Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, Drake, Pharrell Williams . . . these men of colour are some of the most stylish blokes on the planet. So what outfits do they employ to flatter their darker complexion?
Pastels are your friend
Contrast is key to flattering your skin tone, so warm, bright colours pair beautifully with a dark complexion. While extremely bright hues — lime greens and brilliant yellows — can stand out too much, chalkier pastel tones help your complexion glow in contrast. Polos and button-down shirts are an easy way of incorporating pastels into your wardrobe.
Rock a navy suit
Everyone looks sharp in a tailored blue suit — but not many pull it off quite as well as Ejiofor’s character in The Martian, styled with a classic gingham shirt, on-trend knit tie, and handsome brown Oxfords. The dark suit still offers enough contrast with your skin tone, especially if your shirt is a lighter colour — pastel pink, for example.
Avoid black and white
Even though you’re looking for contrast, there is such thing as too much of a good thing — and wearing bright plain white can be simply too stark against a very dark skin tone. At the other end of the spectrum, black doesn’t offer enough contrast and clashes with your skin. One exception is socks — black is a safe option that won’t stand out too much, unlike lighter colours.
Use tan and grey
Here’s that magic word again: contrast. Suits in colours that are lighter than your skin tone flatter your complexion, so look for formalwear in shades of grey and very light brown. Khaki trousers should become another wardrobe staple for the same reason. These neutrals go with everything, especially those pastels and brighter colours that would flush out paler skin tones.
A dark complexion provides a great backdrop for a white watch face because the timepiece stands out even more — the same with gold, silver, and platinum details, which shine by comparison. Sunglasses are another important consideration — darker sunnies can get lost in your face, so opt for reflective or coloured shades instead.