Tag Archives: brown

Color Guides: Red

There are at least ten colors a man must learn how to master if he is going to succeed as a sharp dresser, and here we begin a sequence that teaches you the steps to mastering each of them.  We will begin at the broad end of the visible spectrum with the warmest and broadest of the colors: red.  Red is not the first color that comes to mind when a man gets dressed- it’s too bold, too angry, too exciting and energetic.  Red is not the color you want to wear in a suit to an interview, for example.  However, precisely because red is so bold, it has its place in a wardrobe as a statement piece.

Limit your use of red to a single item of clothing that you want to really pop, the element of your wardrobe that you want people to see coming from a hundred yards off.  In the Summer, or even the Fall, try it in a pair of pants sitting below a navy blazer and a white shirt; you might even try the famous salmon-pink-red known as Nantucket Red.

You might also try some red up top, in the form of a sweater under a navy blazer or a gray tweed sport coat; this is the pop of color we alluded to before, the burst of bold styling in an otherwise inconspicuous wardrobe that will announce you to the world as a man of taste and sophistication.  As was the case with red pants, keep the rest of your outfit subdued: a simple blazer or sport coat, pants in khaki or brown or gray, a white shirt, and a sober tie.  Think of it as an exercise in precision, your demonstration that you can express yourself without losing control of your appearance.

You might wish to limit your use of red to a single necktie in your suit or smart casual ensemble.  Red neckties have long been associated with politicians, somewhat negatively at that, but this should not deter you from tying one on when wearing a gray or a brown suit.  If the thought of simple red in a necktie is too garish for you, we recommend a more subdued shade, like crimson or burgundy, perhaps with a pattern or a stripe, or used with a fabric other than silk, wool or cashmere coming to mind.  Use your reds with care, and they’ll take care of you.

The Desert Boot are ankle-high boots, allowing greater freedom of motion for the foot…

Shoes that have utility are always prized in menswear over shoes that do not.  Most recently the trend has been toward work boots, even in situations that call for more formal shoes.  We like our footwear to have a sense of purpose; however, we also like to show off when we get the chance.  A popular combination of these two impulses over the past few years has been the desert boot, which is still riding high as a shoe of choice for the  many stylish gentlemen, the fashionmister.  The reason it endures is that it serves a purpose while still looking distinctive.  It is utilitarian while still possessing dramatic flare.

Desert boots are ankle-high boots, allowing greater freedom of motion for the foot than would be had in a calf-high boot.  They also offer less protection than a calf-high boot, which is understandable given their origins.  Clark, the American shoe company, first introduced the desert boot to the public in 1950, and as their name suggests they were inspired by the boots worn by British soldiers in the Egyptian desert during World War II.  They are distinguished by their suede leather exterior, as well as their soles: they have soles of rubber that are mostly flat, but are wrinkled and rumpled along their expanse, and so they are called crepe soles.  Classically, desert boots come in light tan, to better blend with the sand, but these days they can be found in almost every color: brown, black, navy, white, sometimes even red or yellow.

We recommend that the desert boots you wear be in a classic color, at least so long as they are your first pair.  Experimentation can come later; what a FashionMR should be focused on initially is quality and classic styling.  As they are the shoe’s inventor, Clark is still the go-to company for desert boots, such desert boots are sometimes called ‘Clarks.’  However, you can find other models from esteemed companies, such as Mark McNairy New Amsterdam, Opening Ceremony, and Grenson.  Find a pair in classic tan and wear them casually, with blue jeans or chinos and a crewneck sweater on top.  They make good accompaniments to a leather jacket and even a more woodsy sport coat, something in tweed.  This is one trend you should have no fear of joining.