As I mentioned recently, I’ve begun contributing to The Gentleman’s Journal, a London-based luxury men’s magazine that just launched a US version of its website. I’ll occasionally share pieces when I think they’re germane to the Ivy Style community.
Given that color plays a primal role in preppy style, my latest should be of interest. When Red Sweater Guy trended a couple weeks ago, I was already at work on a piece about whether or not you should pay attention to what colors you wear, based on your hair and skin tone.
Conventional wisdom would dictate that a freckled redhead trad should stay away from a charcoal sack suit and white buttondown, an Asian prep should steer clear of yellow polo shirts, and African Americans can wear anything they please. But is that really the case?
I rounded up a group of experts including authors Alan Flusser, Bernhard Roetzel and others. Here’s what G. Bruce Boyer had to say on the subject:
Back in the ’80s there was this mania among “image consultants” — you know, people who think they’re creative but can’t actually find work — for what was called “seasonal” coloration. What these otherwise sane citizens tried to foist on unsuspecting folks was the idea that we all had seasonal colors. Some of us were autumn, others spring — you get the idea. It was all total nonsense, of course, and soon forgotten like hula-hoops and pet rocks.
But the idea lingers. Do we have skin tones, hair colorations, and eye hues that are best brought out or flattered by certain colors in our wardrobes? I suppose, without trying to make a science out of it, we do. I’ve noticed that men with grey hair seem to look nice in blues and grays, rather than reds or yellows. And that people with sallow skin tones are probably not helped by yellows or greens. But, lacking more real experimentation, it all seems rather subjective.
Head over here to check out the piece. BTW, I’ll be going out tonight in my beloved combo of charcoal trousers and gray sportcoat, but with a blue shirt and navy tie to match my eyes. — CC