How to match colours successfully when you dress

Mixing and matching is intuitive

If you’re a fashion conscious man who likes to look his best, you will be familiar with mixing and matching colours. Nowadays, anything goes, but there are some men who like to match colours perfectly so that they turn heads in the office or on a night out.

Some men find it frustrating to have to follow protocol and make sure every item matches perfectly. Others simply throw caution to the wind and wear what they want.

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Mixing and matching colours can simply be intuitive or you can stick to the hard and fast rules. Similar to cooking in which chefs use flavour profiles, fashion too has a set of rules. Flavour profiles are groups of flavours and ingredients that are linked to certain types of food, for example Mexican and lime, or Chinese and soy.

As flavour profiles exist in the food profession, colour profiles too exist in the clothing industry, and this works mainly by intuition. Colour profiles are groups of colours that appear together frequently.

Complement, don’t match

The first rule is to complement, not match. Some basic complementary colour combinations include red and green, yellow and purple and blue and orange. Neutrals complement many wardrobe items and there are good store cupboard shades. They consist mainly of grey, navy, dark blue, brown, black, white and olive. They’re given the name neutral because they don’t overpower and they go well with deeper, more intense colours.

Examples of complementary items include olive chinos and a white shirt, or dark denim jeans and a light blue top, or alternatively light denim and a navy shirt. A good British staple look is khaki style chinos and a matching shirt.

Men can’t go wrong with Farah shirts to complement trousers or denims. They are available from stores such as EJ Menswear which stocks a wide range. According to Trend Spotter by pairing the right colours, you can enhance your appearance and achieve a balanced look.

There are some items which really ought to match. For example, if you’re wearing a pair of leather shoes and a leather belt, it’s good fashion practice to make sure these items match as closely as possible. And if you’re wearing a leather jacket, it’s ideal to make sure it matches too.


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