What Are the Most Underused Colors in Men’s Formal Wear?

In every gentleman’s wardrobe, you’ll find that their formal wear mainly comprises neutral colors. There’s black, gray, navy, midnight blue, light blue, and white. While it’s common to wear colorful ties, pocket squares, and socks, men tend to wear the standard colors for suits and trousers. Sadly, many men are missing out on some colors on the formal wear ensembles.

Yes, there are many colors out there that are being underused for men’s formal wear, and we’ll talk about some of them in this article. So, are you ready? Let’s dive into it.

Brown for Formal Wear

The color brown can be found in everything from soil to wood, animals to human hair, eyes, and skin. But most of the time, brown and its shades are among the most underutilized colors in formal menswear.

Brown and its shades, such as bronze, chocolate, and coffee, are underrepresented in formal menswear even though they look great in suits and trousers. Browns in lighter tones, such as beige and khaki, work well as semi-formal trousers and look great with dark blazers. This color can give off a homey or cozy vibe, but it can also come across as dull or ordinary.

 So, how to wear brown? Here’s how:

Pair it with base colors.

Brown can be paired with the foundational base color, gray. While pairing these two colors isn’t strictly traditional, as long as your garments coordinate in terms of formality and seasonality, you’ll be fine. A pair of gray flannel trousers paired with a tweed sport coat in brown tones, for example, would make a good base piece for a winter outfit.

Another base color that will undoubtedly complement brown is blue. First, complementary colors are opposite one another on the color wheel; orange and blue are an example of such. And because brown frequently contains orange hues, it complements blue in a similar way. Also, both brown and blue come in a wide range of shades, so any man should be able to find shades that will work indeed work together.

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Pick the right clothing piece in brown.

Besides finding the right colors to match, you also need to know which brown clothing piece you should get, just like classic khaki pants. Khakis, like any other similarly colored chinos, are a must-have in any man’s wardrobe. Having a few medium brown slacks will also open up a lot of possibilities for more versatile outfits.

On the other hand, brown sweaters in various shades and styles are a must-have for a smart-casual ensemble. Brown is also a perfect color for more rustic coats and jackets in wool, tweed, houndstooth, and herringbone fabrics and prints. Meanwhile, linen and other lightweight fabrics, particularly for summer wear, are frequently seen in a shade known as tobacco brown.

As you can see, brown is a bit of an iconic color in the world of men’s clothing. Most often present, but doing the steady work of grounding other brighter hues.

Green for Formal Wear

Green, just like brown, is such an underrated color because everyone tries to stick with the classic blue and grey theme. It’s incredibly versatile and can be used to dress up or down an outfit while also creating a stunning visual style.

Green comes in a variety of beautiful hues. Shades like Hunter Green, Emerald Green, and Forest Green are found on the darker end of the spectrum. On the other hand, pastel colors are lighter and more summery, such as Neon, Lime, and Sage Green.

Here’s how to wear green clothing pieces:

Choose the best fabrics.

Worsted, flannel, frescos, and even seersucker are all excellent choices for green. It’s such a diverse color palette that you don’t have to be afraid of anything. Naturally, the darker the green, the more formal it looks.

It may be a good alternative for a dark brown suit because it has the same level of formality as a dark brown suit. It’s not overly formal, but it’s certainly more formal than a sport coat.

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The suit jacket looks good in green.

A green suit, or at the very least a green jacket, is beneficial. Green can be worn separately with other corduroys, chinos, or even seersuckers as part of the suit. Olive is brownish-green with yellow undertones. When knitted with a mottled yarn, it adds depth to the color and makes it easier to combine with other colors.

The pants look good in green.

Pants, particularly corduroy or moleskin pants, are another wardrobe element that looks great in green. They’re ideal for chilly colder seasons. You’ll love them because they’re unique and can be mixed and matched in exciting ways. You could also go with softer or brighter shades, but these are more commonly associated with summer and spring.

Dress shirts look good in green, too.

Dress shirts are another area where green is rarely seen. But it would look great with a blue or gray suit, particularly in the summer. This shade of green is refreshing and summery.

If you would like to wear some darker shade of green, it is best worn during winter. You can opt for an olive green with a pale white and ivory stripe.

Green is a versatile, beautiful color that in many cultures represents vigor, growth, and prosperity. Once you’ve gathered all of the essentials for a stylish closet, it’s time to push your stylistic boundaries, and formal green wear is a great way to do so.

Outfit Ideas of Underused Colors in Men’s Formal Wear

As mentioned above, brown and green are both underused colors for men’s formal wear. And these two are underused for a reason – because people don’t know how to style and pair them with other clothing pieces. That’s why we listed down some outfit ideas for you to try on.

Green Formal Wear Ideas

  • You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to get dressed in just a dark green suit and black turtleneck. Adding a dash of stylish casualness to this outfit with white leather low-top sneakers is a great way to finish it off.
  • If you prefer a more relaxed look, pair a black crew-neck t-shirt with olive chinos. Finish with a pair of beige suede low-top sneakers, and you’ve got yourself an outfit.
  • You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to get dressed in a white shawl cardigan, light blue chambray long sleeve shirt, and olive chinos. A pair of dark brown leather driving shoes can instantly bring a smart ensemble down to earth.
  • Pair a green dress shirt with a navy vertical striped suit to look stylish. Then you can complete your look with a pair of dark brown leather tassel loafers to show off your sartorial prowess.
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Brown Formal Wear Ideas

  • If you want to look proper and dapper, try wearing a brown suit and a white long sleeve t-shirt. You can complete this outfit with a pair of white canvas low-top sneakers to make the outfit more current.
  • Make a brown suit and a charcoal turtleneck your outfit choice for a genuinely Kingsman-worthy look. Dark brown leather Chelsea boots are a tried-and-true footwear option with a lot of character.
  • Many fashion-conscious gentlemen favor a navy field jacket with a beige crew-neck long sleeve and khaki chinos. You can also introduce a pair of black leather casual boots to the equation if you want to level up this outfit with one item quickly.
  • When you need to look refined and extra smart, a beige dress shirt and a black vertical striped suit come to the rescue. Finish off this look with a pair of dark brown suede tassel loafers to show off your outfit coordination skills.

The Bottom Line

There are other underused colors in the men’s formal wear section that you’ll love once you try it. Just like brown and green, these two underrated colors, when styled correctly, will bring out your stylish side. So, which one will you try next?

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Jonathan B. Delfs

I love to write about men's lifestyle and fashion. Unique tips and inspiration for daily outfits and other occasions are what we like to give you at MensVenture.com. Do you have any notes or feedback, please write to me directly: [email protected]

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