Tag Archives: color

Wild Style: Plaid Dress Shirts

Plaid, the family of patterns that Scotland invented and America fell in love with, has had a swell of popularity in the past decade.  It has ridden the workwear trend to new heights of ubiquity, and one can scarcely walk down the street of a major city without seeing men wearing coats in buffalo plaid, sport coats in Prince of Wales plaid, flannel shirts in traditional highland tartans.  At this point, you probably have at least one casual shirt in plaid, perhaps several.  There is a frontier that is not always explored in the world of plaid, however, one that still intimidates the average office worker: the plaid dress shirt.

It is not so wild an idea, if you think about it: plaid is a pattern, fundamentally no different than stripes or gingham- technically, gingham is a plaid.  A plaid can be imposed on any article of clothing you desire, including dress shirts.  A plaid dress shirt is a great way to add a note of adventure into your office attire.  It can enliven your presence at meetings, make you stand out among your peers, highlight you at job interviews.  Moreover, plaid can allow you to match colors in ways previously unheard of.  A color that appears in a few thin lines of your plaid dress shirt can be picked up by your tie to harmonize your work wardrobe.  You could even match a color in your shirt to your socks, if you’re feeling particularly bold.

The important thing is not to juggle too many patterns at once.  If you are wearing a plaid dress shirt, keep your suit plain, in a neutral color like gray or navy; the purple and blue plaid shirt from Barney’s shown here could also look nice with a brown suit.  A darker shirt, like the black plaid from Burberry, demands a contrasting lightness of color, a blue or even, in the summer, a white.  On the other hand, a dark plaid can work with a dark suit and dark tie, the pattern keeping the outfit from looking like a blackout.  A word of caution: when you wear a plaid dress shirt, you must be on top of your game.  With a look this daring, you’re sure to get attention.

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.