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On-Point Colour Strategy

  • 4 min read

Wearing a button-down with style and flavour will have you filled with a confident look on just about any occasion. That said, sometimes you want to make sure you are pairing up the right things, for the same reason milk + banana = good, and milk + orange = bad.

Disclaimer: ain’t no restrictions. We’re definitely not saying you need a team running a complicated calculus formula every time you feel like heading out.

But a few cheeky tips might take you to Funkytown.


Look to a day when people will not be judged by the colour of their skin – Martin Luther King

Not today MLK.


Having a keen eye for your colour complexion, goes a long way into putting together a charming outfit.

And getting colour right isn’t really rocket science.

First let’s bring out your inner narcissist and have you focusing on a mirror.


What colour are you? Not ethnicity, but your skin. Don’t worry if it’s not exact but you’re either Cool or Warm or maybe somewhere in between.

Cool Skin Tone

  • You’re underlying hue is going to be pink or blueish;
  • You sunburn easily, and take longer to tan;
  • Veins have a blueish, purplish tint;
  • Your eyes tend to be blue, grey or green; and
  • Silver metals will look better on your skin.


Cool (L) vs Warm (R)

Warm Skin tone

  • Underlying hue is yellow, gold or orange;
  • You tan well or you don’t burn easily;
  • Your veins are more greenish than blueish;
  • Your eyes tend to be brown, hazel or amber; and
  • Gold really livens your skin.

Now looking at the magic colour wheel below, you can start to see which shirt colours work naturally for you.

Colours are complicated, and being warm doesn’t stop you from wearing green, but knowing where to start means you can focus on the shade which works best for you.


Now we move to combining your features and outfits - so back to the mirror to figure out your contrast strategy.

Your Natural Contrast is what you’re born with, mostly on your face (between your hair colour, skin, eyebrows, eyes, lips, teeth).

Figure out what level of natural contrast you have.  The greater the difference between colours, the greater the contrast. Simple.

After that we can take it to the next level and work on ouroutfit contrast which is entirely under your control.

The mix between your shirt, jacket and pants for example.

I was born High Contrast

You’ll look good in outfits which have contrasting garments, as the contrast on your face mimics that on your body.



Too little contrast for these gentleman, and it’ll look like there face is floating.

I was born low contrast

These men have a more subtle contrast between hair and skin, and may also have little hair or be bald. In this case one should strive for monochromatic (single colour) look.

I was born low contrast

These men have a more subtle contrast between hair and skin, and may also have little hair or be bald. In this case one should strive for monochromatic (single colour) look.

 Too much contrast compared to your face, and eyes will be drawn away from the face and become distracted by the outfit instead. We want people looking at the beautiful head.  


Choice of belts

If you tuck out, not so relevant as your belt will be hidden. 

If you like to tuck your shirt in though, there are simple rules with belts and they depend on the occasion you are dressing for.

For formal, try for a thinner understated belt that matches the leathers on your shoes. For everything else, our philosophy is simple: don’t wear a visibly branded belt, and slow down on the matchy matchy.


Choice of pants

It all depends on the occasion. Chinos, jeans, shorts or even dress pants can work with button-downs. There are two key rules to follow: 1) Make sure the pants are well fitted, you can’t be walking around in sacks if you’re sporting a button-up. 2) Put some thought into colour, belt and shoe pairings.



What have we learnt?

Take note of your colour tone, your colour contrast, and link that to the outfits you wear.

You’ll feel naturally balanced, while all eyes will look up and down your body with the right kind of fluidity and flow.

You don’t look at someone on the street and say ‘wow he’s got the right contrast levels’. Of course not, you’d get slapped.

But you just know they have thatjuno se qua -A beautiful French term which describes an elusive quality, and may get you slapped when said in public.



Keep in mind

You might be warm, cool, high or low contrast, or somewhere in between.

But there are no restrictions, and we are definitely not saying someone with a warm skin tone can’t wear blue. But if he wears it and looks good, he’ll look even better if he incorporates a warm colour into his outfit.

End of the day it’s quite simple – look charming and enjoy life.





Bonus Jacket Tip

If you’re wearing a chicken and a pattern print close to the body, wear something solid on the outside.