It’s fair to say most autumn/winter season; wardrobes seem to mirror the weather, dull, dark and depressing. More often than not, blacks, charcoal, navy’s or greys prevail over colour. At last, a palette of colour has been injected on the runways, with the high street following suit. Greens, blues, reds and oranges are what can be spotted in the high street A/W this year thanks to some colour inspiration from various design houses. On the summer runways, it was designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Burberry who paraded an array of blues, reds and greens, while the statement pieces came from designers such as D&G and Acne.
To try and identify a specific colour as being the most fashionable for up and coming seasons is near enough impossible. The key is to break down the fashion items too, looking at fashion trends will help breakdown key colours. Anne – Sofie Johannson, Head of Design at the H+M states: “ A/W 2011/12 will be a fun season with both functional and tailored pieces in cognac, khaki and burgundy tones. Make it personal and go for a loose, relaxed outdoors silhouette and/or a more classical look with skinny trousers.”
Green in particular seems to be the high streets colour of choice. As one of the most versatile colours to have in your wardrobe, green can be worn on a winter coat, trousers or top. It can be matched with the darker items you have from last season as well as coming in a variety of shades, from khaki to a brighter, refreshing minty green. Although wearing colour can be a tricky thing for men, a few splashes here and there will update all the clothes you already own and ensure that you stand stylishly apart from the winter crowd.
“Its all about getting the balance right. You want to pick a bold colour to work with, and then neutralise that bold colour with neutralisers. A neutraliser is simply a colour which will compliment but add a duller approach to your look. Colours include navy, beige, black and grey.”
Coloured trends don’t have to be restricted to your wardrobe. Coloured accessories are a subtle way to add a statement piece to your outfit. It’s cost effective and an easy way to enhance your existing autumn/winter wardrobe. One bold item will add a brighter look to your wardrobe, confining your bold piece to neutral tones or denim: too much colour and you could wind up looking like a clown.
Layering is a big trend this Autumn/Winter and is a great way to combine your favourite pieces and wear something comfortable and flexible, while showcasing your sense of style. This is perfect for the beginning of autumn, as you can slip on/off a piece of clothing depending on the temperature, the season which can be hard to dress for in the early winter months. Layering is also a great way to experiment with colours. If you’re uncertain about wearing something quite bold you can test the coloured palette by layering a coloured item of clothing with some darker tones, perhaps ones you already have in your wardrobe too.
Just because people expect you to step out in the usual darker, winter colours doesn’t mean you have to be afraid of colour. Get it right and you’ll avoid resembling a patch work quilt. The key is to keep it in the same colour family. For example, pick a tie that picks out a colour you are wearing, either on your shirt, belt or another accessory. Don’t do what a lot of men do; believe the common misconception that your belt should be the same colour as your shoes! As long as the colour of your belt and shoes are similar you’ll look sharp. In fact, this rule applies to your entire ensemble. There’s no need to pick two colours and have the same shade of each reappear throughout the outfit e.g. brown shirt, brown belt, brown shoes. To add a bit of variety to your outfit, pick similar tones and shades that belong to the same family that work well together (for example: browns, oranges and greens)
The initial jump to new shades and tones can be intimidating for many men, but as long as you wear colours right, they don’t have to look as if you don’t know what season we’re supposed to be in.
It used to be that colour came only from a bright scarf or a wacky tie, hidden under a dark winter coat or blazer or taken off when you reach the office. Yet as fashion evolves, so do its’ rules. We can also conclude that the weather doesn’t dictate the colours you can wear, your palette shouldn’t be limited; just because it’s dull outside doesn’t mean your wardrobes have to be too.
By Clare Maguire