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Colour and Menswear - Page 2

post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



Nice but that's a slightly darker shade than I think of as teal. I mean this sort of colour:



Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

Teal jacket might be pretty tough though.


Really, really tough.


Theoretically, it should harmonise with blues (esp. darker blues) and possibly lilac/lavender with cream & grey being suitable neutral choices, and orange being a good accent shade for it. And yet, whenever I try combinations around these colours, I'm not really happy with any of them. You can see some of my failed experiments to date in the spoilers below:


Warning: Teal Madness (Click to show)




The cream trousers with blue shirts & brown/burgundy accents are the only ones that I think come remotely close to working, colour-wise. I'm getting to the point of just saying that while I love the jacket colour, fabric & style details, I just can't find a place for it in my wardrobe. Annoying, because it's Loro Piana and I won't get back anything near what I paid for it, but I'm thinking I may have to bite the bullet & sell it. It being about 0.5" too long for me doesn't simplify matters either. confused.gif

post #17 of 34

Holdfast, I think the peach shirt is good, but I really don't like the bright blue trousers with it. I bet if you had a red-and-white end-on-end bengal striped shirt (a suggestion I'm stealing from Flusser) that would work as well. I feel like the texture cries out for a knit tie -- how about a solid brown, burgundy, or burnt orange? The look with the cream trou, blue striped shirt, and brown tie is the best of these.

post #18 of 34
Yea those socks are a darker shade of teal. Rubinacci used teal a good amount in their pocket squares. Maybe take a look there for inspiration?

Regarding burgundy, it's not that I don't think anyone would wear, just not a color I like to wear.
post #19 of 34

One thing I have noticed and been thinking about recently is the combination of a lighter and darker color as it relates to being too "matchy". For example. a light blue dress shirt with a dark blue tie is a staple of mens wear, and even though it is blue on blue, the combination rarely appears to come off as too matchy, but rather a classic, effortless, timeless, sleek combination. Gray on gray also seems to have this character about it.


When blue is replaced with other colors though, it seems that it starts to venture into the territory of being overly matchy - light green striped dress shirt with dark green tie, or light purple shirt and a dark purple tie.


I wonder if this is just because we aren't as accustomed to seeing those kinds of combinations compared to blue on blue, and so they more immediately draw attention to the combination? Or is it more to do with the hue/tones of the other colors, and certain light/dark shades being more subtely complimentary than others. Is blue on blue an exception to the norm, or should we embrace a similar approach with other colors?

post #20 of 34
^ I think people are used to seeing blue and white dress shirts, blue and grey suits and blue and grey ties. So when you put a couple of these things together, it doesn't tend to attract a lot of attention. Part of it could be that the combination is itself a classic staple and our brains tend to view things a certain way as a result of a combination of objective aesthetics and social context. The less common the item, the more attention it is going to get. Even though light purple shirts are something that people regularly see, they do not see them nearly as often as blue or white shirts. Same idea with a dark purple tie. So you have greater scrutiny being applied to the combination and that may contribute to a perception of matchyness. Another possibility is that people are more likely to be able to play with texture in a way to make a blue on blue look more interesting and less matchy because they own more blue shirts and ties.

FWIW, I think that a lilac shirt with a dark purple tie can look fine (though I prefer it with a navy or midnight tie with a grey suit). I just never liked green shirts, so I am probably biased. I will say, however, that a pink shirt with a burgundy tie is a great look and IMO not at all matchy. Maybe this is because burgundy or at least dark red ties are commonly seen in other contexts.
post #21 of 34
Personal coloring plays a role in that. Purple is closer to personal coloring than is green and therefore multiple purple pieces doesn't look as bad as multiples of green. "Bad" often means unnatural or abnormal, probably both with an underlying threatening association, Gray is a neutral, so combining it mainly has the risk of looking lifeless..
post #22 of 34

By personal coloring do you mean skin tones? Sorry, not familiar with that term

post #23 of 34
Skin color, eye color, and hair color. The prevalence of blue eyes makes blue clothing more accepted than purple or green.
post #24 of 34
I don't get how purple would be closer to personal coloring than green, especially with the blue eyes comment. People actually have green eyes in the wild; purple eyes not so much. Can't think of any real relevant skin tone or hair color associations that would change this. To be clear, I agree that pairing shades of purple together generally looks better / is less risky than the same for shades of green, but I must be missing something re: personal coloring.
post #25 of 34

Nobody has green undertones to their skin, as far as I know. Plenty of people have reddish and bluish undertones to their skin.


I think the tone-on-tone issue is basically due to familiarity. Also, blue is a pretty universally flattering shirt color, and navy is a pretty universally "safe" tie color, so seeing a lot of them together is not a surprise.

post #26 of 34
Originally Posted by YRR92 View Post


I think the tone-on-tone issue is basically due to familiarity. Also, blue is a pretty universally flattering shirt color, and navy is a pretty universally "safe" tie color, so seeing a lot of them together is not a surprise.


I agree, but any thoughts on why this is the case? Is it a matter of the colors themselves being naturally and inherently flattering in combining their light/dark versions, or as you and other supposed above is it just what we are most used to? Is navy tie on light blue shirt just categorically better than similar scenarios with colors like green, purple, etc.?


More to the point, is venturing into a similar approach of dark on light with non-blue colors that end up being more "matchy" not as ideal? 

post #27 of 34

P.S. Where the F is Holdfast, should be dropping some eloquence on this conversation?

post #28 of 34
I've only ever met one person who didn't look good in blue. She wore lots of green, orange, brown and cream.
post #29 of 34

A lot of the common assertions about what colours suit what 'types' of people have no more objective validity than astrology and ofted draw on very dubious and simplistic sociobiological explanations. That's not to say that there aren't some things that really don't work for particular skin tones. The best thing is simply to experiment and find out what you like and what seems to suit you.


As for the 'prevelence of blue eyes', this only makes any sense if you were talking about somewhere like Germany. As even Wikipedia will tell you, "Dark brown eyes are dominant in humans." And in the US, blue eyes are around 50% of the white population (in fact  blue and grey, 32%, and mixed grey-blue-green, 15%, together make up a minority, 47%, of the total population), so even as a generalization about America, it's simply not true, and brown eyes are also prevelent.


Personally my eyes are hazel, and it's my personal experience that the colours I'm wearing affects what colour my eyes appear to people, although not quite as much as the ambient lighting. It's not that my eye colour 'suits' certain colours, but that they can look blue, green or brown depending on context and conditions.


We've also had the conversation about dominant colours in men's clothing recently when talking about brown suits and their decline. Again this shows, as if it needed to be said, that it is simply is not the case that blue and grey have some natural affinity to skin tones or eye colours that has always been recognised. Suit colours used to be much more diverse in the early to mid-C20th. They were also pretty diverse in the mid-C19th, but in between were periods of more restricted palettes. Greens, browns, rusts and so one were all worn much more often from the 1930s to 60s, and into the 1970s before the accepted male colour palette experienced another narrowing. It's fashion not nature.

post #30 of 34
I have a teal DB suit from the early 1990s that I keep for a future halloween party. I did wear it to work at one point and recall getting complements (from women only). I suspect many of us with an interest in fashion and menswear went through a more fashion-forward phase that involved wearing the colours that designers deemed "of the moment". Once I got more serious about understanding menswear traditions I went to the Manton/SF-rule school and gradually switched to CBD as defined here on SF. While most of my shirts are white or blue, I have a few pink or with burgundy/green stripes or checks. Suits are blue/grey though I have olive flannel and brown/tan as well.

I still like colour but now use tweeds (winter) or linen/silk/cotton (summer) jackets to incorporate colour. With odd jackets, there seems to be a wider acceptance of colour (and texture) variation.
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