Choosing The Perfect Colors For Your Skin Tone
Now that we’ve spoken about color theory and coordination, what are the best colors for men and their complexion?
This article proceeds in two phases. First, we offer an easy-to-use chart so you can figure out the best colors for you based the combination of your skin tone and hair color.
Second, we dive a little deeper in the subject and discuss why certain colors are consistently among the best colors for men.
The Color Chart
To better guide you, we’ve created an easy-to-use chart.
|Hair Color||Best Colors||Colors to Avoid|
|Black||Blue (light to medium), Grey (all shades), Green (all shades)||Browns, Yellows, Tan|
|Blonde||Blues, Deep Navy, Grey (most shades), Red (especially Brick)||Dark Brown, Beige, Yellow, Light Grey, Black|
|Brown||Olive, Grey (most shades), Tan, Brown (most shades), Blues (most shades)||Dark Grey, Mustard/Most Yellows, Orange|
|Gray||Navy, Grey, Maroon/Deep Reds, Black||Browns, Green, Tan, Yellow, Many Pastels|
|Red||Browns, Grey (some shades, especially medium), Green, Blues||Light Grey, Red, Yellow, Orange|
|Hair Color||Best Colors||Colors to Avoid|
|Black||Ivory, Tan, Green, Pink, Yellow, Violet||Dark Greys/Charcoal, Most Blues (especially Navy)|
|Blonde||Beige, Light Grey, Pink||Dark Navy, Dark Brown|
|Gray||Most Colors (Lucky you!)||Yello, Most pastel tones|
|Red||Tan, Brown, Greys||Red, Yellow|
Looking through the table, we notice blue, grey, brown, and green are consistently the best colors for men. Why is this?
Why Blue, Brown, and Grey are the Best Colors for Men
Blue, Brown, and Grey are consistently the best colors for most men because they are the most versatile.
These the most versatile because there is enough contrast between shades of each. Let’s break down what we’ll call the “menswear trifecta”
Blue is the Best Color For Men
Blue looks excellent on most skin tones precisely because of the high contrast between that color and your skin.
If you have light skin and dark hair, a dark navy suit creates quite a bit of contrast. That contrast builds up mass and allows you to stand out-in a good way.
Blue looks particularly smart on those with darker skin as well. Since no one (on this planet, at least…) has blue skin, the color creates enough contrast for many of us.
Additionally, the color blue is a cool color, bringing out the tone in those with cooler skin tones.
How do you know if you have cool skin tones? Look at the veins in your forearms. If the appear blue, you have cooler undertones to your skin.
Brown pairs particularly well with blue because brown is an extension of orange. Orange and blue are complementary colors on the color wheel. which means they play particularly well together.
Additionally, orange and blue create brown when they’re mixed together.
Brown is a warm tone, which does two things well for our skin tones.
First, if you have particularly light and cool skin, it balances out those tones. Second, if you have darker, warmer skin, it actually enhances that warmness.
The warm tone of the brown and the cool tone of the blue play particularly well together.
Grey is the third component to our trifecta. We’ve included it because it’s a neutral tone and not necessarily a color, per se. Grey, along with black, white, and tan are all neutral tones.
So, why not choose one of these other tones among the best colors for men? As neutrals, they go with almost anything. You could argue for any of them and be technically correct.
However, we believe black and white can be eliminated from contention because they are simply too stark. True black and true white are the absence of color.
While tan is a neutral shade, we consider it too close to brown be effective at creating enough contrast in outfits. Additionally, unless you are very dark-skinned or very light-skinned, it sits particularly close to the skin tones of many of us.
Grey, then, is what we’re left with. It’s the “Goldilocks” of balancing between the warm tones of brown and the cool tones of blue.
So, Why Not Red, Black, or Pastels?
You may also have noticed we put bright reds and pastels on our list as frequent colors to avoid. There are a few good reasons.
First, even, though, red is a ‘primary’ color, it is very strong and tends to be a statement unless deployed sparingly.
We believe style is best expressed when it doesn’t shout.
Additionally, red tends to clash with skin tones and many hair colors-especially if yours is red!
Black, as we spoke about above, is an especially stark and formal color. That makes it limited in its versatility.
Here at Ask Andy, we believe the most stylish items are those with the greatest variety in application.
Pastels are also difficult for many of us to pull off consistently well. For many men, it just washes out their skin.
But, like with red, pastels (unless in blue or green) tend to be limited in their use.
Summing Up: The Best Colors for Men
Just because blue, brown, and grey are the best colors for men doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and experiment.
Darker-skinned men can look particularly good in bright colors- oranges, reds, and even yellow or pink can look lovely.
The same goes for light men and pastels. Andy has seen heavyset, blond, pale gentlemen working bright floral shirts with confidence!
And, at the end of the day, then, color comes down to confidence and what you like. If you like bright reds- wear them! Keep in mind, of course, the context and the situation.
For more, we have a lengthy discussion on our forums here.
Thanks for reading, and we do hope you found this guide helpful.