Hey, so recently I have been trying to change how I dress. I am in my second year of college and my friends around me have been improving their style however, I don’t want to be left behind. I am 5’10, quite skinny but have broad shoulders. My current dress sense tends to be mostly black jeans and black or white T-shirts. I am hoping to be able to wear more colours as I don’t feel like I am giving the right impression to people.
Jordan, 17/United Kingdom
Greetings, Jordan from the UK! I think that your question popped in my inbox just in time.
I can totally understand why black and white is a favorite of many and why it’s so hard to get out of that comfortable color zone. However, I can say that you’ve picked a good time to experiment with adding more colors in your wardrobe, Jordan. Autumn has a more muted palette than summer or spring, which is known for more vibrant hues like pastels or fluorescents, which might not be your cup of tea. (See what I did there? 🙂 )
So what can a fashion-conscious guy like you do?
Go Easy, Take It Slow
As mentioned, fall has a more down-to-earth palette, literally. Earth-tones abound like beige, camel, khaki and hunter green. Exhibit A: military trends like camouflage pants and army-inspired jackets. Your predominantly black and white wardrobe will benefit from these additional colors and pieces while making a subtle but still noticeable statement. As you get more comfortable with an expanding color palette, add a little more — rusty orange, burgundy, bright red, mustard yellow, navy blue. These additions don’t have to be major pieces, e.g., a mustard yellow sweater under a black zip jacket, a plaid hunter green scarf, or very dandy argyle socks in red and camel.
Gray Is the New Black
This one should be easy for you, Jordan. It’s right between black and white, works with both your favorite colors, and works with everything else! Gray was the runway favorite when designers showcased their fall and winter 2016 pieces early this year in New York, Milan, Paris and even South Korea, and more and more designers and brands are adopting it. It’s a very versatile color as its shades range from very pale (nearly white) to very dark and deep such as charcoal gray. A pair of gray coated denim jeans makes for a cool change from the usual dark denim, and a pair of flat-front trousers in gunmetal gray provides great contrast with a creamy turtleneck sweater (aka jumper for you English folks) or with a classic plaid shirt.
Inject Visual and Physical Texture
Fall and winter fashion is rife with rich textures. You’ve got leather, knits, faux fur, corduroy, suede and shearling — all quite wearable from top to bottom. Combining textures — both the visual and tactile kinds — certainly ups your style points by the dozen. Even with just a plain white crewneck T-shirt as a base layer, you can easily amp that up with a corduroy or leather bomber jacket. A simple deep red waffle-knit sweater layered over a plaid shirt plus a classy duffle coat in navy blue lets you walk on the dandy side. Trade your sneakers for suede chukka or Chelsea boots instead, or go the extra mile with brogues (not oxfords, as they say in the “Kingsman” movie) but with a rubber midsole for some artsy kicks.
Try these suggestions little by little and I bet you’ll be leading the pack in no time!
P.S. If you’re sending a question, please don’t forget to include any helpful information about your body type or shape, your tastes or personality. You can include a selfie (link only please) or a photo of your clothes (which I will never publish without pre-approval). Thank you!