Do you struggle to put together an outfit? Learn how to match clothes because it’ll make it easier for you to know what to wear.
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Importance of matching clothes
Matching clothes goes beyond looking nice. It affects how you feel and your confidence.
Related: How to wear a suit without a tie
When you confidently put together an outfit and intentionally matched different pieces, you’ll feel great wearing it.
On the flip side, if you don’t know what matches or put together a random shirt with a pair of jeans, you may not feel as great in that outfit.
The point of matching your clothes isn’t to fit into fashion trends. It’s to look good and feel confident in your ability to know what to wear.
Another reason for learning how to match clothes is important is that it’ll reduce clutter and save you money because you won’t buy clothes that you can’t reuse for other outfits.
Having an interchangeable wardrobe makes it easy to mix and match different clothing items. Therefore, you’ll have fewer clothes, but you’ll be able to create more outfits with what you have.
What colors go well together?
An essential aspect of matching clothes is understanding what colors go together. The following examples show different colors and what goes well with them.
Colors that match with orange
With orange, you can wear navy, white, black, olive or grey.
With blue and navy, you can wear brown, white, black, beige or grey.
Colors that match with red
With red, you can wear beige, white, black or navy.
Colors that match with yellow
With yellow, you can wear white, black or navy.
Colors that match with green
With green, you can wear brown, beige, white, black, navy or grey.
How to match clothes
The type of clothing you wear depends on the occasion and the weather. To put together an outfit, you need to understand how to match clothes.
The following are 7 fundamental tips to effortlessly put together an outfit.
1. Wear neutral colors
Neutral colors make it easy to match your clothes. They consist of black, white, gray, beige, tan, olive, and navy.
Regardless of your age, skin tone, or body type, neutral colors are essentials for your wardrobe. This color palette makes it easy to build a lasting and versatile wardrobe.
The reason neutral colors are a great choice is that they don’t clash. They pair well together, and you can be confident that your outfit looks great.
Since neutral colors easily match with other colors, if you’re ever in doubt, wear neutrals.
2. Tonal or monochromatic outfit
Tonal dressing is also known as a monochromatic outfit. It’s when you wear different shades of one color.
One of the best ways to make a tonal outfit more interesting is to wear different textures or patterns. By implementing different textures and patterns, your outfit will have more contrast and depth.
The following is an example of a monochromatic outfit using different shades of blue:
The items in the outfit are as follows:
- Peacoat: Marc New York Burnett Wool Blend Peacoat (opens in a new tab).
- Dress shirt: Nordstrom Non-Iron Dress Shirt (opens in a new tab).
- Dress pants: Nordstrom Wool Blend Trousers (opens in a new tab).
- Chelsea boots: BP. Easton Water-Resistant Chelsea Boot (opens in a new tab).
- Belt: Nordstrom Mercer Leather Belt (opens in a new tab).
3. Contrast is key
Creating a contrast between your top, bottom, and shoes ensures that your entire outfit looks good. The following are two ways to add contrast to your outfit:
1. Pop of color. If you’re not mindful of the colors you wear, they can clash. The way to avoid clashing colors is to add a pop of color. It results in a great-looking outfit, and it’s easier to put together.
If you want to add a pop of color, start with a neutral color then choose one color to add to your outfit.
The following is an example of using a burgundy overcoat to add the pop of color:
The items in the outfit are as follows:
- Overcoat: Ted Baker Fjord Overcoat (opens in a new tab).
- Turtleneck sweater: Vince Turtleneck Sweater (opens in a new tab).
- Chinos: Bonobos Stretch Washed Chino 2.0 Pants
- Lace-up boots: To Boot New York Burkett Black.
- Watch: Fossil 44mm Watch (opens in a new tab).
2. Complementary colors. Another way to add contrast to an outfit is to use complementary colors, which are colors opposite of each other on the color wheel.
When you’re choosing complementary colors for your outfits, they don’t need to be the boldest form of the color. Clothes look better when it’s a shade of the color or a muted form.
4. Versatile shoes
Shoes are an important part of every outfit, and they’re also one of the most overlooked parts.
Unless you love shoes or collect them, take time to go through your shoes, and only keep the versatile ones. The classic, minimal, and timeless shoes can be paired with many different outfits.
The types of shoes you need in your wardrobe are boots, dress shoes, and sneakers. The three styles will ensure you have shoes for every occasion.
As far as color, black and brown are the best colors for boots and dress shoes because they’re the most versatile. For sneakers, start with black, white, or grey.
You don’t have to limit yourself to these styles and colors, but they’re a great place to start. They’re also great for building a minimal yet versatile wardrobe.
5. Consider the season
During the spring and summer, you can wear fewer layers and lighter colors. In the autumn and winter, you’ll need more layers and darker colors.
Unless you live somewhere with consistent weather year-round, your clothes will change with the seasons.
6. Use the color wheel for ideas
One of the best ways to match clothes is to use the color wheel for ideas. The Adobe color wheel (opens in a new tab) is a great resource to use.
When you’re using the color wheel, start with complementary colors because they pair well together.
You’ll notice the colors will look bright and once you choose your colors, go lighter or darker because wearing bright colors won’t look good.
7. Match leathers and metals
The two things you should match are leathers and metals. If you don’t match these items, your outfit won’t look good because it clashes.
- Match leathers. If you’re wearing any leather items, the colors should match as closely as possible.
- Black belt with black leather shoes.
- Brown belt with brown leather shoes.
- Black leather jacket with a black leather belt and shoes.
- Cognac belt with cognac shoes.
- Match metals. Your metals should match as well. This is most important for jewelry and accessories.
- Metallic watch with a silver ring.
- Gold watch with a gold ring, necklace, or bracelet.
- Black watch with a black ring.
If you don’t know what to wear, remember to focus on contrast and neutral colors.
It’s the easiest way to ensure your outfit looks great, which will make you feel more confident about what you’re wearing.
Featured photo by Unsplash.
About David Em
David Em is the founder of Next Level Gents, the ultimate destination for tips and advice about style, grooming, fitness, and success.
I’m now in my mid-60’s and thought I was going to find a, “percent off,” code or coupon if I read this article. But instead I found something much more valuable…knowledge. All I knew before, considering fashion, is that you, “never wear white until May and not after September, or something like that. So, thanks for the tips, and rest assured that this old gentleman is going to pin this article.
David Em says
Hi Jim, glad to hear that you found it helpful.
Ronnie Vickery says
Thank you for this valuable information. I have been trying to build up my closet with newer nicer fashion and even though I have a pretty good eye for what looks good, I have been stumped or indecisive about color mixing. This article has definitely defined what what I was looking for. Thanks again, Ron
David Em says
I’m happy to hear that you found the article helpful. I hope everything goes well with building up your closet.
Kenjan Oduor says
Thanks for this golden information. I have happened to find and read it at the right time. I am in my early twenties and being an enthusiast in style and fashion this information will take me a long way. The challenge of color clashing is no more. My wardrobe my feeling my joy right now.
Thanks once again from Kenya with love.
David Em says
I’m happy to hear that you found the information helpful, Kenjan. Have a great day!