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How matching colours: fashion tips for a perfect man outfit by Marco Taddei

How to match the colors of an outfit Come abbinare i colori di un outfit

How to match colours according to the outfit

The art of matching colours according to the outfit is a real balancing act.

It may seem hard, especially when the fashion continuously challenges traditional rules, proposing color combinations previously considered unacceptable. Despite these changes, there are rules that still persist and help us make our choice.

The Itten's color sphere: a useful tool for matching colours

Johannes Itten, a famous Swiss painter, writer and designer of the of the early 1900s, developed the famous “Itten's color sphere”, a tool that allows you to classify colours according to their aesthetic and comunicative aspect. According to this classification, colours are divided into: primary, secondary and tertiary.

Cerchio di Itten Itten circle

The Itten's color sphere and its colours division

How to employ the Itten's color sphere for a casual or elegant man outfit

The question is: how to apply the rules of the Itten's color sphere in matching colours for a casual or elegant man outfit? The answer is really simple and useful. According to the Itten's color sphere, it’s better to avoid matching colours that are laterally close each other. On the other hand, you can play to match the different shades of the same color (vertically) or combine the diametrically opposite ones. Black and white, considered "non-colours", do not fall within the color sphere, therefore can theoretically be combined with all shades.

Basic rules to match the colours of clothes with shoes

When you have to match the colours of clothes with your shoes, it's crucial to consider "your colours". In particular, your hair color and complexion play a crucial role in defining which shades to combine. To create a perfect men's outfit, both casual and elegant, following these guidelines can make the difference:

  • 1 - Brown: usually, it shouldn't be combined it with black but with light brown shades, such as beige, or forest green one. The result of such colour’s combination is an elegant men’s outfit full of style.
  • 2 - Red: although it is one of the most difficult color to match, it can create an interesting contrast with black and white. For the summer season, choose the bordeaux tone, it’s simpler to match with other colours. Wear a skinny trousers and complete the look with a pair of moccasin with tassels or a penny loafer with leather sole: you can opt for a light color, such as white or beige, or a dark one, such as navy or black.
  • 3 - Blu: very popular in recent years, it perfectly matches with all shades f its own color. Although the Itten’s color sphere advises against the combination with black, recent fashion’s trends suggest the opposite, proposing glamorous and fashionable casual men’s outfits.
  • 4 - Black: it’s the passe-par-tout par excellence, able to solve any combination problem. Black goes with any shades, giving its best with bright colours.
Double Genoa buckle combined with beige trousers Doppia fibbia Genova abbinata a pantaloni beige Burgundy slipper with white trousers Pantofola bordeaux con pantalone bianco
Decolored blue Cannes double buckle Doppia fibbia Cannes blu decolorata Derby Manchester nero con abito gessato grigio Black Manchester derby with gray pinstripe suit

1- Doppia fibbia Genova in dark brown matched with a pair of beige trousers. 2- Pantofola Newport colour bordeaux worn with a white suit. 3- Outfit in blu tono su tono per la  Doppia fibbia Cannes in blue patinated calf leather, paired with a blue suit for a tone on tone outfit. 4- Black Derby Manchester worn with a grey pinstripe trousers and contrasting sock.

Marco Taddei advice: the ideal combination with white

What about white? Marco Taddei’s opinion: “There are some colour combinations that are spontaneous. For example, white undoubtedly calls for brown. The harmony created by wearing a white cloth with a brown one is truly tangible”. Finally, the key to how to combine colours in a men’s outfit isn’t just a matter of personal taste. It can be a process guided by artistic and scientific principles. Follow these tips to create a casual or elegant men's outfit that is truly unique and trendy.


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