All right Rogues, we are going to be getting colorful today.
We have talked a little about why it is important to put some effort into your appearance and how that effort can be reflected in your interpersonal encounters with others. I discussed how wearing stylish and smart clothes could improve your social standing with others. How even your casual clothes should make you look good in the eyes of others. But people are still looking at you funny. What gives?
It isn’t enough that you put on nice clothes. A wardrobe is not simply limited to type of clothes you are wearing but also the colors you combine on your body. In this humble Rogue’s observations here are far to many people out there that don’t understand color theory when they get dressed in the morning.
What is color theory, it is the practical application of mixing colors and specific color combinations. In many respects it is an atheistic science of light, because that is what color is, reflected light waves. Luckily you don’t have to be a physicist to understand color theory and apply it to your own wardrobe. (A handy thesaurus of colors)
Let’s get the trickiest part of this out of the way, our bodies. Your skin tone is going to have a lot of influence on what kinds of colors you should and shouldn’t wear. As a general rule the darker skin tones are going to have a bit more flexibility in what hues they can get away with while paler complexions will be a bit more limited to the darker spectrum of colors.
Lets take me for example; I have very pale skin tones, with a slightly reddish complexion. Now because of that there are certain patterns and colorations that I generally try to ovoid because they do not complement my complexion. If I wear colors are too bright then I can get washed out, or my skin will reflect attributes of the fabric’s colorations. Bright red makes my skin look ruddy, yellow makes me look sallow and corpseish, so I generally avoid them altogether. On the other hand I look really good in duskier tones like purple and darker shades of red. In general I wear cooler summer and winter tones.
However people with darker complexions in general look better in brighter colors. Someone with a nice rich olive or bronzed cast to their skin can look amazing in shades like pink or orange.
On top of all that the light of your environment is going to play a huge role in how colors look on you. White light, or light that most closely resembles sunlight, is going to give you the best idea of what your clothes are going to look like. Your best bet when shopping for new clothes is if you like it in the store buy it and then try it on at home in the sunlight. Stores try to have the most flattering lighting they can in their locations, so you can’t really trust them. How often have you loved the way something looks on you when you are in the shop but then you get it out in the sunlight and it seems to have mutated into something unflattering. It’s all a matter of lighting.
Luckily there are some colors that just about everyone can wear. Your neutral blues, greys, blacks, and even most shades of brown. In general these colors are a good bet no matter what your seasonal tones are.
Alright we have figured out what colors work well with your complexion, but dangit your favorite color isn’t one of them. Don’t fret there is a way for you to wear any color you want and still look amazing. The key is accents and highlights. Your primary attire, your shirts, jackets, pants and what not should be in the colors that you know complement your skin while you can use non complementary hues to add a bit of variety to your wardrobe.
Going back to a personal example we’ll look at myself and orange.
I don’t look good in orange, not even a little bit. However I do look good in just about every shade of blue. Luckily for me blue happens to also be one of my favorite colors.
Before I continue I need to explain a few fundamental concept of color theory. First, just as in relationships, opposites attract when it comes to colors. Secondly there are only three colors. The human eye is really only designed to perceive yellow, blue, and red. These are the three primary colors that we can perceive, everything else is a mix or shade of the three primary colors. The different shades of purple are mixtures of blue and red, while the oranges are shades of red and yellow, and we all know what happens when you mix yellow and blue, how else were we to make grass when our green marker ran out.
The reason I am telling you this is because there are colors that should never be mixed. They are opposites of each other and thus when we blend them together they turn into some nasty shades of mud. Luckily you can’t mix the colors of your clothes like you can paint. Could you imagine that though, getting dressed would be even more of an art form than it already is. What you can do, however, is combine colors.
Apposing colors, such as blue and orange, should never be mixed such as in paint or other color mediums,but for some reason they look great when paired together. This is really important because it can really change your outfit. Yellow with purple, red with green, and blue with orange are the primary color combos. Combining these colors can really boost your style game.
So go out there explore and experiment with colors see what works for you.
And go Rogue.
The Rogue Gentleman.