Originally Posted by Kurt N
Actually I think that picture proves the point. Brad's good-looking, of course, but he's not looking his best in that rig.
The advice about pastel or monochromatic is too extreme, but it is true that guys with low-contrast complexions are better off in slightly muted, low-contrast color combinations--hence charcoal or grayed navy rather than black or midnight navy. Brad would look better in a charcoal jacket.
I absolutely agree that charcoal would look better in that shot. To be fair, though, he does show some reasonable contrast in that picture (hair to face (both bleached strands vs. face as well as darker roots vs. face), at least compared to some people. Still low contrast, but I would consider it toward the upper end of "low contrast". The pastel/monochrome suggestion, I believe, applies more to people with truly minimal contrast.
There is a degree of variance, for sure, along with certain exceptions, but in general contrasting your jacket, shirt, tie, and so on to reflect the natural contrast in hair, skin, and eyes can give a fairly safe guideline. To some extent, anyway.
Plus, being attractive in general tends to make these types of rules less important.
Originally Posted by HarleyBob
I have always been confused by the general rules regarding clothing color, skin complexion and hair color. Why does your first example not work and your second work? I am not saying you are wrong, I am just wondering how you arrive at your conclusions. Thanks.
One important reason contrast is chosen this way is typically to make the suit/tie guide viewing eyes up toward your face. Too heavy or too light a contrast tends to leave people staring at the clothing, not the clothed. Another reason (and don't underestimate how much this second reason helps drive the first) is the accentuate the face. To make certain colors stand out, and others fade back.
There are other reasons, but those two in particular are quite important.
Again, though, there's plenty of variance in the actual contrast between shades, along exceptions to the rules as well.