So let’s say that you’ve finally started to get the basics of your wardrobe under control. You’ve got yourself a couple of great suits, shirts and ties for work and some fitted tee’s, cardigans and jeans for when you’re off duty. You’ve even gone all out and invested in some quality footwear and a nice statement jacket – probably in leather.
But there’s one problem – the majority of the pieces that you have are all in grey, navy or black. Now that’s not your fault (in fact it’s probably mine), these are neutral colours that go extremely well with each other so are versatile pieces to have to hand. They also go with every other colour under the sun just in case you do want to start injecting some colour. But you’re thinking it would be nice to have some variation without having to start buying bright reds, greens and yellows.
Well, luckily you can and it’s with a colour that sometimes gets overlooked. The colour I’m talking about is brown and it can seriously lift your style. When it comes to brown, I tend to include lighter shades as well such as camel and beige. This is because they are both achromatic colours that are created through different combinations of black, grey and white – so there’s not much difference between them except for hue and tone. This is why they often get referred to as earth tones, because they include the same basic colours. It’s also the reason they go extremely well with each other and other achromatic colours like olive.
But why should you start wearing more brown? Well, first of all, it’s a rich, versatile colour that isn’t overly used in menswear right now. There are also all kinds of different shades and tones available and I find that, as a colour, it helps to bring out and enrich the other colours you have in your look. As I said, it works well with any colour (especially blues and greens) and is a colour I think all guys should invest in.
If you’re new to brown then you should probably begin with something easy. The best place to start is footwear. Brown is an overall more stylish choice than black and when paired with a pair of dark jeans it really brings an Italian flair to a look. I would start with a dark brown first of all and as you become more confident venture into more coffee and tan flavours.
Or why not try a simple brown t-shirt? It will look great under a navy blazer or with a simple pair of jeans. It will also look great with lighter achromatic colours such as camel – so why not buy a pair of camel chinos too?
But maybe you already own brown shoes? Maybe you’ve been doing camel chinos and brown tee’s for awhile now? That’s fine, now you can start getting into layering. Think cardigans, shirts and ties.
One of my favourite cardigans I have at the moment is in cool oatmeal colour and goes great with a blue striped shirt and red club tie. You can go as light or as dark as you want with your layering. A rich chocolate brown will look great with darker colours like navy and burgundy while lighter shades will favour pink, mint green and light blues.
A camel shirt and tie are also a must due to their versatility (but only together when you’re Nick Wooster); pair them with navy, olive and dark brown tones for the best results.
Now there’s only one place left to go and it’s the greatest place of all. A brown suit! Invest in a medium shade like tobacco and as long as the suit fits you properly you can’t go wrong.
It looks amazing with blues and greens and that camel shirt you’ve already got will take it to a whole new level. This is first on my list of purchases when I have a bit of extra cash and I’m going to be wearing it with a blue gingham shirt and dark brown tie combination all day long.
While you’re at it why not think about you’re outerwear? A camel overcoat is a timeless menswear piece and very classic Calvin Klein. Or maybe a Harrington in the same colour? A brown leather jacket goes a long way too.
Have an experiment with what kind of shades and tones you like – and on what piece – and then wear the hell out of it. An unusual colour like camel or brown is a statement in itself so deserves to be seen and worn with confidence.
Take a look at some of the looks that I love when it comes to brown:
So what do you guys think of this colour? Is brown something that you would now wear a lot more of? Or do you think that it’s a colour that should never be let out of the house?
Let me know…
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