Going monochromatic (wearing all one color) has gained popularity in the past few years, and some of the best dressed men in the world are making a statement with this bold trend.
While I don't attempt to keep up with “fashion”, I do like to keep things fresh by coming up with an “everyman” version of select trends that come to my attention.
When making out-of-the-ordinary style choice, the trick to pulling it off is to use other elements to make the look appear familiar. Wearing one color exclusively is strange to most and won't get many looks of admiration, unless you do it right. And you will.
The guidelines below are similar to my previous article on Go-to-Hell Pants, illustrating that the trick to wearing brightly colored items is to reign in color usage everywhere else.
So, how can the everyman have a little fun incorporating this look into his current rotation?
Like most everything else I write, I've broken this look down into some helpful guidelines to help you look like a classically well-dressed man, rather than an uber fashion forward runway model.
Here are my six tips to make this look work in everyday situations with your current wardrobe.
(1) Vary the shade
The “shade” of a color refers to the lightness or darkness. Here, I'm wearing a light blue shirt with a dark blue cardigan to create contrast. Since suits are generally dark and shirts are typically light, this a familiar combination. No one would even make the connection that everything I'm wearing is blue.
(2) Play with patterns
Patterns add variety to the look without changing the color. The shirt has micro stripes and the tie has dots. This makes for a much more harmonious look than working with all solids.
(3) Use different textures
As with patterns, textures can also help to break up the various elements of an outfit. The shirt is sort of “ribbed”, the tie is smooth, and the cardigan is a slightly chunky weave.
(4) Consider saturation
Different from shade, saturation refers to the “deepness” of a color. The pants I'm wearing look sort of like a “dusty” blue, almost gray, and would not be considered to be very saturated. The sweater and tie, on the other hand, are quite saturated.
(5) Mix up the sheen
Varying the sheen is another way to make some pieces stand out and others fade into the background. My silk tie, for example, has a sheen that draws the eye to it. The pants, shirt, and cardigan are matte and act as a canvas for the tie.
(6) Cheat a little
Since there aren't any style merit badges to be earned (that I'm aware of), it's fine to add in a little variety in the form of brown or black leather, or a white shirt. It won't disrupt the look you're going for and no one is going to hassle you for not wearing a blue belt, shoes, and sunglasses.
If you're building a versatile wardrobe, you probably won't have shoes and belts in every color anyway.
The monochromatic final test
To determine how well you've mixed up the different elements, take a photo of yourself in black and white. Looking at the photo, you should be able to see some contrast between the articles of clothing. The textures and sheen should also be apparent. If you appear to be wearing a solid-colored sweat suit, it's back to the drawing board.
Get the Look
All the best,