Summer shirts: how to combine neutral colours


Choosing and matching men’s suits, ties and shirts with vastly different colour shades can be very difficult at times, especially first thing in the morning. Here are two of the most common mistakes: appearing monotonous and boring or, on the contrary, going over the top and looking too highly coloured.

In any outfit, we usually tend to put in a neutral garment – often a white shirt – which dilutes the contrasts between the other colours. But what should we do if the possible combinations are largely made up of neutral tones? The secret is to give the overall look a sufficient contrast, by playing around and putting together different colour shades.


What’s the advantage of this kind of choice? It surely lies in the fact that each of us already has a huge number of neutral garments in our wardrobes, especially in tones of khaki or white, and so these can be combined as we like because they are timeless, soft, versatile colours.

We must understand that neutral colours are divided into two different types, as they can be either warm or cold. The first of these categories includes tan, taupe, beige, ivory, khaki and any shade of brown. The cold neutrals are headed by all the shades of black, grey and white.

The first piece of advice is to start with something approaching your own skin-tone. The most important step is to choose the right colours that, when placed alongside each other, give the outfit a contrasting light-and-dark effect, to avoid appearing boringly monochrome.

But let’s give some examples: we can opt for a tone-on-tone combination, with a brown jacket, a white or champagne-colour shirt, and trousers in shades of light brown or khaki. This is a summer combination that guarantees a sober look but one which stands out with its great touch of class. Another trick is to vary the weave and type of fabric between the various garments you’re wearing, so as to give your image a stylish appearance when viewed as a whole.

Are you ready to experiment too in the unusual world of neutral colour combinations starting with men’s shirts?

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