When it comes to colour palettes and clothing, us gents are not known for our adventurous out look. Men are well-known for playing it safe, keeping it simple; unlike our female counterparts, more often than not we like to blend in rather than standing out from the crowd. Of course, there are the dandies and the peacocks who are a splendour of colour in an otherwise dreary world but for the most part, give a man any shade of blue- from navy through to sky – and they are generally content with their lot.
But even the more adventurous male dresser will balk at some colours. When I first informed my male friends and colleagues I would be writing an article on the colour mustard, most of them, although not all I hasten to add, immediately pulled facial expressions of indifference or uttered phrases such as “that’s a hard colour to pull off” or “I’ve never worn any mustard” their voices laced with a sense of panic and/or disdain.
But once I had sat down at my laptop, mulled over some ideas and began to research images to accompany this article, I soon realised that mustard is a colour few dare to wear and the disapproval of my peers seemed to have some truth to it. Mr. Porter had only one mustard jumper and a smattering of t-shirts (see the J Crew sweater and Levi’s Vintage Clothing t-shirt picture below), while on the Topman website, much to my amazement, of the 250 sweaters and hoodies on display not a single one was mustard or even a dark yellow.
The deeper I delved into the murky world of mustard, the more I wished I’d chosen a different topic to write about but unperturbed and as a lover of the colour with regard to its role in the sartorial psyche, I decided to persevere with my endeavours and prove that us gents can indeed, and certainly should be sporting a colour that could have been made for the depths of winter.
People may argue mustard is ‘not their colour’ due to either their light hair or skin tone but I would disagree; be it black, white or brown skin, blonde hair, blue eyes or black hair with brown eyes, wearing mustard, or not as the case may be, is more a mental block rather than a sense of something one simply cannot wear because it ‘doesn’t suit me.’
Mustard is in fact the ideal colour to compliment the more traditional blacks, blues and greys us men so often wear day in day out. A good pair of classic blue jeans and a washed red shirt could be offset perfectly with a mustard sweater or cardigan while mustard colour chinos are ideal with a crisp button down shirt. Or how about a mustard coloured shirt and pair of black skinny jeans and Converse hi-tops.
The trick with mustard is to ensure the rest of your outfit is suitably toned down in colour. You want the mustard to be the key element of what you are wearing, it needs to be the lead singer while your navy blues, dark maroons and blacks make up the rest of the band – just as important but without the ego to boot.
The mustard t-shirt gives you free reign to pull on what you like with regard to the rest of your wears. Black jeans are ideal although there is nothing wrong with teaming them up with a blue pair either. With it being winter, a great pair of black boots will be the perfect complement to said tee and to top it off, why not get yourself a good black leather jacket.
If mustard is associated to any item of clothing in our wardrobe, it is without doubt the chino. No matter the season this is the one time men actually wear mustard without feeling self conscious about the colour they are wearing. With a burgundy sweater or navy blue t-shirt mustard chinos are offset perfectly and can be worn with all manner of footwear from brogues to boots, trainers to pumps making them an ideal item for any mans wardrobe.
If chinos are the go-to piece for mustard, the shirt is one item people avoid more than any other but they are missing a trick. The key, as with most clothing, is to keep it simple. A good pair of trainers for a more relaxed look, a dark denim jacket or navy rain mac and away you go. Or why not pull on a burnt orange or electric blue heavy knit over the top just to accentuate the beauty of the mustard shirt.
SWEATERS / KNITWEAR
If you haven’t got the message by now then maybe you never will but the fact is, a good mustard sweater or, even better, a knitted jumper really can be the proverbial icing on your sartorial cake. I defy any man who says he can’t wear mustard with a warm mustard knitted top, it really does go with everything and anything. From blues to burgundy, black to white, get online now and check out some of the best pieces the web has to offer.
Good folk of the fashion world go out there and embrace mustard because whatever you think, you can wear this colour.
Ok, ok, so if you have dark hair it may look better than lighter hair but wear a pair of mustard chinos with a navy top, rather than trying to make the mustard jumper your sartorial ally and you will soon realise this is a colour for everyone.
Plus its winter and the greys, blacks and whites are beginning to make our wardrobes a little dreary so why not lighten the mood a little. If fashion can’t do that, then what’s the point.