Current Issue » Lifestyle » Vol. 19

Men ~ Color Can Be Your Friend

By Lynn N. Capri

White, pale blue, khaki ~ these are the typical go-to shirt colors for men. After all, they go with almost everything, right? Wrong! And two of the most important things they might not go with are your skin tone and your hair color. So, while we don’t suggest going to the opposite end of the spectrum and sporting orange or bright purple, we do suggest considering some of the below options before purchasing your next shirt.

Just say, “No” to beige


Beige…ooh, it’s a deadly color for shirts and sweaters ~ basically, for any item that is worn close to the face. Almost no-one looks good wearing beige because if you wear beige, you start to look beige, aka bland and slightly ill.

French blue is your friend

Here’s a color to which you most definitely should say, “Yes.” A very rich, color, French blue flatters almost all skin tones and brings out the

brightness in most eye colors. It’s easy to find dress shirts in this color, too, for all seasons.

Bright, monochromatic socks should be outlawed

Don’t get us wrong, striped or argyle socks that incorporate bright hues can add a bit of whimsy to an ensemble if carefully selected. BUT…donning a pair of bright, solid colored socks is a definite fashion faux pas.

Avoid loud patterns like the plague

Loud, busy patterns are distracting and sometimes even slightly nausea-inducing. Wear them and you could easily become a stereotype. We’ve got two words for you: Hawaiian shirts. Instead, think solids or, at most, pinstripes in subtle colors.

Summer is a time for color

Ok, since we’ve cautioned you against the evils of Hawaiian shirts, we’d better offer a viable substitute for summer or tropical mid-winter getaways. Since the season is generally associated with vacations and a more festive feel than the rest of the year, light and yes, even bright, colors are perfect. Don’t go crazy, though, a buy a rainbow of brights ~ choose one or two that work with your natural (tan or untanned) skin tone and hair tone.

Keep color around your face

Women have make-up to make their eyes and facial features pop. You don’t, but you can rely on shirts, ties, and sweaters (and the occasional winter scarf) to accomplish the same.

So ~ if you’re ready to turn your back on the bland rack, or if you’re ready to try some different colors to test out our advice, the easiest way is to go to your favorite department store and simply hold different items up to your face. Once you get used to the idea that this method is not just for women, we think you’ll realize that it really does help ~ and we bet you’ll come home with at least one or two new shirts to add some understated style to your wardrobe.

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