The designer, suitmaker and shopkeeper Sid Mashburn once said of a man’s wardrobe: “Guys don’t need a lot of options, they just need the right options.” And for the most part, we’re inclined to agree.

Contrary to what most chart-topping rappers would have you believe, it’s the simple, timelessly stylish pieces worn right that make you stand out. Which is why most guys could have a wardrobe stocked with as few as 19 items and still be considered better dressed than 90 per cent of the population.

But Mr Mashburn’s theory doesn’t really stand up when applied to colour. Here, most men tend to be a little too reserved and conservative. We all know how relatively easy it is to pull off neutral looks made up of black, white, navy and grey, but if you really want to stand out from the pack, it’s time to start embracing bolder hues.

So if you’re still wandering around in the dark, here are the six most commonly swerved shades and how to wear them all year round.

Pink

Still hung up on pink supposedly being for girls? Then consider this: it’s no myth that until the end of the 19th century pink was – in the Western world – actually thought of as a masculine hue. Connotations of girlishness gradually came in the early 20th century as marketers repositioned pink as a feminine colour.

Whether dusty and soft or bold and bright, pink has been big news for several seasons now. And the shade is not about to fade away anytime soon, if our menswear experts are anything to go by. Lucky, then, that it pairs well with plenty of colours you probably already have in your wardrobe – including brown, beige, blue, white and darker shades of green, such as olive.

That said, wearing pink does come with its caveats. If you have fair skin, you should be wary of wearing pastel shades close to your face as it can wash your complexion out. If this is the case, try balancing it with darker colours – for example, a pink dress shirt with a navy blazer and blue tie. Another option is to try a bolder, richer tone of pink instead.

An Oxford shirt is arguably the most versatile piece you can opt for in pink, as it teams well with everything from a brown tweed blazer and indigo jeans to a grey suit. Pink chinos or shorts are another great addition to your summer wardrobe, while pink socks can add the perfect pop to an otherwise understated outfit.

(Related: A Man’s Guide To Wearing Pink)

Colour Pairing Guidelines

These guidelines have been derived from the standard colour wheel. We will also offer some FashionBeans-approved recommendations.

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Reds and mauve pinks.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Blue violets and yellow greens.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Blue greens.
Recommended: Brown, beige and white, along with darker shades of green and blue.

Men's How To Wear Pink Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

tommy hilfiger ss16new look ss17next 2016river island ss17mango man 2016next 2017

Key Pieces

  • Asos Oversized Casual Washed Oxford Shirt In PinkAsos Oversized Casual Washed Oxford Shirt In Pink
  • Edwin Classic Crew Sweater PinkEdwin Classic Crew Sweater Pink
  • River Island Dusty Pink Oxford Grandad ShirtRiver Island Dusty Pink Oxford Grandad Shirt
  • Alpha Industries Ma-1 Vf 59 Flight Jacket Dusty PinkAlpha Industries Ma-1 Vf 59 Flight Jacket Dusty Pink
  • Next Long Sleeve Premium PoloshirtNext Long Sleeve Premium Poloshirt
  • Topman Noose & Monkey Dusty Pink Skinny Fit SuitTopman Noose & Monkey Dusty Pink Skinny Fit Suit
  • Pink Cotton Cashmere Crew Neck JumperPink Cotton Cashmere Crew Neck Jumper
  • Barbour Garment Dyed Tee FuschiaBarbour Garment Dyed Tee Fuschia
  • Topman Pink Relaxed Fit Cropped Smart TrousersTopman Pink Relaxed Fit Cropped Smart Trousers
  • Orlebar Brown Jonathan Cotton And Linen-blend Twill ShortsOrlebar Brown Jonathan Cotton And Linen-blend Twill Shorts
  • Reiss Celter Knitted Silk Blend Tie Soft PinkReiss Celter Knitted Silk Blend Tie Soft Pink
  • Lanvin Nubuck SneakersLanvin Nubuck Sneakers

Green

We know what you’re thinking, why would Pantone make a hard-to-wear shade its Colour of the Year? It’s not some cruel joke of the fashion industry, in fact the colour bods have done us a favour. While most of us are no strangers to moss or khaki hues, there are so many other green tones that can be introduced to your wardrobe and help take your outfits to the next level.

No matter what shade you opt for, this masculine colour always looks best paired with blue, white and grey, while darker military variants complement similarly earthy hues such as brown and mustard.

(Related: How To Wear 2017’s Biggest Colour Trend: Green)

As for what you should look to invest in, green is arguably the easiest and most versatile on this list to pull off. The only real consideration to be made is skin tone. Those with pale/fair skin should stick to deeper shades like bottle green, while anyone with an olive/medium complexion just needs to avoid shades too close to the skin, such as olive. Finally, guys with darker complexions have the pick of the lot, along with the added benefit of being able to wear bold, bright hues like jade green.

Once you’ve figured out the perfect shade for you, look to pick up a couple of pieces that will serve you well now – chiefly outerwear and chinos or cargo trousers – then follow up with short-sleeved shirts and shorts during the warmer months.

Aside from tailoring, a year-round green option can be found in the form of accessories (socks, lightweight scarves, pocket squares, etc.), which will add a point of interest to an otherwise pared-back look.

Colour Pairing Guidelines

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Yellow greens and blue greens.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Reds and violets.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Mauve pinks.
Recommended: Blue, white and grey.

Men's How To Wear Green Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

topman 2017j.crew 2016windsor ss16matalan ss17marks & spencer 2017river island 2016

Key Pieces

  • He By Mango Reversible Bomber JacketHe By Mango Reversible Bomber Jacket
  • He By Mango Cotton Nylon-blend Field JacketHe By Mango Cotton Nylon-blend Field Jacket
  • He By Mango Henley Cotton T-shirtHe By Mango Henley Cotton T-shirt
  • Next Relaxed CrewNext Relaxed Crew
  • Drakes Slim-fit Slub Cotton Oxford ShirtDrakes Slim-fit Slub Cotton Oxford Shirt
  • Uniqlo Men Dry Pique Short Sleeve Polo ShirtUniqlo Men Dry Pique Short Sleeve Polo Shirt
  • J.crew Saddle Loopback Cotton-jersey SweatshirtJ.crew Saddle Loopback Cotton-jersey Sweatshirt
  • Norse Projects Esben Blind Stitch Tee Verge GreenNorse Projects Esben Blind Stitch Tee Verge Green
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Micro Print ChinosHe By Mango Slim-fit Micro Print Chinos
  • Next Chino ShortsNext Chino Shorts
  • Reiss Andreas Zig-zag Pocket Square EmeraldReiss Andreas Zig-zag Pocket Square Emerald
  • New Balance M576png – Made In England Green & WhiteNew Balance M576png - Made In England Green & White

Brown

Although brown tends to remind us of the less than savoury fashions of the 1970s, attitudes have been changing in recent seasons thanks to designers making full use of it in their collections and the resurgence of fabrics like shearling.

Despite not appearing on the colour wheel, the perfect partner to this classic neutral will always be blue. The pairing gives blue depth, while the brown appears richer. Additional colours that combine well include earthy hues such as burnt orange, green, khaki, mustard and beige.

Although there’s a shade of brown that will work well with pretty much every skin tone, those with olive or dark complexions will want to avoid hues too close to the colour of the skin as it can make it appear dull and faded.

(Related: The Right Colours For Your Skin Tone)

Brown is likely already present in your wardrobe in some – albeit small – way, so why not try upping your quotient with some tan corduroys or chinos, a chocolate brown leather jacket, dark camel merino crew neck jumper or even a simple pair of russet brogues or desert boots?

Colour Pairing Guidelines

Recommended: Blues and earth tones.

Men's How To Wear Brown Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

brooks brothers aw16suit supply aw16gieves & hawkes aw16matalan ss17brunello cucinelli aw17simons aw16

Key Pieces

  • Wtaps Union 03 Shirt BrownWtaps Union 03 Shirt Brown
  • River Island Brown Double Breasted Borg Collar Pea CoatRiver Island Brown Double Breasted Borg Collar Pea Coat
  • Topman Selected Homme Brown Suede Bomber JacketTopman Selected Homme Brown Suede Bomber Jacket
  • He By Mango Unstructured Pique BlazerHe By Mango Unstructured Pique Blazer
  • Topman Brown Large Check Viscose Smart ShirtTopman Brown Large Check Viscose Smart Shirt
  • River Island Brown Roll Sleeve T-shirtRiver Island Brown Roll Sleeve T-shirt
  • Folk X The Inoue Brothers Native Elbow Print Crew Knit BrownFolk X The Inoue Brothers Native Elbow Print Crew Knit Brown
  • Reiss Hollidge T Slim-fit Tailored Trousers BrownReiss Hollidge T Slim-fit Tailored Trousers Brown
  • He By Mango Straight-fit Cotton ChinosHe By Mango Straight-fit Cotton Chinos
  • River Island Brown Slim Fit ShortsRiver Island Brown Slim Fit Shorts
  • Tom Ford North West Leather-trimmed Suede Tote BagTom Ford North West Leather-trimmed Suede Tote Bag
  • A.p.c. Suede Desert BootsA.p.c. Suede Desert Boots

Orange

Orange may remind you of Halloween, but it needn’t be a horror story when it comes to pulling it off. The traditionally bright, citrusy shade has taken on a more burnt appearance in recent seasons, making it more cool than costume-y.

While many wrongly wait for summer to reclaim orange from Dutch football fans, the autumn/winter months are in fact the perfect time to start putting the hue to work. Ease in by adding a jolt of colour to a standard grey or navy suit with a tie or pocket square, before graduating to knitwear and even coats.

Of course, the hi-vis look is not for everyone. Fortunately, there’s a complete spectrum of shades on offer: from almost-brown rust tones for pale skin, to bright coral and blood orange for darker complexions.

However you wear it, be sure to add balance to any look by off-playing orange against neutral colours such as grey, navy and black.

Colour Pairing Guidelines

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Reds and yellows.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Mauve and blue greens.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Blue violets.
Recommended: Earth tones, as well as grey, navy and black.

Men's How To Wear Orange Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

reiss ss16scotch & soda 2016mango man 2016cos aw16the kooples aw16zara 2017

Key Pieces:

  • Stutterheim Stockholm RaincoatStutterheim Stockholm Raincoat
  • Reiss Reiss Horizon Light JacketReiss Reiss Horizon Light Jacket
  • Burton Knitted Polo ShirtBurton Knitted Polo Shirt
  • Zara Merino Wool SweaterZara Merino Wool Sweater
  • Sunspel Loopback Sweat TopSunspel Loopback Sweat Top
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Madras Check ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Madras Check Shirt
  • River Island Orange Casual Oxford ShirtRiver Island Orange Casual Oxford Shirt
  • James Perse Slim-fit Cotton-jersey T-shirtJames Perse Slim-fit Cotton-jersey T-shirt
  • River Island Orange Slim Fit Chino ShortsRiver Island Orange Slim Fit Chino Shorts
  • River Island Dark Orange Fisherman BeanieRiver Island Dark Orange Fisherman Beanie
  • Folk X C6 Simple Pocket BackpackFolk X C6 Simple Pocket Backpack
  • Topman Chilli Orange Woven ScarfTopman Chilli Orange Woven Scarf

Purple

The most regal of all hues according to the Ancient Romans and Greeks, purple is often one of the first colours men try when looking to expand their palette. That said, many frequently get it wrong.

The easiest way to wear purple is to use it sparingly as an accent – wearing it head-to-toe just screams Batman villain. It teams extremely well with beige, grey and shades of blue, from sky and duck egg to cobalt and teal.

Providing you opt for a shade that’s either a little brighter or darker than the middle ground, like magenta, purple works best on those with olive or medium skin tones.

Ties and pocket squares in purple are the ideal pieces to start with; combine them with suits in neutral colours and light-coloured shirts for maximum effect.

Purple dress shirts also look great when paired with navy or midnight blue suits, and for the especially ballsy amongst us, why not consider a purple blazer or a pair of chinos for the summer months? Each is guaranteed to make a statement.

Colour Pairing Guidelines

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Blue violets and mauves.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Reds and greens.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Yellows.
Recommended: Navy, grey, white and beige.

Men's How To Wear Purple Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

mango man 2017brooks brothers aw16asos 2017burton ss16new look aw16burton aw15

Key Pieces

  • He By Mango Slim-fit Textured Cotton ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Textured Cotton Shirt
  • Topman Lilac Slim Fit T-shirtTopman Lilac Slim Fit T-shirt
  • River Island Dark Purple Zip Sleeve HoodieRiver Island Dark Purple Zip Sleeve Hoodie
  • Michael Kors Slim-fit Cotton-jersey T-shirtMichael Kors Slim-fit Cotton-jersey T-shirt
  • The Elder Statesman Oversized Loopback Cotton-jersey HoodieThe Elder Statesman Oversized Loopback Cotton-jersey Hoodie
  • Michael Kors Slim-fit Garment-dyed Stretch-cotton Twill ChinosMichael Kors Slim-fit Garment-dyed Stretch-cotton Twill Chinos
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Slim Fit PoloPolo Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Polo
  • French Connection Ice Cashmere JumperFrench Connection Ice Cashmere Jumper
  • John Smedley Ribbed Cotton-blend SocksJohn Smedley Ribbed Cotton-blend Socks
  • He By Mango Polka-dot Print Satin FoulardHe By Mango Polka-dot Print Satin Foulard
  • Adidas Originals Gazelle Trainers In Purple Bb5501Adidas Originals Gazelle Trainers In Purple Bb5501
  • Andersons 3cm Plum Woven Suede BeltAndersons 3cm Plum Woven Suede Belt

Yellow

Yellow is notoriously difficult to wear and often avoided, even by menswear’s most daring.

Like orange and purple, yellow is a statement colour that needs to be used sparingly and anchored with neutrals. With this in mind, always look to control use of the hue with surrounding pieces in white, blue, grey, beige and charcoal.

(Related: 5 Bold Colours You Can Actually Wear This Summer)

Perhaps more importantly, though, is finding a shade that doesn’t wash you out – especially if you’re of a fairer skin tone. While darker skin types will be able to pull off everything from corn flour to canary yellow, pale men need to be slightly more cautious. If this applies to you, try darker hues like mustard and gold, which should help lift your complexion. As with green, those with olive skin should avoid anything too close to their skin colour or risk blending in with their clothing.

Casual separates like cotton polo shirts, T-shirts, jumpers and shorts look great in yellow, particularly when combined with blues. If you feel like upping the ante, embrace your inner Nick Wooster and opt for a pair of statement shoes or trainers. You’ll be surprised how versatile they can be when teamed with dark denim or grey flannel trousers.

Colour Pairing Guidelines

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Yellow greens and oranges.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Blues and mauve pinks.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Violets.
Recommended: Neutrals – particularly white, pale grey, charcoal and navy.

Men's How To Wear Yellow Outfit Inspiration Lookbook

bershka 2016scotch & soda aw16suitsupply 2016mango man 2016burton ss16carolina herrera ss16

Key Pieces

  • Asos Oversized Hoodie In YellowAsos Oversized Hoodie In Yellow
  • Topman Yellow Slim Fit T-shirtTopman Yellow Slim Fit T-shirt
  • Topman Yellow Cropped Cotton ParkaTopman Yellow Cropped Cotton Parka
  • Uniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater 14 ColoursUniqlo Men Extra Fine Merino Crew Neck Sweater 14 Colours
  • J. Crew Gitman Vintage For J.crew Garment-dyed Oxford ShirtJ. Crew Gitman Vintage For J.crew Garment-dyed Oxford Shirt
  • J. Crew 9 Short In Garment-dyed CottonJ. Crew 9 Short In Garment-dyed Cotton
  • Our Legacy 1950s Shirt Yolk Peeled FlannelOur Legacy 1950s Shirt Yolk Peeled Flannel
  • S.n.s. Herning Rite Light Crew Replica YellowS.n.s. Herning Rite Light Crew Replica Yellow
  • Norse Projects X Elka Anker Classic Jacket Strand YellowNorse Projects X Elka Anker Classic Jacket Strand Yellow
  • Illesteva Leonard Sunglasses YellowIllesteva Leonard Sunglasses Yellow
  • Sandqvistkim Ground – Rucksack – YellowSandqvistkim Ground - Rucksack - Yellow
  • Topman Mustard Flat Knit BeanieTopman Mustard Flat Knit Beanie