Colour is a big feature of this Spring/Summer, and we men are being encouraged to step away from the traditional, more classic tones of navy, black and white whilst introducing some bright, block colouring into our wardrobes. Men generally tend to favour more discrete colouring in order not to appear too flamboyant and OTT, but the catwalks and the high street are all championing bright hues and inspiring men to embrace colour. And judging from the recent men’s fashion shows in Milan and Paris, colour appears to be a big influence in the Spring/Summer 2011 collections, with designers such as Jil Sander, John Galliano and Issey Miyake (amongst others) favouring bright, primary colours in both blocks and prints. So adding colour to your wardrobe now is also an investment for next year’s trends.
If truth be told – although I like a bit of colour – I think covering yourself from head to toe in block primary colours is a step too far. Sure it looks great on the catwalk when the male models strut along clad from head to toe in zany turquoises, burnt oranges and canary yellows, and the colours create a visual feast for the audience and are intended to shock, stun and amaze. But inciting a similar reaction on your local high street whilst you pop down the shop for a bottle of semi-skimmed, with the risk of looking like Mr. Blobby in drag, is probably not the effect most men are going for.
But this doesn’t mean colour should be avoided at all costs. In fact, bright, exuberant colours are traditionally associated with youth and vibrance and by donning a simple dash of colour it can make you feel instantly younger and adds a dynamic edge and interesting attention-catcher to an outfit. The way to successfully follow the trend without looking like an extra from Sesame Street is to get the balance right and approach it in a more subtle way. Flashes of ‘hidden’ colour are well-suited for those men such as myself who feel more comfortable erring on the more discrete side of this trend rather than going all out and teaming a lime green trench coat with scarlet chinos and aqua-marine deck shoes. Executive Style and Grooming Editor for GQ Jodie Harrison agrees that it is better to keep colour simple and it is important not to overpower your look with too much colour. The key is to mix brighter colours with more neutral tones, or even better, inject a splash of vivid colour into an outfit with a well-placed and coordinated accessory. Any colourful accessories can work in moderation; be they socks, sunglasses or a pocket square, but the accessory of choice for this article is the humble watch.
Watches are not only functional as time-pieces, they are also fantastic accessories to any outfit and are as good a place as any to inject some colour into your wardrobe. Magazines such as Esquire and Shortlist have recently featured articles on colourful watches as the perfect way to follow this year’s trend for vivid block colour, and Rolex, the time-piece icon, have also recently jumped on the bandwagon by releasing editions of their classic range of ‘Daytona’ and ‘Oyster’ watches with the faces injected with energetic colours such as scarlet, turquoise and orange.
ASOS also offer a wide range of watches from various manufacturers, and the amount of variety is huge in both digital and analogue watches. For the retro types there is the Timex 80 Orange Rainbow watch and the Adidas Peachtree Neon Splice watch, or if you prefer something a bit more futuristic-looking, the ODM Transparent Pixel watch or Nixon The Newton watch offer great alternatives. If you are more inclined to favour a more classic-looking time-piece (but can’t quite stretch to a Rolex) then this doesn’t mean you have to shy away from vivid, block colour. The Swatch Full-Blooded Sunset Chronograph watch and Armani Exchange Yellow-Strap watch both retain features of classic time-pieces but with pops of interesting vibrant colour. TICwatches.co.uk are also currently offering brands such as Penguin and Andy Warhol at cut prices, as promoted on FashionBeans last week. If you still can’t find a watch to suit your needs then head along to www.toywatchusa.com where you can actually build your own jelly watch. Here you can personally choose the colour of the face and strap and customise a time-piece which truly reflects your personal style.
Obviously there are ways of embracing and introducing colour into your wardrobe without looking like an animated version of Mika. The key is to find a happy medium and be subtle enough not to overpower your overall look with too much colour. I think it is important to wear colour in moderation and more importantly, wear it with confidence!