Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to add color to my daily wardrobe selections. To me, color adds that extra bit of panache, that is normally missing from the every day man’s ensemble. Those pops of color are just part of my style, and being stylish isn’t as difficult as it seems. But first, you must understand that there is a difference between stylish and trendy. Style is all about knowing who you are, and where you’re going – and it’s personal. Trendy has more to do with following others, while style is about leading the pack. You can be stylish and still be on trend, but if you go for trendy first, your style will suffer.
Women frequently comment to me about how they wish they could get their spouse, significant other or male family member(s) to wear something other than a blue or a white dress shirt. And now, more and more men are having conversations with me too, but they tend to talk about how they can’t pull off color in their wardrobes, because they are just not comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, blue and white dress shirts should be owned by every man as they are classic staples. However, I choose to expand my collection to include items of various colors and designs. But for the man, or woman who has a man, that feels more secure with a blue or a white dress shirt, you can still add a bit of color to up your style game for the office or out on the town.
Here are five tips to help you add some color to your wardrobe, while still feeling comfortable within yourself.
- Get rid of the stripes. I see so many men still wearing the traditional diagonal striped ties to the office with their blue or white dress shirt. If you must wear a blue or white dress shirt, you can still add some color by simply changing your tie. Ditch the stripes, and opt for a paisley or plaid design. If those designs aren’t appealing to you, and you want to stay with a striped tie, choose a tie with a horizontal design versus the standard diagonal design.
- Wear a cardigan. Sweater weather is better weather, and I love sweater season. If you wear a suit or tie everyday, try swapping out your jacket with a cardigan. The cardigan sweater will still give you the formality of wearing a suit jacket or sport coat, but gives you the versatility of adding color to you ensemble. When choosing a cardigan, choose a contrasting, yet complementary, color to match your shirt or tie. If your base, meaning your pants or shirt, is of a darker shade, to add contrast, choose a cardigan that is of a lighter shade. This rule holds true in the reverse.
- Go with a v-neck sweater. For the man who wants to wear a suit, but doesn’t want to don a tie, there is an alternative to wearing an open-collar shirt. Switch up your look with that same open-collar shirt, by donning a v-neck sweater. Worn under your suit, the v-neck sweater rule is the same as the cardigan sweater rule I mentioned above – choose a contrasting color. When you add that v-neck sweater with a classic white dress shirt, it’s a look that no one can resist.
- Grab a pocket square. Fair warning…you have to be careful here. You don’t want your pocket square to be the exact same design as your tie. Don’t get me wrong, you can do that, but it comes off as someone who put on what the box gave them, as opposed to someone who chooses to own their look. Choose a pocket square that has the same color palette as your tie and rock it. You can rock that pocket square with any and every look that involves a jacket, even a t-shirt.
- Show off your socks. For the man who is just not comfortable with any of the looks above, the easiest and cheapest way to add color to your wardrobe without drawing too much attention to yourself is through your sock game. The same style rules apply here, choose contrasting colors. The devil is in the details, so when people see that you care about the minor details like your socks, you’ll leave an impression on everyone.