Whether you want to quickly put your outfit together while bleary-eyed in the morning, or you carefully prepare your shirt and suit the night before, sometimes a lack of inspiration can make our office wear feel more like a uniform than an expression of our individuality.
We’ve talked about the psychology of colour in business wear before and the kind of impact it can have on us wearing it, and those we encounter during the day. Now it’s time for us to share some simple but effective colour combinations that not only look good but also keeps you from spending too much time deciding what to wear!
Using your natural skin tone can be a good way of determining which colours to wear in the office
We tend to fall within one of three skin tones – pale, warm and dark, but did you know that each tone works better with certain colours than others?
When you’re fair, it’s important to avoid bright colours like orange and yellow. A good combination is a light blue shirt with dark grey trousers, or for some fun try a pink shirt with a blue suit.
For a warmer complexion, avoid shades that are too light or too dark. Beige, brown and blue are the right colours for you, but let’s be honest, don’t sound too exciting! Jazz them up by teaming with a green or pale red shirt.
Darker skin tones should avoid shades that are too bright or dark. Black, blue and grey are great suit colour choices and can be coupled with light green, yellow or pink shirts.
If contrasting colours are more your style, we’ve got some shirt and trouser suggestions for you too
A light shirt with dark trousers is a great way to meet that smart casual look with a successful colour combination. Great shirt colours are light pink, white, beige and baby blue, they work so well with dark trousers such as navy, chocolate and camel shades.
If you prefer the opposite and want to try a dark shirt with light trousers – that works too! We think that maroon, purple, dark blue and black shirts look fantastic and work really well with beige, cream and light grey trousers.
We should really mention patterns when we’re talking about suit and shirt combinations
It can be tricky to know which patterns can be teamed together and many of us choose to abandon the idea completely and stay with safe, solid colours instead.
If you want to wear a striped or checked shirt then a solid suit colour is essential, try to choose the same colour but a different shade that’s within the shirt design.
If you prefer a checked or striped suit, you can choose a solid shirt colour, or you can be adventurous and try a shirt with polka dots instead!
Colour combinations don’t have to be boring, but they do take a little care and thought to get right. Why not try experimenting the next time you dress for work?