Both are suitable options and which one you choose comes down to personal preference.

Block colours, pastels, brighter hues and neon colours are all options (and often put men off) but to simplify the process using colour in a look is simple.

You can either…

1) Wear It As A Statement

I remember someone emailed in about a pair of Red Suede Driver Shoes he loved. He wanted to wear them but didn’t want them to stand out. My answer was simple… they’re red suede shoes. Whatever you wear them with they’ll stand out.

Wearing colour as a statement shouldn’t be shied away from. Sure it may be something you’re not used too but it allows you to express personality, will make you stand out amongst others and often can enhance your skin tone.

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Yellow chinos? Wear them proud and make a statement. Red shirt? Make it the focal piece to the outfit.

Always look to use a neutraliser, a classic (darker) tone to draw attention to the statement colour but to also avoid overdoing it.

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Of course this method isn’t for every man, but don’t shy away from colour.

2) Wear It Subtly

The second option, and the most popular is to inject colour in a subtle manner.

Typically you’d use layering to soften the statement of a brighter colour, making the coloured garment a bottom layer. For example, injecting colour through a red shirt layered with a grey cardigan.

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Alongside layering, you can also inject colour subtly through accessories. A pocket square, a tie, a scarf, even a pair of socks allow you to inject some colour or print in a subtle way. Accessories are great conversation starters and allow you to add small touches of individuality to a look, so don’t be afraid to inject colour (and print) through accessories.

Another option is to opt for Pastel colours, as these are again easier to manage and will create a subtle effect.

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Use 2,3 Colours

Play it safe… there really is no need to over complicate it.

At first avoid wearing more than 3 different colours in a look. The more colours you implement the harder it is to get right.

Build looks around 2 colours, 3, and even stick with just the 1 colour, using different tones to stop the outfit looking one dimensional.

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Another tip is to choose a base colour, and then build your look around it. Typically that base colour would be a darker tone or a classic colour and the role of that base colour almost is to pull the combination together.


So there we have it, go away and experiment using what you’ve learnt in this article.

Keep it simple, keep it classic, don’t be afraid to inject some colour and avoid combining more than 3 colours in an outfit.

Let us know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to share the article if you enjoyed it…

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Paul McGregor
Paul McGregor

Founder of MFM, and short course lecturer at The London College of Fashion teaching all things marketing. Read my personal blog here.



  • Nkosikhona

    Thanks guys you are genius.

  • Darlington

    Comment (*)lovely but I still need more

  • Batina

    Thank you for info of colours.

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