How to wear (for men): Colours for Work

Updated on December 17 2016

Donning on colours is definitely precarious for the guys because it is inevitably much harder for them to pull off vibrant hues, as compared to the ladies, without looking like Mango (from Saturday Night Live) or Stanford Blatch (from Sex and the City). Sometimes, the colour choices might even clash – just think green with purple, the perfect combination for social suicide.

But that does not necessarily mean you should completely deter from colours. In fact, dressing up in colours can be beneficial, as they are able to evoke different moods and emotions, which is always good to liven up a dull atmosphere.

Rigid white collared jobs might pose a little challenge, but instead of the usual pale blues, soft pinks and whites, try to explore colours for work. It can be fun, but be sure to avoid clashing different shades of colours. Stick to the same family of hues, or you can always pair a sunshine yellow shirt with a neutral (think sand, khaki or black) coloured trousers.

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Show Your Strength

Red is a good representation for power and control, and being in a vermillion suit is a great way to garner the attention of everyone during a business meeting. Since your suit is overly vibrant, keep everything else muted (but not boring) with a blue bengal-striped shirt and brown monk strap shoes.

Get the look: Gucci red tuxedo with embroidery, US$4,900 (S$6,989), Paul Smith blue bengal-striped shirt, £412 (S$252), Church’s ‘Chicago’ walnut brown double monk strap shoes, £360 (S$638).

Be Happy

A colour noted to represent happiness and joy, brighten up your Monday (can also be enunciated as mundane) with an orange pullover. Similar to red, orange is a conspicuous colour, so keep everything else simple with a grey trousers and polished briefcase and Derby shoes.

Get the look: PS by Paul Smith orange merino wool pullover, £121 (S$215), Club Monaco slim-fit herringbone tweed trousers, £165 (S$294), Berluti polished leather briefcase, £2,719 (S$4,843), Berluti polished leather Derby shoes, £1,302 (S$2,319).

Remain Grounded

For those who think that reds and oranges are too boisterous for you, you can consider earthy, khaki tones instead. Go for this olive green cotton-poplin shirt, a pair of sunglasses with lens that matches your shirt, and pair it with a sand coloured trousers.

Get the look: Margaret Howell cotton-poplin shirt, £100 (S$178), Berluti slim-fit cotton trousers, £446 (S$794), Tom Ford acetate aviators, £200 (S$358), Thom Browne leather oxford shoes, £696 (S$1,246), Rolex Submariner in steel and yellow gold, POA.

Stack the Blues

For blue lovers, if you’re still adamant on wearing blues to the office, opt for different shades of blue and wear them all at once. Just make sure not to place shocking hues of blues (eg. royal blue, cerulean blue) together, unless it’s a full piece suit. Mix some chambray tones with navy; you can never go wrong with navy.

Get the look: Kingsman blue slim-fit chambray blazer, £887 (S$1,577), Hugo Boss cerulean blue cotton shirt, £83 (S$148), Casely-Hayford navy blue wool-blend suit trousers, £276 (S$491), Lanvin silk-twill pocket square, £37 (S$67), Bottega Veneta sterling silver cufflinks, £339 (S$602), John Lobb ‘Lopez’ leather loafers, £1,242 (S$2,207).

Crème de la crème

Monochromatic individuals, ditch your blacks and pair your whites with cream or brown coloured hues (eg. ecru, beige, sand, tan). Go for a cream trousers, and pair it with a sand herringbone tie. Keep your shoes to brown, and make sure they’re polished too.

Get the look: Ermenegildo Zegna white slim-fit cotton shirt, £300 (S$533), Thom Sweeney cream slim-fit cotton wool trousers, £290 (S$515), Kingsman brown herringbone silk and linen-blend tie, £87 (S$156), Lanvin silver-tone tie clip, £67 (S$118), John Lobb ‘City II’ leather oxford shoes, £1,242 (S$2,207).