Five Color Coordination Rules from http://www.askmen.com/fashion/fashiontip_300/340_fashion_advice.html
Does this tie match? What color shirt goes with these pants? These confusing, colorful questions burden every man, everywhere.
Gentlemen, to truly master the art of dressing, we must become learned individuals on the basics of color coordination. And learning to combine colors isn’t as difficult as you might think. A complete understanding of color and the color wheel is a time-consuming lesson, but thankfully an easier, more basic way for coordinating colors exists. While numerous, more complex rules are out there, here are five easy-to-use rules for color coordination.
1- White shirts go with everything
When all else fails, raise a white flag. A white shirt works with absolutely anything you have, especially those uniquely colored items you’re not sure how to match. Couple it with a bright, patterned tie or wear it under a pastel-colored V-neck sweater; either way you're looking sharp and perfectly coordinated. A classic, well-fitting white shirt is timeless, worth its weight in gold, and sure to keep you on the front line of fashion.
2- Gray complements bright colors
Use gray to control any experiment with color. Great for dulling down vivid colors, gray works well with almost any color out there. So, if you want to test the waters or add a punch of color without going overboard, use something gray (pants, sweater, jacket) to manage the boldness of stronger, brighter colors. Not only will you earn kudos for your strategic stylish use of color, but gray itself is a smart, sophisticated color that’s cool, classic and chic.
3- Don’t wear colored pants
No matter who you are, resist the urge to wear colored pants. Pants (slacks, chinos, jeans, etc.) are the one area of your wardrobe where you should always resist a color infusion. Loudly colored pants are clownish and obnoxious; never should your pants be more attention-grabbing than a shirt or tie. Since pants provide the foundation for every outfit, they should always appear understated, polished and refined: blue jeans and neutral-colored slacks only.
4- Wear different colors of the same value
For best results, all the colors in any one outfit should match in terms of their value. As a basic color concept, “value” represents the degree of lightness or darkness expressed in every color. One helpful trick is to imagine how the colors you’re using would appear in a black-and-white photo; colors that would have a similar gray scale are the ones to combine. Or, most obvious of all, you can simply pair bright colors with bright colors, pastels with pastels, etc.
5- Use complementary colors
Pull in countless compliments by pairing complementary colors. Colors directly opposite one another on the color wheel are considered complementary: red and green, yellow and purple, blue and orange. Matching complementary colors together is a sign of a confident, knowledgeable dresser, and doing so creates an impressive, color-rich palette. Go for gusto and wear an elegant orange tie with a tasteful blue checked shirt for a modern, sophisticated look.
Crash Course on Color
Coordinating colors can be a tricky business. But the fact remains that this is something we all must learn to do, even if on a very basic scale. That’s why the five simple tips above can serve as general rules of thumb to get you started. Go ahead and give it a try; prove to yourself and the world around you that you’re a snappy dresser with the color-coordination skills necessary to mix and match your way to a more dapper, color-savvy style.
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