The Men's Guide To Matching Colours To Create The Perfect Look - THE STYLE INSIDER

Admit it: many of us men stick with the same colour palette no matter what we’re wearing. Black, grey and navy are the usual go-tos simply because they’re safe. But where’s the fun in that? Experimenting with colour opens up a new world of dapper fashion that you’re currently missing out on. When it comes to matching clothes colours for men, knowing which colours work best together isn’t as difficult as it seems, and there are some pretty basic ways of finding out what combinations look best.



When it comes to mastering colour, there are a few techniques to stop you from committing a serious ‘fashion fail’. Incorporating brighter hues into your wardrobe doesn’t mean covering yourself with various neon colours and looking like you’re bound for a rave – unless that’s the look you’re after, of course. Using a colour wheel as a base is a great starting point when matching clothes colours for men, and the following three methods make it a surprisingly simple process.


One of the most obvious, and easiest, ways to pair colours up is to use ones that sit immediately beside each other on a colour wheel. So, for example, dark blue and purple are thought to look good when put together.


The next effective technique is looking at hues that sit directly opposite each other on the wheel because they have an interesting contrast. Blue and orange are a great example of this.


One of the lesser-known techniques for finding colours that work well using a wheel is what’s known as the ‘triad method’. It basically consists of finding three hues that are spaced apart equally. Putting a marker on every fourth colour in a wheel will give you a triad that, in theory, works well together. You don’t have to wear them all at once if you don’t want to, just pick the two you think flow together well.


Using the above methods is a great starting point, but you’ll need to use your own judgement too. Bright yellow and purple are pretty hard to incorporate into a wearable look, despite them being complementary colours, so focus more on dulling down shades than sticking with the colours shown in the wheel. Green can be swapped for khaki, vibrant reds for burgundy and so on to make them easier to bring into your everyday wardrobe.


Trying out new colour combinations can be intimidating when you’ve never tried it before, so start with the basics. Choose a neutral base to match with another toned down hue, such as burgundy with grey.

Pair a dark grey polo top with a burgundy track jacket to achieve a laidback look with hints of ‘athleisure’. Leave the jacket unzipped to get the desired effect and to show off your colour combination fully. The bottom half is simple: your favourite jeans and some sporty black trainers.

Rob’s Top Tip: If you’re nervous when it comes to colourful pieces, stick with the neutral base you’re used to and gradually add brighter hues. You don’t have to start big either; consider adding a unique belt buckle, a burgundy hat or a blue tie if you don’t want to throw yourself into the deep end of the colour wheel.


Once you’ve started introducing subtler tones into your wardrobe, start thinking about the brighter combinations. You don’t have to go all out just yet; choose a very dark colour to start with, so much so that it could almost pass as a neutral colour. Navy is the best example of this, as it adds a spark of colour but is dark enough to work with most colours.

Orange and dark blue are complementary tones, making it a great choice to add to the outfit. An orange ringer tee can be bright without looking garish, so you’ll be turning heads due to admiration rather than confusion.

Layer a navy sports jacket over the top but make sure you leave it open so the contrast of orange and navy is clear.

Rob’s Top Tip: Orange is a pretty bright colour, especially to those who don’t usually wear it. Keep the outfit wearable by choosing fitted black jeans. They’ll act as a blank canvas, toning down the look without stealing the show from the orange and navy combination.


As mentioned, going for more colour doesn’t mean picking the brightest shade in the shop. Toned down shades work just as well, but we’ll be staying away from too many neutral hues in this case. Black or denim jeans are both absolutely fine here, as it’ll be the top that steals the show.

Start with a salmon pink shirt and layer a khaki knit over the top. The two muted shades complement each other wonderfully despite their differences, so make sure the collar is fully peeking out. A shirt and jumper combo always looks great with some trusty Chelsea boots as they’re just as practical as they are fashionable. Brown looks great with khaki so try adding a matching belt to complete the look.

Rob’s Top Tip: This look isn’t just for the colder seasons. In fact, taking off the jumper will let you show off more of the shirt. Don’t discard it altogether though; wrap the jumper around your waist to bring a more casual vibe to the look or tie it around your shoulders for a more dapper focus.