Posts Tagged ‘question and answer’

The Gentleman and Color Theory: Help Me Coordinate (and Match) My Clothing, Colors, and Patterns

Question:
I’ve recently become an avid reader of your blog and I appreciate all of your tips, caveats, and suggestions regarding men’s fashion and style. With that said, I was wondering if you could opine on color theory with respect to fashion/putting outfits together. I have a hard time coordinating (as opposed to matching) colors and patterns (What should I wear my baby blue Dunks with? (or) What can I wear with a fire red pique polo?). At the end of the day I just end up looking like a monochrome. Help! lol.

Answer:

Thanks for reading the blog! Okay, so you have an issue with coordinating and matching colors– there are many things you can do to overcome that minor glitch:

1. Match/coordinate 2 colors at a time- one neutral (navy, black, khaki, brown, gray, white) and one color- yellow, blue, red, orange etc.

2. Fashion and art coincide and there are certain colors in art that “match” or “belong together”- purple and yellow, green and red, blue and orange- those are complementary colors. You can wear different shades and tints of those colors together.

3. Then remember that there are color families like brights, emeralds/jewel-tones, pastels. For example, all pastel easter egg type colors will coordinate because they have the same light tone. Colors like burgundy, hunter green, navy, plum purple, burnt orange, and deep gold (aka old gold) will coordinate well, as will basic crayon-box colors- red, green, blue, yellow.

4. There are also colors that coordinate or go together because they represent a certain season or country and we see them over and over again: red, white, and blue -or- yellow, black, and green -or- red, green, and black -0r- purple, silver, and black -0r- burgundy, white, and heather grey… there are a plethora of these combinations.

With keeping all of that in mind, you will more easily be able to match patterns and designs. For example, if you have a hunter green striped button up- you can pair that with dark khaki pants (neutral) and a navy or burgundy cardigan (same deep color family) -or- you could pair it with navy trousers and a plum or old gold cardigan… and with this color family brown accessories opposed to black usually look best… so brown loafers, brown belt. These are often the colors traditional, old-english, ivy type designers use.

Another technique to keeping your colors cohesive and stylish is by adding a splash of color (sometimes opposing color) to a neutral or one shade palette. For example, if you’re wearing black and white you’ll add a splash of red, sherbet orange, hunter green, or whatever color you like -or- if you’re wearing all red you can wear one yellow piece.

You can also do this with patterns- if you’re wearing a navy plaid shirt and navy pants you can add an electric purple sweater, or shoes, or bag… This can also be used for shades/tints/tones- if you’re wearing all jewel-tone colors- turquoise, emerald purple, etc then you could wear one pastel piece.

All in all go with the colors that feel right. Color evokes a particular mood and its always good to pair the same moods together. If you’re wearing a happy yellow, pair it with a happy blue and happy green. If you’re a bit shy of colors then follow the sapuer rules of 3 principle- never match more than 3 colors at a time… I think that’s a good rule for everyone because few people are able to successfully match more than 3 or 4 colors.

So baby blue dunks or fire red pique polo?
- Baby blue dunks with rugged stonewash jeans, and a light yellow polo or a graphic tee that has yellow and baby blue.

-Fire red pique polo with purple baggy skinny jeans, and shoes that have some red or purple in them -or- if you’re more fashionable then wear a pair of blue high-tops that match in tone.

You just have to try out different color combinations- look at them in the mirror and see what you like. Also watch the men’s runway shows and see how designers pair colors.

And don’t worry about looking too monochromatic this season because its in :)


Here are a few photos:

here i’ve paired a hunter green pinstripe oxford
with a navy cardigan and red pants.

The navy and hunter green are the same shade and the red is the bright pop of color. Bring the whole look together by wearing navy, dark brown, or whiskey colored boat shoes, loafters, or boots.

here i’ve paired a plaid shirt with purple jeans.

The shirt consists of two main colors- red and blue. when you mix red and blue what color do you get? purple. This is an easy technique to use to coordinate colors- white, black, and gray -or- yellow, blue, and green -or- blue, white, and light blue, etc etc.

etro spring 2010

If you need help matching patterns, textures, and colors- just go through Etro’s past collections. No one coordinates patterns like Etro.… so many colors, and styles you’ll learn alot by just spending a few hours browsing their collections: 2005-2010. Their color and pattern palette is very bold, so you may not agree with the looks they create- it may be too overwhelming for some you, but look past that and focus on the coloring- it’s quite beautiful.

etro fall 2008

For a more traditional color palette, look through Ralph Lauren’s past collections.

Also check out the Local Urban Gentlemen- they do a superb job at coordinating.

And here’s a few more photos I pulled from the Urban Gentleman archives:


his color palette is basically gold, white, black (= gray)
then he adds splashes of colors with the blue shoe string
and purple croc murse.

this picture isn’t the best to show for an example, but its good enough. pharrell- note his basic coloring, then pops of color with the red hat and belt. kanye- he’s working with a nice color palette- mixing neutrals- gray, khaki, and jean, then a pop of color with the green. he wears brown accessories- belt and shades.

there’s nothing like having a pretty lady to match your fly ;-)
david and his wife victoria coordinate flawlessy (without being too
matchy matchy). their color palette is sort of autumn-like.
burnt-orange, basil/olive green, warm gray

this is where texture and color come into play.
coordinating colors are easiest when you also match the texture.
here lupe sports patent leather jacket and shoes
both are crayon box colors- red and purple.
black is usually a great neutral for crayon box colors.

Urban Gentleman Q&A: Advice on Casual Shoes

Question:

Hi

I am currently very gradually trying to smarten up my wardrobe, and I would like to wear more trousers (casually) rather than jeans, with fitted polos, nice shirts, blazers etc. However, I am finding it difficult to find some suitable footwear for such a smart casual look. I like boat-shoes, and will be picking up a navy or brown pair, but they are more kinda summer wear. I find most loafers, mocs to be too formal, so I was wondering to you have any advice on what type of smart-casual shoes can be worn with trousers.


Answer:

Hi (Urban Gent’s name- who’s from England),

I actually had a gentleman email me about a similar dilemma recently- he was trying to find an alternative to the sneaker (so yanno somewhat similar). I advised him to consider:

- boat shoes (sebago/sperrries)
- oxfords
- “dressy sneakers”
- vans (like Pharrell)
- boots

I see that you’re already halfway there since you have purchased a pair of boat shoes (sebagoes/sperries). After securing a pair of those then the type of casual shoe you wear is totally dependent on your style. I am personally a big fan of oxfords- there are so many different styles of oxfords and they easily smarten up the wardrobe.

Other options:
- very casual wingtip lace-up
- drivers
- moccasins (only if this fits your personality)

Here’s a link of examples from Urban Outfitters: click here. Since the pound is almost double the dollar you can easily order from there (but I think you have to add $50 to the total order)… I really like the Schmoove Oxford, the Generic Surplus Oxford, and the Ben Sherman Vacations Lace-Ups.

Drivers are basically the everyday casual shoe for the man that pretty much doesn’t wear sneakers anymore unless he’s going to the gym or participating in an outdoor activity (that’s sort of my view on it anyway). I don’t like all drivers because some tend to look a bit old and dated, but there are plenty that are sleek and stylish- check some of the drivers out at Neimans: click here. From that page I like the Gucci leather driver- 3rd row number 4, the other Gucci leather driver- 5th row number 4, and the Cole Haan venetian moccasin driver- 5th row number 1…. Also I know alot of men that really love the Ferregamo drivers. You don’t have to buy those exact shoes, but those just give you an idea of the styles that may work for you.

If you want a shoe that is, perhaps, a step between sneakers and oxfords then you could try a “dressy sneaker”… basically like a leather converse or designer tennis shoes- Hugo Boss, Lanvin, etc etc (preferably in a solid color).

** this question is a little dated (about a month and a half– so the shoes I’m referring to may not be there anymore or in the same order, but you can still get the general idea).

Urban Gentleman: Q&A

I’m going to start sharing the questions I’ve received from Urban Gents around the world, I get so many repeat questions that I figured why not.

Today’s Q&A is for athletic guys who have a problem finding jeans to fit

QUESTION:

Hi
I have a unique problem and have searched a lot of websites and blogs for a good answer. Hopefully you can help. I am 5’6 and happen to do powerlifting. The end result I have a large chest and back as well as a very large lower torso primarily quads and butt more than anything but the my limbs are short. I have been trying to change my style a bit and lose the “Timberland and jean” look or at least make it more streamlined. I am having issues with finding jeans with a nice length. I can’t really do slim cuts because my quads are so big . What do you advise is good inseam for my jeans or just a good spot to clothing that fits?

ANSWER:

You do have a unique problem- but my ex boyfriend also did alot of powerlifting and was a college linebacker and he has large back, chest, etc etc and faced some difficulties with clothing (the only difference is that he’s about 6’2). What we had to do was go into the store and just try on a bunch of different cuts and fits- it’s time consuming, but helpful…. just get a salesperson to help you. I would try Express first- they have proven to be one of the best stores for uniquely shaped guys in my experience (specifically athletic guys). (Oh and at Express they’re usually on a hourly wage, so you shouldn’t feel or be pressured- b/c they don’t get paid for your sale). I would go on a none busy day, like a Tuesday or Wednesday and if possible go at a none busy time like 2pm and you should be able to get a ton of help- b/c they’re usually bored and really want to just do something, lol…

As far as cuts, I would try a relaxed fit jean.. they’re streamlined, but not too slim and not baggy. Because your quads/butt are bigger then you may have to buy a size that fits that area well then get the length and waist tailored. There is no mainstream jean that is made to perfectly fit guys like you- even though there is an obvious need for it. Basically you’ll have to do alot of trial and error in the dressing room. If you would prefer to buy the jeans and get them tailored under one roof then visit Nordstrom- they have some of the best tailors and they’ll continue to “fix” the jeans until they fit how you want them to. But keep in mind that jeans at Nordstrom usually start at around $109 and go up (sometimes way up)… but it’s worth it to have atleast one pair of quality perfectly fitting jeans. If there is no Nordstrom in your area then just visit any of your local high end major retail stores.

You can also just go to your favorite stores and do the “trial and error jean fitting” in the dressing room.

An Urban Gentleman Question: Can Men Wear Skinny Jeans?


In the past, without thinking, I would say “heck no… unless you’re a rockstar or you’re gay” because those two types are the only ones who, in the past, have been able to successfully pull it off. But I’ve really thought about this question over the past few months or so and I say that wearing skinny jeans totally depends on the type of person wearing them. (plus many types of guys have been wearing them for years)

I was talking to one of my friends last weekend and we started to talk about Lil’Wayne. He mentioned how non-hetero Lil’Wayne looks in his latest video- A Mille. I don’t watch videos too tough, so at first I didn’t know what he was talking about. But after watching the video, I could kiiiinda see what he was talking about. But the jeans that Lil’Wayne are wearing in the video aren’t really that skinny, they’re more of the “saggy version” of skinny jeans. . . because they Do make them really really skinny. And anyway at the end of the day I believe Weezy can pull of skinny jeans. Why? Because he meets my skinny jeans wearer criteria.

Pharrell rocks skinny jeans
(they aren’t really skinny they just fit)

Male Skinny Jeans Wearer Criteria:

1. Thin or skinny body frame
Thin guys just look better in skinny jeans, bigger guys just look downright uncomfortable in tight pants- it’s NOT a good look) I have a friend who always talks about how he loves “thick dark-brown girls in skinny jeans”; well it isn’t the same for females…. We don’t rave on and on about loving muscular dudes in skinny jeans, sorry.

2. Rock-star
Almost every rock star wears skinny jeans; it’s just apart of the rock star persona. Most of them end up wearing really tight black leather pants at some point in their careers, and it’s cool because it’s some type of rock-star tradition of sorts.

3. Artistic Personality
People with artistic personalities, be it in visual arts, fashion, music, whatever- they usually have the ability to pull off new trends with ease, and they’re usually the ones to start the trends anyway.

4. Caribbean born or descent
It’s a part of the culture- to some extent. I’m half Jamaican and I’ve seen tons of pictures of my dad and his friends rockin’ not so loose jeans throughout the 80s. Matter of fact he has one picture in a pair of red skinny jeans with a varsity type jacket, leaning against his Beamer- its kinda hot…. I’ll upload it if I can find it.

5.) Non-heterosexual
I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, but let’s be honest gay men can pull of shyt that straight men can’t. It’s just apart of life and the sooner some of you all realize it, the better :-)

A combination of atleast 2 of the 5 criteria is the best, but having atleast one is essential. The 1st point about being skinny is also a must, so really you should atleast match #1 plus any of the other numbers.

Notable skinny jeans wearing music artist: Travis Barker, Lil’ Wayne, Chris Brown, Pharrell, and almost every rockstar.

Chris Brown
(note that sagging with a belt is oxymoronish,
please guys pull the pants up)

All in all be cautious of skinny jeans. If you think you wanna wear them or you think you can pull them off, just make sure the styling is right. You can buy them from a couple places- Gap, Levis.com, American Apparel, LRG stores/websites, and Urban Outfitters.

Check out Weezy in his red “skinny” jeans:


How do you feel about men in skinny jeans?

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