A Man's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Shirt Color
Keyword(s): shirt color
You'd love to be able to imitate the look of some of the best-dressed men on the planet. You wish you could put together an outfit that turned heads in both the bar and the office.
You're not opposed to giving your style a bit of a makeover, but the truth is that you're not exactly certain how you should begin.
In this post, we'll introduce you to one of the most important aspects of getting dressed: choosing the right shirt color. Don't worry -- it's not rocket science, and it won't require you to spend hours at a shopping mall.
Instead, it's all about understanding good color combinations, knowing how to update your shirt for any occasion, and finding the perfect fit.
Learn how to rock a floral design or master the basics of dressing.
Read on to understand how to look perfect no matter where you're headed -- or who you'd like to impress.
Master Basic Color Theory
The best way to pick out the right shirt color for you?
Start by doing a bit of homework on the basics of color combinations through color theory.
Take a look at a color chart to help you understand which shades clash and which ones compliment each other. Plus, understanding the basics of complementary colors and more will help you to make sure you're selecting colors that help you to make the statement you intend to.
For example, if you're looking to stand out, look for those opposite on the color wheel. This means pairing colors like red with green, or blue with orange.
In the cases of complimentary colors, choose one shade to be the shirt's background, and another for details like stripes and prints or ties.
Also, it's important to understand how color theory works for you depending on your skin tone and hair color.
For example, if your skin tone and hair color are in sharper contrast, you should look for high contrast colors as well when it comes to a shirt.
This means pairing a white shirt underneath a blue or black blazer, for example.
However, if you're more low contrast in your appearance (like if you have light skin and a light hair color?) You need to be certain you choose good color combinations that reflect that.
This means you might need to lean more on the monochromatic side when it comes to getting dressed.
What if you want to stay within a single color family (for example, wearing different shades of blue?) When you're going for this look, we suggest that you select analogous colors. These are colors that are close to one another on the color wheel.
Winning Color Combinations
Especially as you're just starting to learn about the color wheel, finding colors that go together can be tough.
Luckily, when you're choosing shirts with more than one color -- or are looking for the right tie -- there are a few great pairings that never fail.
We love the classic combination of burgundy, navy blue, and white. You could even add in a bit of yellow or gold when it comes to the accessories you wear with this combo.
If you want to give green a go, we suggest pairing it with black slacks and some white shoes to avoid clashing. If you want to get some extra attention, consider trying out yellow and green together.
If you're interested in developing a bit of a softer look, you can't go wrong with pastels. Especially if you're in the market for floral prints, or if you just want to keep things delicate, baby pink and light blue are stunning together.
This works best in spring and summer, of course. If you're looking for a seasonally-appropriate color combination for winter, skip the pastels and go for darker colors. This can include things like red with black, for example.
Now that you have a few ideas, let's talk about how you can develop your signature color.
Choosing Your Best Shirt Color
Let's move on to talking about how to learn which colors will look the best on you.
The first step here is for you to develop your overall color profile. While we all have certain colors we like more than others, it's key to remember that your favorite color might not be the one that looks best on you.
To really nail your look, you'll need to take the time to learn your color profile.
There are three main profiles: cool, warm, and neutral.
The easiest way to figure out yours is to check out the veins on your arm. If your veins look green, then you have warm undertones in your skin. If the veins appear more blue or purple, you have cool or neutral undertones.
Make sure that you do the test in natural lighting to get the proper results.
More Ways To Find Your Color Profile
If the vein test doesn't work for you, there are still plenty of things you can try.
Start by grabbing two pieces of jewelry (we give you permission to raid your girlfriend's closet.) Select one gold option, and one silver piece.
Then, go into natural light and put one on each wrist. Which ones looks better on you? If gold is your go-to, then you have warm undertones. If silver makes you look better, then you have cool undertones.
So, which shirt colors should you wear depending on your skin profile?
If you have warm skin tones, you should try yellows, oranges, olive green, cream, and even gray.
If you have a cool skin tone?
We suggest that you go with so-called jewel tones. This means that colors such as magenta, emerald, silver, and even reds if you want to make a seriously lasting impression.
In the end though, remember to wear what you love!
Other Color Tips
Are you trying to match outfits, or find a piece of clothing for a special occasion?
Especially if you're shopping at multiple stores, we suggest that you bring a few color swatches of fabric with you. If you can't get a swatch, then always bring the shirt you're trying to match in with you while you shop.
This will help you to ensure that you've selected the best possible colors. You don't want to spend your time and money shopping for a pair of pants, only to get home and realize that they don't look right at all.
When to Go with a Bold Print
Now that we've covered the basics of how to choose the right shirt color, let's talk about another important element of getting dressed: understanding patterns.
Everywhere you look these days, it seems like menswear is increasingly embracing patters and prints. Harry Styles in Gucci suits, Virgil Abloh's Wizard of Oz-inspired collection, and Adam Levine in grown-up Hawaiian shirts.
So, what do you need to know about color combinations and picking the right patterns if you want to do something a little more daring?
First of all, ensure that the shirt you select doesn't leave you looking like a rainbow. While three and four different colors within a pattern are great? Six or seven different colors can end up clashing.
The same thing goes if you're looking for a novelty printed shirt. If you're not careful, it's pretty easy to unwittingly end up looking like a cartoon character.
Look for chic takes on classic images, like this car printed shirt, a shirt with animals, and more.
When in doubt, don't be afraid to embrace the florals trend. We love the bold contrast of beautiful white flowers on the black background of a shirt. Floral shirts also bring a playful element to suiting. Pair with a well-fitted blazer and a skinny tie for a look that's both fun and elegant.
When you're wearing a print or pattern on top, it's best to keep the rest of your outfit simple. You don't want someone's eye to be jumping all over the place. Pair with a pair of dark or light denim jeans, and choose a jacket or blazer in a solid color.
Remember to rock your printed or patterned shirt with confidence. After all, it's the greatest possible accessory.
Choosing the Right Fit
Picking the right shirt color is, non-negotiable, and a huge part of dressing well.
But something you should also take into consideration when you're shopping for the right shirt?
A slim fit helps you to look your best, ensures you don't accidentally end up looking heavier than you are, and fits well underneath other pieces like suits and jackets. To make sure you've chosen the right fit, look for a slim fit that still gives you a full range of motion.
Additionally, don't neglect the fabric of the shirt when you're trying to find the right piece. A shirt that's made of a cheap and scratchy fabric make have a great price tag and look excellent on the first wear.
But anything after that? Chances are, things will start to quite literally unravel. Plus, uncomfortable fabric is always a bad investment, because you'll never end up actually wearing it.
Our shirts are made from elegant Italian fabrics, and designed by experts with a long history of working within the fashion business.
When to Wear a Colored Shirt
One of the best things about button-downs in any color?
They're one of the most versatile pieces of clothing possible. Once you've found good color combinations, you need to start thinking about how to make them work for any occasion.
We love the ease with which you can go from day to night when you're wearing a button-down shirt.
For example, for a standard day at the office, wear a solid colored button-down in any color with khakis, black pants, or jeans if you can get away with it. To keep things a bit more casual, roll up your sleeves to your elbows.
You can also look for shirts that have prints and trim on the interior sleeves and collars, like this option. This will allow you to add a bit of color and flair to any outfit.
You can choose to tuck in your shirt to make it look a bit more formal, and then untuck it when you meet your friends for happy hour later.
You can pair a shirt with a knit tie, a skinny tie, or even a patterned option to easily dress it up. To take things a step further, throw a jacket into the mix for added elegance.
Just because a shirt is collared, doesn't mean that it can't be casual. With the right footwear, like Chelsea boots, sneakers, or comfy loafers, you can easily make your outfit more relaxed.
You're an Expert in Choosing the Right Shirt Color
We hope that this post has helped you feel much more in control of how to select the right shirt color, style, and fit for any occasion.
Remember that, more than anything else, investing in classic and quality pieces created from well-made fabrics is the most important thing.
If you're interested in expanding your wardrobe, start by stocking it with a few of our pieces.
At Jared Lang, we're all about sophisticated modern menswear that makes you feel cool and classic at the same time. We invite you to browse through our epic collection of outerwear, shirts, and more to find out more about the man we can help you to bring out in yourself.
After all, you don't deserve anything less than the best.