Style / July 2018

How to Master Colour Clashing

Colour clashing is novel territory for many, but it needn’t be complex. All it takes is adherence to some basic ground rules and a sense of certitude.

Rusty orange and muted blue work nicely together as complementary colours, as seen on Maciej Zaremba. Photograph by Milad Abedi.

For many men, the mere prospect of colour clashing is enough to induce panic. Straying from the safety of preconceived style notions is a daunting endeavour, and reasonably so seeing as fashion is so often predicated upon rules. Even the term itself – colour clashing – reeks of rebellion and dissent. It makes sense then, that the majority of men choose to stick to a tried and tested uniform of neutrals, some forsaking colour altogether. Yet as intimidating as it may seem, the practice of colour clashing is in fact far easier and more accessible than many would imagine. A small dose of daring goes a long way, and when combined with some careful consideration and basic aesthetic awareness, can transform the most colour fearing dresser into a colour-clashing connoisseur.

Of course, like any endeavour involving deviation from convention, colour clashing has the potential to go awry, and as much as we champion audaciousness, this particular trend must be approached with an element of caution, preferably under the guidance of those in the know. For such enlightenment, take heed of the impeccably dressed men who flocked to Pitti Uomo 94 in Florence a few weeks back. Colour clashing was ardently embraced and took on various guises, the summer heat and creative energy at the event responsible for provoking playful and unconventional approaches to styling that can be readily adopted by those seeking a wardrobe refresh.

Such sartorial discordance at Pitti was particularly interesting to observe, seeing as suiting so heavily dominated. The classicality of traditional tailoring was tastefully juxtaposed with unorthodox colour pairings, making for a novel and modern approach to formalwear that we’re bound to see much more of in the remaining summer months. The key to this styling manner is subtlety – as counterintuitive to the notion of colour clashing that may seem. Yet a little clash goes a long way, especially if you’re new to the whole shebang.

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Aobh O'Brien-Moody

Editorial Assistant at The Rake