A Man’s Guide to Colors


how men and women see colors

If there’s one thing us men are really bad at it’s cooking and color matching. Unfortunately, that last problem can affect our fashion sense so… guess what? We’re going to deal with it.

Now, I could tell you about all the ways you can figure out which colors work well with others, but I already did that. Instead, I’m going to cover a topic that’s of critical importance.

I want to give you the most common color names.

There’s a cute picture running around the Internet about how men and women see colors:

how men and women see colors

Funny, isn’t it? Still, if we want to make outfits that stand out ,we should know these colors. Don’t worry – it’s easier than it looks and I’ll be right here to help you fixate these colors better. I’m not just going to give you the names but also some example outfits, to fixate them better in your memory as well as see how they work together.

Grab yourself a cup of coffee and let’s get started… we have a lot of colors ahead of us.

1. Reds

Red is a very powerful color that will easily make you stand out. It’s really easy to go over board with this one:

red

Fortunately there are plenty of nuances of red that will stand out a little less and make our outfits look more stylish. For instance…

indian red

And here’s a darker red which I’m sure you’re familiar with and that you’ll like A LOT:

burgundy

And here’s a nice plaid burgundy shirt. Hype it if you like it.


Some other colors derived from red are:

magenta

Here’s me in a magenta shirt with rolled-up sleeves:

magenta shirt

Rose bonbon

Fuchsia

Carmine, a deep red:

Fuchsia and carmine work wonders with black, by the way.

Now there are a lot of other reds, such as cerise or chestnut, but the ones that I showed you will do. Let’s just focus in these two, which you can visualize as in-between red and blue:

indigo

Lavender

You can go ahead and wear more than one shade of red on the same outfit. Just make sure you coordinate this powerful color with the rest of your outfit colors.

2. Browns

You’ll often hear me say that brown is the new black. This is because brown colors are an amazing way to stand out from other men’s outfits, primarily centered around blacks.

Let me show you some common browns that you can incorporate into your outfits right now. This is brown…

brown

A hot color from the browns family is camel.

camel

In the look below you can see a camel blazer paired with an earth yellow pair of pants:

And how about desert sand? You’ll often find this color on desert boots such as these, from Clarks:

desert sand boots

desert sand

And here’s another very popular color. If you’ve ever worn a pair of khakis, you know what I’m talking about:

khaki

Here’s how I chose to match khaki (you can do it differently):

Some other browns include…

redwood

Mahogany

and

Ochre

3. Whites

Since we saw what khaki looks like, let’s discuss whites, for a second, shall we? If you ask women, they’ll go on and on about the different nuances of white, such as ivory, beige, pearl, eggshell, mint cream etc. etc. etc.

Let’s see a few of them.

ivory

If you don’t look closer, you won’t even see the difference between ivory and white. Yet there is one and most women know about it. It wouldn’t hurt if you did too. 🙂

Cream is actually pretty close to khaki, if you look closely, yet the two should never be mixed up.

cream

And how about this one?

pearl

Ever heard of pearl-white? Now you know what it looks like. But wait, how do you match it?

All whites are considered neutral colors. This means they go well with pretty much with anything. Of course, a good color coordination in the rest of your outfit is necessary.

4. Yellows

Yellow

gold

jasmine

Vanilla

5. Grays

Pay particular attention to these if you’re looking to get a new suit.

gray

silver

charcoal

6. Greens

green

olive

Here’s an outfit with olive chinos for reference:

Olive is a great color for pants. it’s not too balsy, yet it can make a great fashion statement if you know how to match it. Plus, if you’re a military style fan, you’ll be twice as happy wearing a pair of pants such as these.

bright green

spring green

7. Blues

blue

cyan

azure

Azure is my favorite color by the way.

turquoise

Take a look at this turquoise scarf. It’s a great way to add some color during winter. You’ll need it particularly if you have, say, a navy blue overcoat.

teal

aqua

mint

dark blue

navy blue

ultramarine

baby blue

Take a look at this nice baby-blue short sleeved shirt:

8. Oranges

orange

orange-red

peach-orange

Orange works very well with black, gray, brown and blue so, if you based your wardrobe around these 2 colors, add a touch of orange every now and then to take your outfits to the next level.

Of course, you don’t have to pair orange with just blue or grey, you can play around with shades and nuances as much as you like. Here we see how the color in discussion is paired with taupe and turquoise:

Peach is a nice variation from orange, which you can pair with light blue. As you can see this fellow did an amazing job:

Let’s wrap this up with a small quiz. Just answer the questions in the comment box below.

1. What’s your all-time favorite color?
2. What are some of your favorite color combinations that you use in your outfits on a daily basis?

Stay stylish,

George

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27 Comments

  1. Zahaib Iftikhar
    February 15, 2012

    I have grey 2 piece suit i.e. paint and jacket, I want to know which color of shirt and tie is best combination in your opinion, moreover in second dress which color is dark brown please also suggest same shirt and tie combinations.

  2. February 25, 2012

    Hi there – I think the Men’s Guide to Colour is fantastic so thanks for that. I came across your site via Google Images & found the diagram how men & women see colour. My research aim is to find inspiration for the the 6 male singers I have in an acappella group (mainly middle aged) amongst 17 female singers. I want the guys to have a strong identity within this context as it is generally difficult to attract male singers. but to enable that i got the group to vote in a new name so we were formally Kiss the Ceiling & now we are Sound Foundation. This name change has immediately doubled the male singing component so we now have a more balanced sound. Now to get the identity supported by the outfits. Essentially am asking everyone o be in a black strip but to have accents bold colours. With my web search I’ve not got too much that is helpful for the men. Ideas which I know are limited – waistcoats, jerkins, open over-shirts, ties. I know it is difficult to advise from afar but if you have any images/ideas I could suggest to them I’d be most grateful. Many many thanks & All the Best Jackie Music / Artistic Director

  3. February 25, 2012

    Zahaib Iftikhar :

    I have grey 2 piece suit i.e. paint and jacket, I want to know which color of shirt and tie is best combination in your opinion, moreover in second dress which color is dark brown please also suggest same shirt and tie combinations.

    So you have a dark-brown suit. Try these shirts:

    – white
    – light blue
    – pale yellow
    – light green

    And try these ties:

    – purple tie (for a light blue shirt)
    – purple tie with yellow dots (for a light yellow shirt)
    – light brown tie for a white shirt. Add a white pocket square.

  4. April 3, 2012

    I just bought a dark purple shirt as well as a blue and white strioed shirt. Can you help with the color slack to where with it. I have an idea by the color wheel, but I just want to make sure.

  5. April 3, 2012

    Hey,

    You can wear that dark purple with a white tie like so (this is most liked picture from the Lookbook at the moment).

    You can of course wear purple with other shades of purple, red, blues, black or even brown.

    The white and blue striped shirt probably looks like this, right?

    Khaki, beige, brown, green, black. I’d stay away from yellow and red, those combinations would be too strong…

  6. gene
    June 7, 2012

    Navy blue is my favorite. I usually pair it with brown, but I probably go with a brown that is too dark. I also really like light grey.

  7. Wyatt DeShane
    March 2, 2013

    Going to the Prom and I plan to wear a black suit. My date is wearing a creame dress. What color shirt, tie and hankerchief should I use.

  8. shahzaib
    December 19, 2013

    i have dark brown waist coat and cream trouser …i want to know best matching color for shirt.

  9. Raymond
    January 31, 2014

    Great style George.

    Please help me. I will be attending a wedding and would love to wear my coffee brown suit (I’ld love to do the standard white button-covered shirt, no tie, black belt and black shoes). The suit
    Problem is: the pants of the suit have been damaged but the jacket remains in mint condition and fits on me perfect.
    Kindly advise on what alternative color of pants could go with a coffee brown jacket and white shirt.

    Thanks.

    Raymond

  10. mani
    February 1, 2014

    Hi,
    I have red chinos which color shirts i can prefer to wear

  11. Bassel ismaeil
    February 9, 2014

    i have an engagement event, and i was thinking of wearing a black blazer with white shirt under and a blue bow tie , and the trousers will have an indigo color with black leathery loafers and black suspenders instead of a belt, what do you think ?

  12. Magi
    February 14, 2014

    hi !!
    I have Maroon jeans , I want to ask you that which colour of shirt will suit best with maroon jeans ??

  13. sab
    March 27, 2014

    Hi
    In which colour shirts, tie and pants ( formal ) do a brown skin guy look good during summer?
    Please respond.
    Thank you

  14. kevin
    July 17, 2014

    what colour top goes best with ochre chinos?

  15. pyrros
    August 12, 2014

    Hello,

    Iam planning to wear an aqua-azur suit ,white shirt, black tie and black trousers. I don’t know what color must the shoes be.Can you please give some ideas?

  16. pyrros
    August 12, 2014

    black is good for all skin colors and in your case i would say a light blue with white shirt.@sab

  17. pyrros
    August 12, 2014

    the same like her dress@Wyatt DeShane

  18. October 4, 2014

    So I have homecoming tonight and my date is wearing a cream colored dress I’m dressing semi-formal what should I wear?

  19. Jason
    October 31, 2014

    What are my options for some light green mint pants?

  20. Shiv
    November 18, 2014

    I have a maroon blazer..but couldn’t understand that which colour of shirt will match with the blazer.

  21. unais
    December 31, 2014

    hai i have one dark sand color casual jacket. which color shirts and denim i using this jacket.

  22. unais
    December 31, 2014

    which color shirt and denim i wear this jacket(dark sand jacket)

  23. Mubeen Akthar
    January 28, 2015

    Hello!!

    I have a cream color pure cotton trouser from Arrow i just need to know with of the T Shirt and shirt will get match for the same. please suggest.

    Thanks & Regards

    Mubeen Akthar

  24. mahir
    March 16, 2015

    hi…..i bought a dark blue denim and a white shirt. please help me to match a perfect waistcoat with it…..what colour waistcoat should i match and how about shoes and tie colour

  25. Dan
    May 24, 2015

    So, I have a cream/khaki jacket with a light blue shirt, a navy blue tie, navy blue pants (goes more for black, like almost black but not quite there), beige shoes (a bit darker than original beige) and I want to buy a pocket square but I can’t decide what color/colors I need for the pocket square to highlight me, and overall to match the other colors.

  26. Sthembiso
    August 13, 2015

    Hi, I bought turquoise blazer and white shirt but I dont know what color pants I should wear?

  27. October 28, 2015

    I am trying to decide on what color our company logo should be on a couple different shirts. With that in mind our company color is kelly green. I am ordering a Ash polo shirt and a black shirt. What color logo should I get done on these shirts? We have show next month and i really want my shirts to pop.

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