Menswear has a weird relationship with colour. While womenswear embraces the bright and the beautiful, most guy’s wardrobes are built around the neutral trifecta – navy, grey and black. But things are changing. This anything-goes style moment, in which side-stripe joggers with a blazer has become a perfectly fine work outfit, has also ushered in a chance – nay, an obligation – to explore new regions of the colour wheel.
Wear Tt To: A Wedding
Dressing like a daffodil makes any outfit more celebratory, which is precisely what you’re after at a summer wedding. This combination is particularly good if you’re trying to get more mileage out of your work suit – just add a yellow tie and green pocket square.
Yellow And Purple
Opposite each other on the colour wheel, pairing yellow and purple technically works, although it’s generally more suited to murals than capsule wardrobes. That’s perhaps why it’s favoured by attention-loving organisations like the LA Lakers, which means it’s better worn as accents than head-to-toe.
“This is a next-level move and really requires you to take texture into account as both, even at their dullest, are strong colours that easily overwhelm,” says McDonald. “Trying these with flat cotton will be very tricky.”
Wear Tt To: Lunch With The In-Laws
Wild colours are often easier to dress up than down because you can temper them with more interesting fabrics. “Do like Italian designer Massimo Alba and use fabrics like corduroy, cashmere or linen to soften and lighten up the intensity,” says McDonald
Red And Orange
“I would have thought that orange and red would have never worked, but that was before I saw [Netflix documentary] Wild Wild Country,” says McDonald. “It turns out that if you’re part of a charismatic cult that requires you to wear sunrise colours, you find a way to rock it.”
It’s another case of adjacent colours here, so you need to differentiate them, either through shade or texture. “The key is confidence, but also taking staples and making them fun through colour.”
Wear Tt To: The Beach
Not actually on the beach, of course, but that little bar where they pour the perfect Negroni. Because this is very much an off-duty colour combo – think a bright red tee with a rust-hued suede jacket.
Neon And Black
This might not seem all that surprising, since black goes with anything. But because this darkest of dark shades creates so much contrast, it makes brights appear even brighter. And turns neon blinding.
“On paper, neon is just about impossible to pull off unless you’re an ironic shell-suit enthusiast, but actually it’s such a punchy category that it makes an outfit on its own,” says McDonald. “The key is making a strong contrast between sober and semi-smart black items and the compellingly gauche neon centre.”
Unsurprisingly, neon is the perfect way to give easy looks a jolt of something different. “A neon pink T-shirt under a black wool suit is a compelling contrast,” says McDonald. “But neon should be the frosting, not the cake. So no neon trousers with a black T-shirt.”