If I were peek into your closet right now I’m pretty sure that I would see lots of navy, grey, black, and brown.
These colours tend to dominate most men’s wardrobes because they are easy to wear.
And while there is nothing particularly wrong with any of these colours, I always encourage men to try to branch out their options.
One way to do this is by incorporating two of the most underrated and underutilized colours in menswear: purple and red.
Why wear purple?
A lot of guys shy away from wearing purple, thinking that it’s too feminine.
This is a mistake.
Back then making purple dye was an exceedingly difficult and expensive process that required extracting the juices from thousands of tiny sea snails. This made the colour extremely rare and valuable which meant that only a small segment of society could afford it (i.e. royalty).
If you’re curious about how purple dye was made back in the day, here’s a great video that explains the process:
How to wear purple
The best way to wear purple for any complexion is to stick with a darker shade. I’d also recommend working with just one piece to start (perhaps a jacket or a trouser) to keep things simple. Here are some great examples:
What to avoid
For guys with a more muted complexion (light hair and skin) I caution against wearing a shade of purple that is too intense. It won’t look good:
Why wear red?
Science has repeatedly shown that red is a dominant colour in nature.
In fact, according to research conducted by Diana Wiedemann at Durham University, red clothing causes us to perceive the wearers as being more aggressive, dominant and brave.
That’s is why in world of business and politics red ties are known as “power ties.”
No one really knows why the colour red has such a profound effect on our psychology; we just know that it does.
Suffice it to say that guys would benefit greatly if they incorporated more red into to their wardrobe
How to wear red
Unless you’re a guy with a high contrast complexion, wearing large amounts of red will likely not work well for you. Instead, I recommend guys stick with red accessories. Things like ties, socks, and scarves etc:
What to avoid
Red is an intense colour so a little goes a long way, which is why I don’t recommend decking yourself out in red from head to toe unless you really know what you’re doing.
Dressing well with colour isn’t as daunting as it seems, especially when you know how to choose the right colours for your complexion.
However, there are a couple of colours that I think every man should try to incorporate into his wardrobe, regardless of his complexion.
Purple and red are fantastic colours for men to wear. Purple has a deep history and connection to power and nobility, while science has shown that people who wear red are perceived as being more dominant, aggressive, and brave. The fact that a man can express these qualities through his clothing is yet another reason why you should care about the way you look.
Here’s to looking sharp!