A(nother) ten minute masterclass on colour combining

Oh, it’s so lovely when you all like a blog post. And you loved last week’s one on combining colours, if all the emails and comments were anything to go by. Since we had several comments asking for the same approach for other seasons, and one request to show how colours can be combined for men, I thought we’d take another look at colour combinations, this time for an Autumn and, for a bit of a change, for the male of the species.


As I mentioned in last week’s post, inspiration for these colour combinations comes from Kettlewell’s ingenious colour combinations page (just click on colour combinations for your season to see a whole host of ideas). If I happen not to have covered your season here, please don’t fret – you can translate the looks in both this post and the one last week into any season or colour combination.

Now, back to these males of the species. I, like most stylists, see a fair number of male clients, and one of the biggest challenges for men can be to find and incorporate colour into everyday outfits, as so often men’s fashion is a sea of navy, grey, black and sludge. I’ve picked autumn as it can be one of the trickiest seasons to dress men in, particularly if you don’t want to disappear in a sea of khaki and warm grey.

Adding colour to a man’s outfit can seem daunting initially, but you can make life easier by adding a wow colour in the form of a tie or a scarf, and picking blazers and suits in their best neutrals to really elevate an outfit. Shoes, watches, bags and coats can also be used to add a little interest, particularly if the man in question works in a corporate atmosphere and has limited scope for expressing his personality through clothes. For more relaxed occasions, colourful cashmere sweaters in winter and t-shirts in summer are always available, and can really lift an outfit from that basic ‘jeans/chinos and a top’ look.

Rules for adding colour to outfits for men

  • Pick accents, like scarves, watches, bags and even shoes (there are loads of coloured shoes and trainers around at the moment).
  • Try to get a wow colour up near the face to lift an outfit – a scarf, a checked shirt in a wow colour or a tie can help do this.
  • Concentrate on colours toning together – if you can’t buy a suit in the perfect Spring grey or Summer airforce blue, go for something that carries the traits of the season (i.e. not too dark for Spring, keep it soft and cool for summers) so it will work as well as possible with skin tone and tone in with other colours from the appropriate seasonal palette.
  • Choosing a work shirt in good colours will make an enormous difference – even choosing a creamy shirt for an Autumn or a Spring, or a soft pink or blue rather than white for a Summer will make a world of difference.


As usual, details of all items shown can be found on our Polyvore page (except for the suit which is by Ralph Lauren).

One thought on “A(nother) ten minute masterclass on colour combining

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  1. Great article, love the Emporia Armani watch, it has a warm feeling about it – most watches look so cold!

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