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Mastering the art of using strong colour in accessories

Posted on: 17th Sep, 2019

Colour is an vitally important aspect of any outfit, whether it’s a formal wear for an autumn wedding suit, or a casual weekend ensemble. Mastering colour in your actual outfit is tricky enough, but when it comes to accessories it can be all too easy to take a misstep, and accidentally take the sting out of your entire look. Now, we know a thing or two about colour in menswear style here at Acorn Fabrics – as you can probably tell from a quick glance through the huge variety of cotton shirting fabrics we stock. So, we’ve got a few tips for you that could help!

Choose the accessories carefully

When we talk about accessories, you may well find your mind springing to items like ties, socks, handkerchiefs or pocket squares. These are certainly amongst the most popular ways that many men choose to express themselves, such as using a brightly coloured pocket square to add a pop of colour to a dark or navy suit.

pocket square

However, it’s worth taking a step back for a moment when it comes to putting your outfit together, and looking at what else you have to work with. Now that we’re moving into slightly chillier autumn weather, that opens up a whole new range of seasonal possibilities – you’ve got woollen hats, scarves, gloves and even cardigans to work with. In fact, since these are worn relatively sparingly – that is, only at certain times of day or when you’re travelling outside – they can end up having a much more understated effect in comparison to something more permanent like a tie.

It’s also worth taking a second to think about timepieces like wristwatches or even pocket watches, both of which can be commonly overlooked when putting an outfit together. In fact, pocketwatches are becoming an increasingly more popular accessory, spurred on by the success of shows like Peaky Blinders. Chosen carefully, they can be the very the epitome of understated, with just a glint of silver or gold adding a touch of intrigue to any outfit.

Be selective with the colours themselves

Here’s an easy mistake to make with coloured accessories: if the shades are too bold or vibrant in comparison to the rest of your outfit, they can end up tipping over into loud or garish, which can spoil the whole effect of an otherwise carefully crafted ensemble. So, how can you avoid something like this?

Well, it helps to think about the tones of the rest of your outfit. It’s easier to combine bright shades like orange, yellow and red with warm rural tones – country shades like green and brown and perfect backdrops to such vibrant colours.

On the other hand, more neutral tones such as a grey or blue business suit in a professional setting can end up looking colder when paired with such bright, vibrant warm colours. That’s because the difference between the warmer tones and neutral shades is starker, which undercuts the effect of both. However, that doesn’t preclude you from using any sort of vibrant colour – you can still use darker tones such as purple or maroon to achieve the desired effect.

mens suit

Another good way to approach it is by looking to see if there’s already any touches of vibrant colour in the shirt or coat you’re planning to wear, and working outwards from there. For example, if a dark coat has one or two flecks of green in it, you can confidently wear a forest green accessory, as you already know the two colours go together.

Of course, sometimes it just comes down to a simple case of experimentation, so don’t worry too much about getting it right first time! While you think about the accessories, feel free to take a look through the fantastic range of fabric colours we offer here at Acorn. And of course, if you’ve got any questions or you need any advice, feel free to give us a call on 01282 698 662!