Understanding colors greatly helps in putting on a stylish ensemble- to work, to date or a walk in the park. Identifying colors that are complementary, contrasting and adjacent is useful as a guide for pairing your shirts, ties, shoes (accessorising).
Figure 1: Color Wheel
- Adjacent Colors:
On the color wheel, colors that are located next to each other are called adjacent colors. They harmonise with one another and they work will together. Example: Green, Yellow-Green, Yellow.
Each adjacent color has a little touch of other colors.
- Contrasting Colors:
They are similar to complementary colors- though it is not as drastic. They are sections away from each other. It creates attention as contrasting colors creates a clashing effect on the eyes.
- Complementary Colors:
Pairs of colors which when combines, cancel each other out. When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast of those particular two colors. It is also known as opposite colors.
ADJACENT COLOR SCHEME
We recommend to work your way up from Adjacent colors or known as Monochromatic color scheme.
It is the easiest way to start experimenting and is the most conservative color scheme. It matches darker variants of color with the lighter variant of color.
A Burgundy tie against a light pink shirt or a Darker Navy against a light blue shirt. This makes the wearer look elegant and sophisticated, not overly ambitious.
It is a safe and easy way to look dapper and can be used in any settings, work to presentations, meeting all the way to formal social events.
CONTRASTING COLOR SCHEME
Within the contrasting color scheme, we have a high contrast(Triadic Color Scheme) and low contrast (Analogous Color Scheme).
Figure 2: Traid Color Scheme Figure 3: Analogous Color Scheme
HIGH CONTRAST: TRAID SCHEME
A Traid Color scheme involves choosing colors that form a triangle within the color wheel. Example: Blue, Red, Yellow, Purple, Green and orange. A traid color scheme introduces the concept of harmony in a subtle way. By pairing warm tones and cool tones, it creates a contrasting yet harmonise look - Red tie with blue shirt.
LOW CONTRAST: ANALOGOUS SCHEME
An Analogous Scheme involves choosing colors that are close to each other on the color wheel. Not to be confused with Adjacent color scheme- that are same color different shades.
Example: light blue shirt with a darker green or purple tie.
This color scheme provides a level of congruence and familiarity for a muted yet sophisticated look.
COMPLEMENTARY COLOR SCHEME
Figure 4: Complementary Color Scheme
It is the boldest of the four mentioned here. It would be best to understand the color wheel better after trying out the above two schemes before attempting this color scheme. The colors are directly opposite each other across the color wheel. Example: Blue direct contrast would be orange. Red would be green. Yellow would be purple. This color scheme form the strongest contrast.
Complementary colors are best used in social settings, due to its bold nature, it may appear as inappropriate for work place or more professional settings.
As much as I would like to emphasise how important knowing the colors for accessorising, knowing colors for shoes are just as important.
Here is a chart for easy pairing of suits with different shoe color:
Undeniably, this is just the tip of the iceberg for gentleman styling and I will continue to upload more information on this channel. Stay tuned.
The most important thing, is to feel comfortable with what you are wearing. These are theories to help not conform. Play with colors and even if you think it might not stay true to the "schemes", roll with it and have fun!
Like always, I'll end a quote from Giorgio Armani, cheers.