How To Choose The Right Base Color And Accent Colors For An Outfit


introduction of base colors which will be followed by a detailed summary of different accessories in an outfit.

We’ve already tried our best to acknowledge you with the basics of color wheel and how to manipulate them into an outfit. To translate the complementary colors into an actual outfit, it is essential that every color is included in a balanced amount with the perfect shade else you won’t look anything but a Christmas decoration. A tasteful combination of hues is the hallmark of a truly well-dressed man and involves a good balance between the dominant colors (such as those of the jacket and dress shirt) and the accent colors (present elsewhere in the entire outfit). Let us start the discussion with a little introduction of base colors which will be followed by a detailed summary of different accessories in an outfit.

BASE / DOMINANT COLORS

Each component of an outfit is responsible for contributing a specific color to the overall look. Be it your jacket or something as minor as the frame of your eyeglasses, they play an important role in the intricate relationship between colors of an outfit. The most dominant part of your clothing is your jacket, suit or dress shirt that serves as a canvas, thus their color is referred to as the base color. Any color added on top in form of accessories is termed as an accent color because it enhances the look of the former color. Now you may choose any of the following canvases for your attire, depending on your personal preferences, skin tone and overall contrast. 

NEUTRAL CANVAS

Any clothing whose most visible color belongs to the family of neutral colors is considered to have a neutral canvas. These may include all shades of grey, white, brown and black. Any accent colors, either exhibited by your new eyeglasses or a status watch, come to attention best when worn with a neutral canvas. For instance, a dark gray suit with a white shirt would do wonders in attracting the audience’s attention towards your personality, specifically other minor details like your accessories. Thus the key is to keep your outfit simple and muted if you want to grab the viewer’s eye to other intricate details. It is necessary to wear a neutral canvas with colored accents to balance the overall look of attire. 

BLUE-TONE CANVAS

You’re a part of this category when the dominant component of your attire is either blue or any shade of it. It is the most standard canvas for traditional menswear and imparts a youthful aura to any individual who wears it. It’s a great choice when you find neutral canvases too dull and boring and wish to add some color to your attire. A navy blue suit and a lighter toned dress shirt can create a classy look and to add some flattering contrast, accent shades of brown and orange would do wonders. Overall, this canvas is more eye-catching than its former counterpart and the only drawback is the limitation of options when it comes to matching accent colors. It is recommended for both formal and high-class, elite gatherings. 

COLORED CANVAS

The use of bright colored and patterned shirts along with colored sports jackets has led to the creation of this third category of canvas. Although it is striking for the audience, the matching options are extremely limited and kind of conceal the details of other accessories because maximum attention of the viewers is drawn towards the clothing. This sort of canvas is best suited for casual and social events because of its funky look. On the off chance that you want to wear accents, their color should complement that of the canvas so it doesn’t create a chaotic picture. To get an idea on complementary colors, you may check our previous article ‘Color coordination for men’. 

ACCENT COLORS

An accent color is added once you’ve finally chosen the base color for your outfit. Accents may be added in a variety of forms explained in detail below but ensure to choose accent colors that are related to or complement the dominant color. You sure don’t want to look like a walking Christmas tree. An access does a great job in defining the feel of any outfit unless the base color is too flashy to divert attention. The same neutral and dull grey suit can look astonishing if worn with a couple of accessories to accentuate it. 

NECKTIES

Neckties are the most common accessory used by any man and has evolved as an icon of style in the fashion industry. While some of you may consider it a noble component of your attire and wear it only in festive occasions, others may use neckties as a part of their uniform at work. The color of ties can vary greatly and you may choose the one that is from the same color family as the shirt you’re wearing or something that comes in contrast with the color underneath. Either way, neckties are amazing when it comes to flaunting any clothing. A lavender tie over a light blue shirt or a burgundy tie over a striped white and green shirt are some of the best color co-ordinations that you may opt for your use. 

POCKET SQUARES

Pocket squares are again a decorative component of any ensemble but are used occasionally in weddings and other celebratory events. It’s a great way to add a bit of stylish flash to your clothing. Similar to neckties, pocket squares may be of the same shade as the jacket or coat or may contrast with them in a complementary fashion. When wearing it together with a tie, make sure that both of them belong to different color families for they are two separate accents. 

JEWELRY

The fact that men are not supposed to wear jewelry is kind of an understatement. Watches, rings and cufflinks are all significant when it comes to enhancing the attire. The only thing to remember is that all metal in the jewelry should match; be it gold or silver. The only exception is a wedding band whose significance is superior to all the man-made rules of fashion. Any sort of colored jewelry such as stone or glass rings, if worn, should at least mimic or contrast the base color in the same way as other accents do. 

BRIEFCASE

Briefcases carried to work are usually of a neutral color unless you’re a fashion aficionado who has a new piece for every outfit! A black or brown briefcase is the ideal choice because it matches with the color of the shoes or belt in most instances. Black bags look good with neutral canvases while brown leather briefcase should be the choice when wearing dresses with blue as the base color. Colored canvases can go with either color depending on their shade and position on the color wheel. 

EYEGLASSES

Nobody owns a dozen frames in their collection and it is beneficial to have one muted metallic or neutral colored frame that goes with most of your outfits. Any kind of flashy color would give a jarring effect to the outfit and it is optimal to go for neutral tones. 

PUTTING EVERYTHING TOGETHER

You can simply create an outstanding outfit by combining the above categories perfectly. Your canvas serves as a background where you can paint the classiest art with your fashion sense. For a monotonous look, choose an accent color that matches the shade of the base tone. Accents that contrast with the base color impart an active, appealing appearance. Thus choose your colors deliberately so they go well with each other and look balanced. 

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