Relax, we know you haven’t taken an art class since freshman year and we know you don’t understand matching colors any better than Brad Pitt understands how to ugly. We aren’t going to bore you with a color wheel to explain analogous and complementary colors; we know you wouldn’t read that snore-fest anyways. Instead, we found the smartest men in male fashion (re: us) and formed an executive committee (re: me) to decide on a few color combinations that look brilliant on 99%* of guys.
The first color combination we’re bringing you is so simple, it’s impossible to mess up (seriously, we tried to find outfits that don’t work but couldn’t): black and white.
A white tee-shirt, black jeans and white sneakers are all you need to pull off this retro, simple and timeless look. The white shirt/black denim combination adds the highest amount of contrast between your upper and lower half which means this combo turns heads, yet it’s simplicity means it’s easy to pull off. We also know you may/may not have as much money as you wish you had, luckily it’s ubiquity means you can cater it to any price. The white tee-shirt can range from $5.99 (H&M) or $120 (Kanye West x A.P.C), the black denim can range from $59 (GAP) to $220 (pair pictured) and the sneakers can range from $70 (pair pictured) to $410 (Common Projects Achilles Low). A note on cost: The most expensive option is the most useless option if the item doesn’t fit well; a well-fitting pair of jeans from GAP will look infinitely better if it fits your body better than the Rogue Territory pair despite being one-fourth the cost. Regardless, get out there and cop some black denim. This is a definite must have for any person who wants a minimalist, yet versatile look. They are definitely “the thing” across the Atlantic (that’s Europe for you simpletons) so if you want to be ahead of the curve, buy some.
You think tee-shirts are only underwear(settle down, grandpa) or you want something fancier than a “basic” tee, so we’ll up the ante. Swap the white tee for a Breton striped button up to add some flair to your outfit. This keeps our black/white roots, but adds in some visual interest with the black Breton stripes dividing the midsection. Still, it’s simple to pull off as we’re only adding some stripes to your shirt. Don’t mistake understated for uninteresting however; unless you’re a 300 lb McBurger guzzling potato, you most definitely will look good in stripes. The Breton stripe has been a staple in men’s clothing since the 1858 Act of France made this striped shirt (traditionally knitted) the uniform of the French Navy, but it’s relatively slow diffusion across the Atlantic and almost nonexistent presence in the middle of America means these simple stripes can have just a big of an effect as an elaborate Versace designer shirt.
Unfortunately, as all good things must come to an undefined pause in their existence, so have we. If you learned nothing from this series opener (because you’re incapable of basic reading comprehension), the reality is you need a white tee-shirt rotation in your closet and you’d better be on the hunt for a pair of black denim. White, minimalist sneakers have been trending since summer 2014 and are stylish enough to survive the trend’s end. Cop some black/white now, the ghost of Marlon Brando urges you to.
*We apologize if you are a part of the 1%
Below we have an image gallery of the outfit grids and fitpics, also pictured is a third outfit grid that includes a pullover for more layering if it’s a bit chilly. Stay tuned for the next part of this series on color combinations, where we plan on expanding your knowledge of neutrals.
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