Men's Fashion Colours SS10: Pastels & Neutrals
What is…?

Colour | [kuhl-er] | -Noun

The quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue.

Sartorially speaking? A chance of expression. Individualise.

Hardy Amies Colourful Introduction

“Everybody talks about the return of colour to men's clothing as if it had never been there before. The French have an expression 'Grisaille' which they use to denote a form of decoration in different shades of grey. As in grey itself there is a marvellous mixture of colours, so is 'Grisaille' by no means colourless. Men's costumes are often coloured on the same principle.

Colour in women's clothes is always closely allied to 'becomingness'; that is to say, women instinctively choose colours which will make their skin look fresher; pale blue is a good example. The same principle can apply to men, but of course it is obnoxious if the principle is obvious.”
Hardy Amies – ABC of Men's Fashion & personal style bible.

The SS10 Looks

When proposing this article to my little crumpled piece of paper I set out the idea that generically, as in life, I wasn't too fond of making people wet themselves. This applies to in excitement, anticipation, overwhelmed fear or just in general distress (anything I'll have to clear up really). Therefore the only way to avoid this was to keep the information simple and offer a platform for you, the reader, to develop your own look on.

The FashionBeans look books have been a go-to model guide for the modern dandy since the dawn of time. (Don't argue). We helped shape the caveman into the suit adorning gentleman who tips his hat at swooning ladies every morning on his way to work on a horse or something? Cutting a long story short; that suit adorning gentleman soon developed, uncharacteristically, into a greedy banker subsequently leaving our pockets impecunious (skint) and leaving the ladies without a swoon in sight… yeah, swoonless ladies!

FashionBeans has adapted the latest look book series to accommodate a pre-stocked wardrobe of fashion fundamentals and I wanted to continue this new approach in this article. When categorising my colour trends I decided to break them down into the basics that are usually combined, but also work just as well on their own. This means you should already own many of the key pieces to make your look a style rather focusing on making a style your look.

Pastels

Living under a rock is something I wouldn't advise. It leaves limited access to Starbucks, online shopping and FashionBeans; and is cramped at the best of times. Equally, I can see nothing short of a sartorial education being required if you haven't already inundated your wardrobe with the latest pastel picks. It is far from advisable to 'pastelfy' yourself head to toe being left looking the victim of an angry infant mob. Instead, try pairing your pastels upstairs with acid wash downstairs for a relaxed look that you can carry from beach to bar without a sneer from the locals.

ASOS' Island Life trend epitomises the use of pastels and they showcase all the right techniques to create an amazing look you can recreate yourself. Click here to shop the look.

The ASOS Island Life Look/Style

Colour-bloc party

Intrinsically it is less than common to favour an all out colour surge in your ensemble. Bottle green is as ugly as its name so eliminate that from any relevance to this trend. Lacoste have been all over this look in their recent campaigns for S/S and I think it is, when done correctly, one of the key looks for this season.

Earlier in the year I announced the Pantone colour of the year and designers have been following suit with likewise optimistic hues for their lines. The guidelines for this look are simple. A single block colour all the way through, no prints and minimal to no shade variations. This may sound like a difficult task to fulfil, but with high street stores such as H&M pushing their basics range more than ever, it is almost effortless to put together an eye-popping look.

Lacoste Red! Plain Slim Fit PoloOrlebar Brown Bulldog Swim ShortWESC OBOE H.PHONES

Fred Zip Hood Blue Sweat Blue Cotton Rolled Up ChinosASOS Suede Deck Shoes

Paul Smith Jeans Grandad T-Shirt<img src="http://media.topman.com/wcsstore/TopMan//images/catalog/33F05XRED_normal.jpg” alt=”Red Linen Mix Pleated Shorts” height=”280″ />Retrosuperfuture Ciccio Clear Lens Glasses

Colour Absence

The absence of colour is by no stretch of the wardrobe a means of absence in style. Not to be confused with colour-bloc party look, this look allows for colour where necessary, or rather – unnecessary. It's rule time again children… at least three key pieces of white-wear and don't use a colour piece as your staple item. Think white chinos, white pumps, white cardigan, coloured tee. For some inspiration, here are my top white picks:

White Bamboo Razor Trim ShortsRTC129-SC366 White T-shirt Tom Ford Silvano White Detailed Aviators

Hugo Abous Pinstripe Peak Lapel BlazerWhite Tumbled PlimsollsStud Butcher Rigid

House Raw PoloWhite Straw TrilbyASOS Side Zip Hi-Top Plimsolls

Neutrals

Without sounding like a presidential, sorry prime ministerial, candidate; this is one thing a man should never be. Yet for his attire, it is welcomed! There seems to have grown a general consensus that black and brown are never to be paired. This is about as ill fitting as Gordon Browns suit. Black and brown are equally in the neutral family, now I am never one to endorse 'keeping it in the family' but you get the idea.

Earthy and nude tones won't be going anywhere soon. Expect anything made of jersey to be rolling out in earthy tones to mimic that great All Saints inspired rustic look. As for French Connections 'man' movement this is what the aspirational icon had to say on the subject on colour or, rather not.

The 90's

Being immature is one of society's pushed faux pas; specifically at the dinner table and at chance encounters with the Queen. But if anyone knows any reason why your look can't be immature for the summer then… you just smell because I say so! 10 points for proving immaturity works perfectly?

Unlike my previous attempt at a 90's revival, this look is only taking inspiration from the eccentric colours that Mr Motivator and others pedalled throughout the decade. Imagine Nickelodeon presenters in a bar fight with a dodgy clown? Whatever is left at the end of the night, there's your colour scheme. Blues, reds, yellows, oranges and break them up (the clothes not the bar fight) by throwing a few denim picks in. For an authentic 90's look fashion some retro printed tee's, rolled jean-shorts and baseball caps.

The great thing about this trend is that you can take inspiration from all of the looks featured today. So rather than show you my 90's product picks, click here to revisit my 90's resurgence look and pick up some great tips for making this look your own.

Epilogue

The procrastination that has surrounded writing this article has been greater than any before. My last article [Sportswear & Men's Fashion] flowed out of me like the children flow out of the mothers on council estates. It appeared all to true that I had built the article around the idea of offering my views on the cliché of chav culture in the hope of changing a few perceptions of sportswear; including my own. Their efforts at demoralising the attire of all gym goers laid the foundation for what the FashionBeans editor hailed as my best article yet. So then there's now; this week, this article. How can I make it as good, if not better than last weeks?

I sat down trying to evoke some memory of how I came about the fruits of my labour last week. I recalled using a crumpled piece of paper and the one single pen I have ever laid claim to. I remembered attempting to jot down, all my ideas, inspirations, thoughts and feelings and work from there. At one point I can remember throwing my tacky little biro out of the window in an attempt to cause a bit of uproar and drama in the community.

So this week, with the idea of a colour inspired piece, I collected another crumpled piece of paper. I pondered all my ideas, inspirations, thoughts and feelings. I know I wanted to emanate the philosophically poignant chap I gave way to last week. I don't just want to tell you what to wear; I'm not your overbearing mother. I want to inspire and amuse people, provoke reaction, gain admiration and… actually, f*ck it, I haven't got a pen.