Colours, like fashion, are a constant in life. Colours can be a great way to add a touch of flair to any outfit. When used with just a bit of intent, colour combinations can become more than just a playful addition but also communicate a bit of your personality to people who see you. Vibrant and bright colours that denote African colours, can be incorporated into every modern man’s wardrobe.
• A basic understanding of colour combinations greatly improves outfit choices.
• Colour trends for AW20 season.
• Vibrant colours and African fashion find solace in one another.
Colours are an omnipresent entity in the human experience, they are a component of light, which have the ability to affect us physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Utilising colours in menswear fashion, layering and colour combinations supplement the visual communications of dressing.
Various colour meanings evoke certain feelings, for example, blue evokes calm, and black can connote authority. And there are African colours for men like red, green, and gold which can be incorporated into every wardrobe.
Fashion Colours: Black or Red?
The colours you choose are capable of communicating various things to others, as well as influencing what you think about yourself. Black is a colour that reflects authority, power, and a sense of independence. Red has been studied to cause others to experience a faster heartbeat and as a colour is often associated with strong emotions such as anger, passion, love or even danger.
An example of geometric pattern with contrasting colours is one of our own U.Mi-1 prints from our Voyager collection (below). Placing bright reds and yellows in contrast to strong blacks and hard shapes creates a simple but mesmerising effect.
Understanding the colour paths and combinations will help you mix outfit colours in appropriate and desirable ways. Picking analogous colours for your outfit is good for a harmonious, easy-on-the-eyes look. Complimentary colour pairings give an exciting, calculated, and bold look for when you want to leave a lasting impression.
Neutral colours are perfect for playing it safe. The more colours, the more casual the look. Time of year also matters, pastels of yellow are usually associated with summer, while burgundy and brown are autumn fashion colours.
Familiarising yourself with some colour combinations can make your dressing sharper and shopping more fun, since you know what works for you. Here are some surefire ways you can experiment with colours.
• Navy and White: This colour combo invokes a sailor look that is composed, mature, and timeless. Our unisex shirt with shoulder strip is an example of this particular colour combination.
• Grey and Black: This combo capitalises on the contrast and complimentary nature of the two colours, it is an underrated look that if used well can create a subtle mystique in your look.
• Green and Khaki: The camouflage tones in this give off the confident, purposeful aura that military wear has on menswear.
• Black and White: You literally can not go wrong pairing this all-time classic colour combo, its high contrast gives a clean elegant look.
• Monochromatic: all one colour, but different shades, tones, textures or patterns. All blue attire could consist of a navy suit, light blue shirt, dark blue tie, blue pocket square.
Colour & Art
Artists have historically explore colour and its uses with some artists in particular noted for their contributions to colour theory such as Willam De Kooning, Josef Albers, Henri Matisse and more recently Olafur Eliasson to name but a few. Albers and Eliasson in particular explore colour and its effect on our perception.
Colour can be used to express distance, importance, and emotions in various forms of art. The same goes for fashion: In our fashion collections, a splash of a colour can make an instant statement by drawing attention to a particular detail or providing visual contrast.
Taking a look at Kente, indigo-dyed Adire fabrics, vibrant Masai fabrics and beads, etc, colours in African fashion have a long-running relationship. The tropical nature of African environments, make vibrant colours pop even more. Colourful Ankara fabrics have been adopted so much it’s often mistaken to be African. Its variation of designs and colours fuels our adventurous sense of style, and enable endless possibilities of bespoke creations.
African Colours: Vibrant and Bright
The combination of red, gold, and green is closely associated with African culture due to how often they feature in the flags of African countries. They are also prominent colours in the Pan-African movement. Red can be paired with blue, or mustard yellow. Green can be paired well with grey, and gold with black is a match made in heaven.
Colours are an essential part of the wardrobe and combined in the right way can elevate an outfit to express more of your personal flair. Colours used in particular combinations can also evoke different cultures such as green, black and yellow of Jamaican Rastafarians or the red, gold and green of African flags. Careful usage of the right colours can also help project a particular identity and if all else fails, some tried and true pairings always work.