It’s probably the most important element in putting together a winning look – the way your colours work together. Here are some fireproof combos…
Red, white, and blue
A preppy combo that’s formed the backbone of Tommy Hilfiger’s all-American aesthetic, this patriotic tricolour works 12 months a year, from brighter outfits incorporating more white during summer — think a white polo with bright red shorts and blue detailing — to darker shades of blue and red in winter — a navy pullover with dark burgundy chinos, for example, or a classic blue Harrington jacket with red tartan lining. On the more formal end of the spectrum, a navy suit with a white shirt and red tie is the safest option in the book.
White and tan
Neutral, breezy summer favourite — imagine a bright white cotton tee with camel shorts, or a crisp white Oxford shirt paired with a fitted pair of chinos and bright white trainers. White with pastels — gentle shades of blue, pink, and green — is another summer go-to for bronzed blokes, but pasty gents should be warned that white washes out lighter skin tones.
Muted shades of brown, grey, and green are versatile and work with every skin tone, and form a safe, reliable colour palette for your workwear. Camel and grey work together particularly well — especially with a dark grey base of trousers with a lighter camel top — and burgundy is a contemporary alternative to brown leather, especially in sophisticated dress shoes like brogues or monkstraps.
Navy and black
There’s a menswear myth that navy and black can’t be worn together, because they’re so similarly dark that they don’t provide your outfit the necessary contrast — but this is a rule that was meant to be broken. Black and navy are unmistakably masculine and super easy to match — it’s important to harness clashing textures, though, to add the necessary contrast — we’re talking a navy winter knit on top of black jeans, for example.
Black, white, and grey
Greyscale is particularly on-trend at the moment, especially in activewear and synthetic materials, and again the trick is to contrast your fabrics — a bomber jacket against denim jeans, or a cotton jumper against synthetic tracksuit pants, both provide that tonal contrast you’re looking for. Black and white delivers a clean, monochrome aesthetic but the lack of colour can look boring if the textures and prints aren’t eye catching, so this palette is a great basis to experiment with daring patterns and fabrics.