Choosing Your Colors
Choosing colors is a central part of selecting your wardrobe. Color is the first signal we send to others. It’s the primary external sign of our taste. And it’s usually the factor that causes us to be attracted to – or to reject - a garment. After all, it’s not very often we say to ourselves on first sight of a new jacket or pair of pants, or whatever, “I don’t like the cut” or “that looks like it could be a tad tight in the rise.” We simply say “That color? No way!” Or, more positively, “I love the color.”
So, how do we get it right with color? Is there even a “right” to get in the first place? In reality, color is hugely personal and subjective. Behind the science – the physics of wavelengths, densities and light absorption – is the basic question of whether we like it or not.
Where some see a hideous clash, others perceive only a bold pairing of contrasts. One man may love purple, or salmon pink or oatmeal, while another would quite literally not be seen dead in any of them. And in the inconsistencies lies the best answer of all: if you like it and it makes you feel good, then go for it! After all, nobody ever died from the shock of a dinner companion in mustard sport coat, red pants, lilac shirt and a saffron tie (although it probably didn’t do much for his appetite).
There is a whole raft of science beneath color choice and compatibility. A good place to start if you don’t know it already is the color wheel – a scientific analysis of the spectrum colors and a good indicator of what will best pair (or most clash) with what, color wise. (Insert color wheel graphic or link here.) And an excellent place to continue is the wit and color wisdom of our resident style arbiter, E.J. Topper.
Topper’s Top Tips on color are the fruits of a unique insight into what makes an outfit fit for purpose in every situation, from the boardroom to the boardwalk. He takes into account everything imaginable, from the season, to the occasion, to the risks involved in certain color decisions and the rewards to be gained from others. Somewhere, and you don’t have to go over the rainbow, is a world of rewarding color choices for the discerning and effortlessly dressed big and tall man. Let Topper take you there.
“The best color of all? That's easy. It's the bright shade of confidence that accompanies any well-dressed man."
– E.J. Topper
Pick one of the following color palettes to get Topper's thoughts on piecing together the right combinations: