Expand the Colors in Your Wardrobe: Men’s Professional Style Tips

 Rack of suits

Tip #17: Don’t be afraid to branch out from greys and blues. 

How do you freshen up your wardrobe bit by bit? Stop wearing neutral colors all the time. I can’t count how many times I have had this conversation: 

Me (Derek): “What color suits and shirts do you normally wear?” 

Client: “A lot of blues and greys but I am willing to branch out a bit.” 

Me: “How about pink, purple, light green, brown…” 

Client: “I really like these fabrics.” 

*Points to grey and blue fabrics” 

Two Reasons You Don’t Branch Out 

There is a good chance you are like this as well, and here are the two reasons I have discovered most guys are stuck in this rut: 

1. They don’t know how to bring in colors and match them properly. 

The best way to start implementing colors into your wardrobe is by starting without them. Grey and navy for suits and white and light blue for shirts are your staples. They work in pretty much every environment, everything goes with them. Once you have those start experimenting with colors like maroon or brown work perfectly. Here are a few examples: 

Example 1: 

Suit: Navy 
Dress Shirt: White 
Tie: Maroon 
Pocket Square: White 

Example 2: 

Suit: Mid to charcoal grey 
Dress Shirt: Light blue 
Tie: Brown 
Pocket Square: Light Grey 

There is nothing crazy about these outfits. They are clean, classy and implement a touch of colour into your outfit. Once you are comfortable with the color combos you can change it up a bit using the same colors: 

Example 1: 

Suit: Maroon 
Dress Shirt: White 
Tie: Navy 
Pocket Square: White 

Example 2: 

Suit: Brown 
Dress Shirt: Light blue 
Tie: Mid to charcoal grey 
Pocket Square: Light Grey 

The colors in the outfit didn’t change, you have tested them out and they all go together. A maroon and brown tie or a maroon and brown suit still go with the whites, blues and greys. If you follow simple style rules like the tie should be darker than the shirt and the pocket square and tie should never match, your outfit will look dapper while adding simple colors. 

2. Most guys don’t branch out is because they don’t want to stick out. There is a difference between “stick out” and “stand out.” Stick out is not looking right and drawing attention the wrong way. Standing out is looking great and standing out the right way. Many guys don’t want to do either, so they avoid colors. But here are the key rules to looking amazing, feeling confident but not drawing too much attention: 

  • Make sure everything fits. Your suit should follow your body lines and not be too tight or too baggy. 
  • The length of your tie should reach your belt, not above or below. 
  • Your tie should be darker than your shirt. 
  • Your tie and pocket square should not match. 
  • Keep everything pressed, no wrinkles. 

Once you follow those style tips you can bring in colors with confidence, knowing your outfit will be on point. Here are a few more ideas on bringing in color: 

Suit: Mid-blue to navy 
Dress Shirt: Light pink 
Tie: Grey 
Pocket Square: Light Grey 

Suit: Light grey 
Dress Shirt: Light green 
Tie: Dark teal 
Pocket Square: Black and white pattern 


Breaking out of the grey and blue routine doesn't have to be a daunting task. By incorporating a pop of color into your wardrobe, you'll not only stand out but also add a fresh touch to your style. So why not try one of these combinations today and see how it makes you feel? 


Derek Burbidge - Owner/Founder of Cardero Clothing

In 2014, Derek rented a suit for his wedding only to later discover the advice he received was terrible and the fit of the rentals was way off. After travelling to Thailand and Europe soon after his wedding he was introduced to bespoke clothing and various timeless styles. As a lover of all things men's fashion, he started Cardero Clothing to keep men from making the same mistakes he did.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published