Last week I discussed the importance of personal style and the role it plays in our personal brand. This week, I’m giving you, my fellow gents, an introduction into basic colors and items that will quickly up your style game this spring.
If you missed last week, check it here. Else, let’s begin!
Before I can discuss exactly what you should wear, we need to talk about what should be a primary concern when buying new clothes. Proper colors.
Why should you worry?
The right colors will compliment and contrast your skin tone, hair, and eye color. The wrong colors may wash you out, cause your skin to look unhealthy, or even make you look older (in a bad way). Ultimately, there are a number of variables that will affect your contrast, but can be broken down into three basic categories: Stark, Moderate, and Muted.
You have light skin and very dark hair. Most Asian men will fall into this category as well as all but the lightest skinned black men. Wear cool colors (see below) with medium to high intensity. If you’re suiting up, look for black, midnight navy, dark grey/charcoal with white shirts and bold colored ties.
You have fair skin and darker hair. Your contrast is still obvious, but you need to be wearing warm colors with medium intensity. If you’re suiting up, look for navy, tan, olive green, light grey, and brown.
You have light skin with light hair. Wear warm colors but focus on colors with lower intensity that are also analogous to each other on the color wheel. The same rules apply for suiting up as your moderately
contrasted male counterparts.
It wasn’t until this past fall that I fully embraced proper coloring in my wardrobe. I’ve learned that colors have the ability to make or break you, which is why I’m stressing their importance now.
Need anything more here? Check out Tanner’s full breakdown at Masculine Style. This is my favorite menswear & personal style blog. Learn from the best.
Spring: Put it in your step.
Because it’s spring, we’ll be seeing a shift in colors and materials. Chalky/pastels are in. Dark, gloomy, winter colors are out. This also means you’ll be switching from materials like wool and tweed to their lighter more breathable friends linen and cotton…even seersucker if you’re feeling especially adventurous.
I recognize that many of you are on budgets. For this reason, I’ve included my primary suggestions and in some cases, backup options, in the event you find yourself unable to buy the primary suggestion. Word of caution: with these products listed below, you will get what you pay for. Quality is greater than quantity. Don’t forget it.
Also, thrift shops are can be an incredible source for finding vintage (and new pieces) to add. If it doesn’t fit quite right, check out a local tailor. They’ll be happy to help you out.
What should you wear?
Terry or Henson Chino Blazer—These will both serve as great pieces for the spring and will take the place of your jacket or hoodie while bumping up your style in a heartbeat. Frank and Oak has awesome quality, but if it’s outside your price range, check out the blazers at UNIQLO.
Factory Slim Washed Shirts—Stick to the slim cut casual shirts and stay away from the dress shirts. GAP also has a good selection of shirts—same price range. I’ve yet to find a casual button up inside $40 that is worth buying, so I’m hesitant to link you here. Proceed at your own risk. Quality will be better than quantity. J. Crew Factory features big sales on the front page.
Baldwin Twill Pants and Newport Chinos—Frank and Oak nailed their pants’ cuts. They fit like a tailor has touched them and they’re comfortable, breathable and totally wearable for spring. For $50, you can’t go wrong.
Slim-Cut Henley—With most things, the key here is slim. Henley shirts are a great way to layer in the spring. You can layer one with another or you can toss a blazer on over the top. It’s a more casual look but still allows you to stand out amongst your classmates.
Desert boots—I like these for the spring/fall because of the material—not too light, not too heavy—and the coloring, which will anchor an outfit or spice it up with some loud colors. These will run you between $60-90 on average but can get much more expensive depending on the brand.
Put it all together
As men, spring is an awesome opportunity to showcase our style. Essential to spring wear is your ability to layer. Given the suggestions above, you’re more than capable of combining any of these pieces to build several new outfits in your wardrobe. Add to any of these outfits by throwing a scarf around your neck or by wearing pieces with contrasting textures, e.g. a linen blazer, chambray shirt, and cotton chinos.
The sites suggested feature put-together-looks for you to get a sense of how to actually build an outfit if you’re struggling. Check out what each has to offer.
Ladies, catch you next week.
PS: Do your boyfriend a favor…link him the article…take him shopping…then let him take you out to dinner. It’s win-win-win because we all win 😉