A Primer On Killing It With Color

February 26, 2013 · 12 comments

in Color, How To

Hey Gents,

I get a lot of questions about how to match color, how to complement color, or how to put an outfit together with different colors.

I don’t think about this too often in my everyday life, but I realize it may not come so easily to everyone, so I did this little exercise. Feel free to try it out if you’re so inclined.

I went to Kuler, a color scheme generator web app I use fairly often. I scrolled through and chose a few color schemes I liked. From there, I hit up ShopStyle (a great tool for product browsing) and started searching for clothing that more or less matched the individual colors in the color scheme I chose.

By the way, I mapped it out in my head beforehand, so I had an idea of what to look for.

The following is what I came up with.

Three random color schemes, three (or four) outfits

Editor’s note: If you’re reading this at a date later than the publish date, there’s a possibility some of the products are no longer available via the links below. Search on ShopStyle for other options.

Scheme 1

Visit this color scheme directly: https://kuler.adobe.com/#themeID/2216979

I put together two outfit possibilities for this color scheme.

Outfit 1a details: khaki chinosred chambrayPolo striped rugbygray longwings

Outfit 1b details: navy chinos, red chambray, burgundy striped sweater (aff link), gray longwings

Scheme 2

Visit this color scheme directly: https://kuler.adobe.com/#themeID/2246791

Outfit details: gray pants, off-white check shirt, eggplant cashmere sweater, brown military jacket, burgundy boots

Scheme 3

Visit this color scheme directly: https://kuler.adobe.com/#themeID/2228604

Outfit details: teal sport shirt, heather sweatshirt, brown pants, gray blazertan loafers (aff link)

I did this to prove to you (and to myself) how simple it is to put color together. It really isn’t that difficult! I found clothing online so I can give you multiple examples, but you should do the same thing with the clothes in your closet or the clothing you plan on buying.

Sometimes it can be hard to step away from the tried-and-true color schemes you’re used to (blue denim, black shirt, for example). I always encourage you to experiment with color to keep it interesting.

Even more tips on killing it with color

Don’t immediately dismiss certain color pairs without trying them out, just because you think they don’t look right together… you’d be surprised.

Two individual colors in a scheme may not complement each other well on their own, but as long as the palette as a whole looks good, you’re fine.

Sometimes it’s about feeling. Do these colors feel good together? Seriously. For you analytical minds out there, this might be tough, but sometimes the “answer” is just a good overall feeling. After a while, you’ll know what feels right and what feels off.

Don’t overthink it. I can’t stress that enough. Don’t overthink things too much. This will lead to analysis paralysis, and eventually you’ll give up and revert to your usual color pairings. That’s boring. You’ve already picked out the outfit; just throw it on and walk out the door.

Remember, even if you think you messed up (you probably didn’t), no one will notice anyway, because everyone’s too concerned about themselves and lost in their own world.

That’s it! Any questions I didn’t already answer? Let me know below.

PS – I’m releasing a new mini eGuide soon! It is focused on helping young men (anywhere from ages 15-25 or so) dress more like a grownup, with a focus on affordability.

Sounds like something you could use? Make sure to get on the EG mailing list; I’ll be announcing its release there first. You can sign up here: http://exclusive.effortlessgent.com

About

Barron is the founder and editor of Effortless Gent, a site dedicated to helping guys figure out what looks best on them. He's based in San Francisco. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Previous post:

Next post: