Spring/summer is renowned for being the time of year where men become much more experimental with their colour choices. Free from the shackles of dreary weather and dark, long nights, the warm weather and beating sun provide the platform for us to demonstrate a wider and more vibrant palette.

Current industry influences back up this new, confident approach, with striking shades of orange and pink trending alongside neon and fluorescent hues. Even an old menswear favourite, blue, has been given a contemporary makeover for SS13, with the go-to shades coming in the form of vivid cobalt and aqua.

However, these colours are not suitable for every personal style or taste, and often alternative hues build a cult following under the radar; typically after appearing in multiple brand campaigns and on street style blogs around the world – such is the power of the internet these days.

With this in mind, we have identified three alternative colours you may want to consider as we transition into the high summer months this year…

1. Mint Green

Pastel hues are a perennial favourite during spring/summer. Subtler than their bold orange/pink/red/cobalt counterparts, light and dusty shades are, arguably, slightly more refined and wearable.

Mint green has built a strong presence within the industry for SS13, appearing in campaigns from high street giants like H&M and Next as well as designer brands such as HE By Mango and Ted Baker. Perfect for those men in search of a summer-appropriate colour that retains a sense of masculinity (thanks to its green base tone), it complements other classic neutral shades like navy, khaki and brown wonderfully.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Mint Green SS13 Lookbook

ted baker ss13paul & joe ss13paul & joe ss13avva ss13pal zileri ss13massimo dutti june 2013next ss13he by mango summer 2013drykorn ss13
Colour Guidelines

Key Styles: Anything and everything. This is a colour that works just as well for tailoring as it does for shorts and t-shirts. If applied to tailoring or trousers, treat them as a statement pieces; pair with neutrals and let them become the focal point of your outfit.

Consider: Statement shoes or accessories. Mint green footwear will instantly take any simple jeans and t-shirt combination to the next level. Drivers or boat shoes are perfect for the high summer season, whereas a pair of suede trainers will add a street style touch to an ensemble.

In terms of accessories, mint green socks, a lightweight scarf or even a snap back can inject a touch of standout style to your look. Used as an accent, it is a colour that can bring an outfit to life without overpowering it.

Note: Make sure you read our introduction to colour guide so that you understand the terms used below and throughout the article today.

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Yellow and blue.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Shades of purple or orange.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Shades of red and pink.

Recommended Combinations: Although all the colours above can work if you carefully consider strength and tone, in our opinion, mint green looks best when matched with khaki and shades of blue.

Key Pieces
  • Selected Homme Percy – Suit Jacket – GreenSelected Homme Percy - Suit Jacket - Green
  • Ted Baker Renepp – Crew Sweater With RibbingTed Baker Renepp - Crew Sweater With Ribbing
  • Reiss Drive Small Collar Slim Fit Shirt MintReiss Drive Small Collar Slim Fit Shirt Mint
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Shirt
  • Allsaints Mitre Deck ShortsAllsaints Mitre Deck Shorts
  • Reiss Ivy Cotton/linen Dyed Trousers MintReiss Ivy Cotton/linen Dyed Trousers Mint
  • Gucci Moroccan-print Scarf 144168Gucci Moroccan-print Scarf 144168
  • He By Mango Cotton Bermuda ShortsHe By Mango Cotton Bermuda Shorts
  • Reiss Westin Pique Polo Shirt With Logo MintReiss Westin Pique Polo Shirt With Logo Mint
  • Maison Kitsuné Striped Lightweight ScarfMaison Kitsuné Striped Lightweight Scarf
  • Trickers MoccasinsTrickers Moccasins
  • Converse All Star Hi-topsConverse All Star Hi-tops
2. Lilac

Another pastel hue, lilac has violet base tones – although many men would just describe it as a shade of purple. A manlier take on this season’s big pink colour trend, the majority would probably be more comfortable wearing lilac.

It is a colour that shows great confidence in both your style and your masculinity; a powerful combination, especially to the opposite sex. Seen in lookbooks from the likes of Pal Zieri, Ramsey and Ami, lilac is slowly building a cult following for 2013.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Lilac SS13 Lookbook

unknownpal zileri ss13pal zileri ss13avva project ss13ami ss13ramsey sport ss13
Colour Guidelines

Key Styles: Works beautifully well for knitwear, especially when layering a lilac v-neck over a classic white Oxford or polo shirt. We previously identified the lilac shirt as one of our summer shirt upgrades, meaning this versatile shade can also help take your formal/work attire to the next level.

Consider: Trousers and swimwear. Not for the faint of heart, lilac trousers/chinos can help make a real statement. Again, as with any of the colours we showcase today, the key is to strip back the rest of your outfit and let this alternative hue take centre stage. Try pairing lilac chinos with a simple white polo for an effortless take on Riviera-inspired style, or dress up a pair of lilac trousers with a white Oxford shirt and a stone or grey blazer.

Swim shorts should be another consideration, as lilac is an underused colour for beachwear. With swimwear providing you with the perfect opportunity to push your boundaries and experiment, often without judgement, why not pack a printed or patterned pair of lilac shorts in your suitcase this year?

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Blues, purples and pinks.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Shades of turquoise or orange.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Shades of yellow and green.

Recommended Combinations: Due to its Riviera connotations, we recommend pairing lilac with nautical-inspired neutrals such as white, cream and navy. However, shades of grey and green can also work extremely well.

Key Pieces
  • Barba Napoli Mare Printed Swim ShortsBarba Napoli Mare Printed Swim Shorts
  • Michael Bastian Short-sleeve Polo Top 147782Michael Bastian Short-sleeve Polo Top 147782
  • Alexander Olch New York Square ScarfAlexander Olch New York Square Scarf
  • Topman Lilac Short Sleeve Oxford ShirtTopman Lilac Short Sleeve Oxford Shirt
  • Reiss Pritchard Two Button Peak Blazer PurpleReiss Pritchard Two Button Peak Blazer Purple
  • Savile Row Inspired Pure Linen 2 Button Hopsack JacketSavile Row Inspired Pure Linen 2 Button Hopsack Jacket
  • Reiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt PurpleReiss Dayton Short Sleeve Basic V-neck Tshirt Purple
  • Savile Row Inspired Silk Blend V-neck JumperSavile Row Inspired Silk Blend V-neck Jumper
  • Michael Kors Pocket SquareMichael Kors Pocket Square
  • 11 Stanton Short11 Stanton Short
  • T & F Slack Mens Lilac Suede Derby Shoe With Micro SoleT & F Slack Mens Lilac Suede Derby Shoe With Micro Sole
  • Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Swift Suede Driving ShoesPaul Smith Shoes & Accessories Swift Suede Driving Shoes
3. Yellow

Does any other colour represent the high summer season better than yellow? We say no. Yellow is an undeniably striking, statement hue that many wouldn’t even consider outside of the spring/summer season.

Coming in everything from mustard shades to pale, pastel variations, retailers often turn to yellow when looking to differentiate their spring collections from high summer lines.

Seen in recent campaigns from Jaeger and Massimo Dutti to Mango and Zara, yellow looks set to stamp its mark on SS13.

Lookbook Inspiration

Men's Yellow SS13 Lookbook

cruciani ss13ralph lauren resort ss13massimo dutti june 2013lab pal zileri ss13zara spring 2013zara spring 2013jaeger ss13drykorn ss13he by mango summer 2013
Colour Guidelines

Key Styles: Washed out yellow t-shirts make an effortless casual statement, especially when paired with a simple pair of tailored, neutral shorts on a hot summer’s day.

Yellow chinos in all shades are another great standout option for those men who really want to separate their look from the crowd. Pair them with casual or formal pieces, but remember that yellow works best in small doses.

Consider: Accessories or tailoring. A simple yellow scarf or a coloured watch can provide the perfect finishing touch to any ensemble. Striking and vivid, especially in the sun, something as small as a yellow patterned pocket square or a pair of socks will be enough to get you noticed.

We have seen some yellow blazers on the market this season, although pulling one off is going to take supreme levels of confidence and a considered approach to the rest of your outfit. Pair a yellow blazer with slim navy trousers and a plain white shirt in order to anchor the piece fully, and forego the accessories in order to really strip back the aesthetic.

Similar Colours (Easiest To Pair): Green and orange.
Contrasting Colours (Harder To Pair): Red and Blue.
Complementary Colours (Hardest To Pair): Purples, violet and pink.

Recommended Combinations: Blue works extremely well with yellow and will help anchor the colour effectively. Shades of grey would also be a consideration.

Key Pieces
  • Selected ShortsSelected Shorts
  • Nixon Time Teller P WatchNixon Time Teller P Watch
  • Falke Tiago Cotton-blend SocksFalke Tiago Cotton-blend Socks
  • Reiss Plunder Micro Flower Print Hank LimeReiss Plunder Micro Flower Print Hank Lime
  • Topman Gold Flannel Skinny Fit Suit Jacket Topman Gold Flannel Skinny Fit Suit Jacket
  • Barbour Slim ChinoBarbour Slim Chino
  • Reiss Club Ss Multi Stripe Polo OchreReiss Club Ss Multi Stripe Polo Ochre
  • Reiss Eclipse Mid Length Mac YellowReiss Eclipse Mid Length Mac Yellow
  • He By Mango Slim-fit Cotton ShirtHe By Mango Slim-fit Cotton Shirt
  • Reclaimed Vintage T-shirt With Tie-dye PrintReclaimed Vintage T-shirt With Tie-dye Print
  • Car Shoe Suede Driving ShoesCar Shoe Suede Driving Shoes
  • Vans Chukka BootVans Chukka Boot
Final Word

So there you have a quick guide to three alternative colours you should be considering for high summer 2013.

Although they weren’t directly advocated by high fashion houses during the global SS13 fashion weeks, retailers and the streets have pushed these hues into the limelight and made them a legitimate option for those men looking to separate themselves from the crowd.

Now we want to hear what you think:

  • Would you ever consider any of these colours?
  • What key pieces do you already own?
  • Will you be adding any of these colours to your wardrobe this year?
  • What is your alternative colour suggestion for high summer 2013?

Let us know in the comments section below…