Men's Fall & Winter Essentials, Quick Tips

Series Intro & How to Match Clothing Colors To Your Skin Tone

In this series, I’m going to show you the must-have Fall and Winter items that every well-dressed gentleman should own. That means I’ll be talking about:

  • Boots and Shoes
  • Coats & Jackets
  • Shirts & Sweaters
  • Suits
  • And various Accessories

Like always, I only recommend products that I’ve personally touched and worked with – in all budget ranges. I’m fortunate in that I get to touch hundreds of menswear items a week, so when I say something is great, it’s not because I got paid to sell you a bunch of cheap s@*t like everyone else – it’s because I have actual experience with these items.

This series is a supplement to my Men’s Wardrobe Essentials Series. In that series, I covered the year-round essentials that you should have in your closet already. If you haven’t read/watched those articles and videos, do that first so we’re on the same page.

The Best Colors & Patterns For The Season

fall-winter-colors-patterns-men-ashley-westonSince I don’t want to go over colors and matching them in every single video in this series, let’s talk about Fall and Winter colors and patterns and how to match them to your outfit and skin tone.

The appropriate colors for this time of year are:

  • Mid to darker greens
  • Shades of browns (camel to dark brown)
  • Shades of blues (light chambray to navy)
  • Shades of gray (light, medium and dark)
  • Burgundy and wine colors
  • Darker or “burnt” Orange

As for patterns, this is what I like to call “plaid season”. It’s the best time of year to wear plaid because its more visually heavy and pairs nicely with the heavier clothing you’ll be wearing, like sweaters, wool coats and wool trousers. For outerwear and Fall/Winter suiting, I love a good windowpane, as well.

HOW TO Match & wear COLORS BASED ON YOUR SKIN TONE

If you’re darker skinned, this is less of an issue because those colors look great on you. But if you’re pale or yellow-toned, this can be a disaster if you don’t know what you’re doing.

PALE or Yellow Skin

If you’re pale or yellow skin toned, make sure that your camel, burgundy, or burnt orange pieces are an outer layer and not a base layer. Let me show you what I mean.

You’ll notice in the below photo that I have my pale model wearing a camel sweater. But you’ll also hopefully notice that there is a white ring of a t-shirt sticking out from under the collar.

This is VERY important because that little sliver of white provides separation between the skin and sweater. The camel color would completely wash out his skin tone and make him look sickly if it wasn’t there. It’s much more apparent in person than images, too.

fallwinteressentialsovercoatcamelsweaterashleyweston

Below is the same model wearing a burnt orange sweater, but you’ll notice that I have a gray plaid shirt under the sweater to provide that necessary separation of the sweater from his skin. If that wasn’t there, the orange would bring out the pink tones in his skin – which would make him look red and flushed.

orangesweaterplaidshirt-ashley-weston

And lastly, going back to my white sneaker article/video, I styled my model in a burgundy bomber jacket with a black t-shirt. The shirt provides the necessary visual separation to not bring out the pink tones in his skin.

If I had him in a black jacket and burgundy t-shirt, instead, he would look oddly red-faced. This combination, though, would look awesome on someone with darker skin.

burgundyjacket-2

So to recap: If you have a pale or yellow skin tone and want to mix Fall/Winter colors into your wardrobe, just make sure it’s an outerwear piece with visible neutrals (white, grey, black, navy) underneath.

DARKER SKIN

Now, if you’re darker skinned, you can still follow the pale/yellow skin rules above because it’s the classic way to wear color and looks good on everyone. So when in doubt, wear your statement color as outer layers. But with darker skin tones, you have the added advantage of being able to wear all these colors in your shirts and sweaters and then have neutral outer colors because the contrast looks great with your skin tone.

Here’s some examples of outfits that look great on darker/warmer skin tones that would look horrible on a guy with yellow or pale skin:

darkerskintoneoutfits-ashley-weston2

Just do me a favor, though. Don’t go overboard with color. Have one standout color in your outfit and then pair it with neutrals everywhere else. When you start throwing burgundys, greens, blues and browns all in one outfit, it’s just too much going on.

How To Wear PLAIDS AND PATTERNS

It’s a great time of year to incorporate them into your wardrobe. I prefer to keep the plaids to collared shirts because it looks good on everybody and is really hard to mess up. You can wear them on their own, with the sleeves rolled up, or throw on a nice solid colored sport coat, bomber or trucker jacket over it and the shirt will look great.

As I mentioned earlier, I also love a good windowpane. This looks great on pants, suits, sport coats/blazers and overcoats.

The key to wearing patterns is to make sure the rest of the items in your outfit – pants or jacket/sweater/coat are solid neutral colors. It’s when you start mixing patterns that’ll get you in trouble real quick.

So pick an item in your outfit (normally a shirt, sweater, jacket or coat) for a pattern and then have everything else be a solid color. And also make sure that just like with your ties and pocket squares, you want a color in your plaid to be a similar shade of one of the colors in your pants or jacket/sweater. Then you’ll have a nice, classy and cohesive look.

My Favorite COLOR COMBINATIONS For The Season

Here’s some color combinations I love and use with my clients during this time of year:

  • Green and blue
  • Gray and brown
  • Blue and brown
  • Burgundy and blue
  • Burnt orange and blue

These are my go-to colors and if you stick to these combinations, you’ll look sharp and timeless during this season.

So without further adieu, let’s get into the Men’s Fall and Winter Essentials.

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