CelebrityHow to Wear Color, According to the World's Best Celebrity Stylists
One common thread among all well-dressed men is that they know how to wear color—and also how not to wear it. Unfortunately, it can be one of the trickiest things to figure out in your wardrobe. Many guys play it too safe for just that reason. But that's equally tragic. Life is too short to wear navy every day. To help you master the art of wearing color, and not wind up looking like a Teletubby, are some of Hollywood's most in demand menswear stylists. We asked them for their best tips, and here are the three main rules they had.
Know Your Skin Tone
Evet Sanchez, who counts Leonardo DiCaprio, James Franco, and Michael Ealy as clients, stressed the importance of starting with your skin. “Everyone has their own unique power colors,” she said. “I like to use the warm- and cool-tone philosophy. Using colors that work well with your skin tone will make or break a look.” Not sure whether you’re warm or cool? Look at your watch. If you tend to go for silver jewelry, you probably have a cool skin tone. If you go for gold, you’re likely warm. Cool skin tones look good in jewel tones and crisp whites while warm skin tones look good in earth tones and off-whites. (If you’re still confused, read more about the topic here.)
Learn How to do the Monochromatic Thing
Several of the stylists we polled felt that understanding how to wear color is about understanding the color wheel itself. Jeff K Kim, who styles Michael B. Jordan, explained “there should always be a common thread in an outfit connects one piece to the next. Color can often become that through-line.” Meaning, pick a color on the wheel and stay within that general vicinity while building your look.
Tom Hiddleston’s stylist Ilaria Urbinati elaborated further, saying, “It’s about not going too many shades away. For example, I won't do red with black but I'll do red with brown or maroon. Same with blue—I like it best with similar shades. I'll pair royal blue with teal. Or a bright blue with a sky blue.”
Avo Yermagyan, who styles Nick and Joe Jonas, recommends incorporating at least three different shades into a monochromatic look. “If you want a great example of this,” he said, “check out the opening looks from Louis Vuitton’s spring 2017 collection. The sandy beiges, taupes, and browns in different fabrications look so effortless. It’s a foolproof approach to styling.”
Use Neutrals as Your Rock
Urbinati uses browns and navy to temper bold color on her clients. “Black can be too high contrast,” she mentions, “I find it harder to pair. But browns and deep blue always looks elegant with color.”
Jeanne Yang, a stylist who works with minimalist clients like Alexander Skarsgard, emphasized the importance of not going too crazy with color. “I think that you only do one wild thing per outfit,” she said. “One bold pattern, wild color, or crazy silhouette is usually enough.” So, if building out a tonal look feels a little too out-there for you, follow Yang’s lead and pick one strong color, keeping everything else neutral instead.
Her one exception? “You can wear any color combination or over-the-top look in the world as long as it is impeccably tailored.”