Color Study: Orange

Today we’ll look at the color orange, a worthy addition to any FashionMR’s wardrobe, particularly in this time of year.

Orange is a warm color, but not a hot one.  It is the color of the rising and the setting sun, but not the sun at noon.  It doesn’t make us wince away in its brilliance as yellow does; rather, orange is an inviting warmth, drawing us closer, making us slow down and bask in the comforting heat.  Orange lacks the immediacy of red.  It is a complex color, a considerate color, requiring more study than its other warm shades.  Yet orange is still bright, and still sturdy.  Its harmony with the falling leaves makes it suited for the outdoors, giving it a rustic, sporting aesthetic.  Anyone who has hunted quail will connect orange with the reflective vests used to identify hunters in the field.  Like them, a FashionMR who wears orange will be noticed without fail, and the scrutiny he will endure means the piece he chooses must be able to stand up to careful examination.

Orange is not a color that should dominate a wardrobe.  It is so sturdy and bright that a single item of it in an ensemble is enough to capture attention.  We suggest picking a piece that you feel comfortable showing off.  A sweater is an easy choice: wear an orange sweater under your navy blazer with brown pants for an ideal Autumn wardrobe.  It will make you appear warm and confident in the cold days to come.  On the other hand, you can go the Ivy League route and wear orange trousers.  Pair them with a gray tweed sport coat and a white shirt and you’ll be the toast of any party.  If you feel uncomfortable sporting orange in such a broad fashion, you can even wear something simpler.  An orange necktie will look good, particularly with blue, its complimentary color.  Hurry, though- Fall will be over before you know it.

Essentially English: J Barbour and Sons

In  another  installment of our look at classic men’s clothiers, we turn to England, arguably the foundation of modern fine dress.  It was the English, and then the British in full, who introduced modern business dress, and they in turn pioneered ‘country’ style, bringing us such wardrobe staples as tweed, brogues, and the odd vest.  This country aesthetic is maintained by a number of English companies still in business today.  Few are more iconic, and none remain more eminently practical, than Barbour, makers of outerwear and coats for more than 110 years.

J Barbour and Sons began as a small shop in the city of South Shields, England, founded, as you might guess, by one John Barbour and his sons Jack and Malcolm.  They began as sellers of oilcloth, but they quickly branched out into jackets, coats, and other outerwear, crafted from the very same cloth that was sold at their founding.  In the 1930’s, Duncan Barbour devised garments for motorcycle racers, being a keen motorcyclist himself, and these were worn by every British international team for the next forty years.  During World War II, as Duncan served in the British Army, Malcolm Barbour and Duncan’s wife Nancy devised the Ursula suit, a waterproof garment designed for submarine crews.  In the aftermath of the war, Barbour enjoyed extensive popularity that has endured to this day; Barbour has maintained this cachet by collaborating with contemporary designers, such as Tokihito Yoshida and Alice Temperley.  In its long history, Barbour has been awarded royal warrants, and currently holds three: one from the Queen, one from the Prince of Wales, and one from the Duke of Edinburgh.

Barbour has remained devotedly contemporary by evolving with the times, serving the needs and tastes of the public as they have changed.  However, their core products have remained the same, yet in this too they are successful, because Barbour’s classic products will never go out of style.  They remain relevant because they are, arguably, the best.  No jacket endures punishment like a waxed-cotton Barbour, which has made them the favorite of country lords and deer hunters alike.  This practicality brings with it a cachet that has endured the test of time, and will continue to  make Barbour relevant for long years to come.