Today we discuss one of the most underrated colors in menswear, GREEN! Not only is green a very versatile color, but it can also be dressed up and down. It can help you develop a signature style that stands out from the rest of the crowd who favors city grays and blues without looking too ostentatious but still keep you looking elegant and stylish.
I am a huge fan of green but it wasn’t always like that. I had to get to know the color and learn its versatility and the abilities it gave me. It was a journey. As a kid I liked green and orange, but I was not a well-dressed kid. When I got interested in men’s clothing, green was not really on my radar for a while, until I discovered the elegance of a green suit, then corduroys, ties, and other accessories.
What Is Green?
Most men have a tendency to overgeneralize colors and just say red, blue, gray or green. But there are lots of different greens. There are emerald greens, olive greens, and medium greens. You could also have light greens and all kinds of different shades including forest greens, racing green and mild olive green. Green is such a versatile color that one term isn’t even enough or sufficient to describe the full range of colors.
How Do You Wear Green So It Flatters You?
1. Green Suit Or Jacket
First up, it’s really helpful to have a green suit or at least a green jacket. Green as part of the suit can be worn separately with other kinds of corduroys or chinos or even seersuckers. Olive is a kind of green that has some brown tones and sometimes yellow tones and with a mottled yarn it creates more color depth and helps you to combine it with other colors. For that reason, it’s a first-grade choice.
The same is true for a fresco jacket which is also mottled and is a great summer suit because it has a lighter springy-summery color but it has an open weave that cools you down. It’s also not too dark so the sun does not heat you up overly like a black suit or a black jacket would.
2. Don’t Shy Away From Fabrics
In terms of fabrics, you can wear green in worsted, flannel, frescos or even seersucker. It’s a broad color range that you don’t have to shy away from anything. Of course the darker the green is, the more formal it is. It could be a good substitute for a dark brown suit because it has the same level of formality so it’s not overly formal but definitely more formal than sport coat combination.
3. Pants Looks Good In Green
The other wardrobe element that looks really good in green is pants particularly corduroy pants or moleskin pants. They’re perfect for cold fall-winter days and I just like them because they are different and I can combine them in an interesting way. For example with brown jackets, I don’t have to wear a brown or blue pair of corduroys. I can wear dark olive green pants but most people wouldn’t necessarily recognize them as such in the evenings. You can also go with lighter shades or brighter shades but typically these are things you would wear in the summer or in spring. So having a pair of bright green chinos or a light green and white seersucker these are very much suited for spring summer climates or warmer climates in general.
4. Invest In Vests
The other element you can invest in is a vest. I have a green vest that matches the suit which I can wear individually or in accordance with the suit. I also have a really beautiful dark bottle green vest in velvet which is double-breasted and I love wearing it because it really keeps me warm and it’s different than all the other vest you see out there. Bottle green velvet is also a really popular material for dinner jackets.
5. Dress Shirts
Another area where green is hardly ever seen is dress shirts. A light green dress shirt will go well with a madras tie and a brown suit. You could also wear it with a blue suit or even a gray suit, especially during the summer. This shade of green is very summery and springy. If you get something darker like olive green maybe with a pale white and ivory stripe, it is much better for winter.
6. Wear Green Shoes
You can also wear green shoes. Sometimes people go with a darker kind of green or an olive green. I think both can be very versatile, probably the olive green is even more versatile than the regular green. If you wear a belt make sure you get a matching belt to your shoes, that way you get a harmonious look and it’s overall well-rounded. If you can’t find regular box calf leather shoes in green, go with suede because it underlines the more casual character of the color and as a tassel loafer, it is really great for summer outfits.
You could also think about getting a dark green maybe a racing green boot for the winter. The darker you go with your green, the more formal it is. In the evenings most people wouldn’t even recognize that it’s not a black shoe or a very dark brown shoe. You can combine it more with casual outfits that you couldn’t wear with a black shoe.
7. Use Socks As Contrast
Personally, one of my favorite elements to wear green is socks because you can use it as a contrasting color. For example, when you wear chinos with brown shoes you could get two-toned socks with green and purple. You can have interesting outfits either with corduroy pants or other winter trousers by matching your green socks with them. Of course, lighter greens are better for summer and the sky is the limit here.
8. Invest In Green Accessories First
Last but not the least think about a pinky ring in green maybe malachite or cufflinks or even a tie bar. They all work together and it’s a wonderful color that creates contrast on your white or light blue or otherwise pastel-colored dress shirt. There are lots of items that you can wear in green. But when you are just starting out, I suggest you invest in accessories first simply because they are easy to combine. It is not a huge investment and you can find exactly the right kind of shade of green that works for you and your existing wardrobe.
9. Ties Or Bow Ties
When you live in a warmer climate you can go with a bright shantung green or with a bourette houndstooth silk either bow tie or tie. If you are more in a colder climate maybe a darker olive green or something in a wool grenadine will be better for you.
10. Start With Pocket Squares
Apart from bow ties and ties, a perfect place to start is a pocket square because it is rather affordable and it has a number of different colors especially when it’s printed so you can pick out different colors such as red, yellow or purple or green. You can create a really interesting unusual look with our having to invest too much up front. Green contrast beautifully with all traditional jacket colors such as gray or navy but it’s not too stark so it’s a subtle, sophisticated contrast and I’m sure once you invested in one pocket square, more accessories will follow.
What Colors Work Well With Green?
1. Green With Blue
Now green should only be just one color in your outfit and your entire outfit should not just be green because that would look odd. In my opinion, one of the easiest color to combine is blue. Whether it’s navy blue, mid blue or even light blue, green really goes well together with it because green is a little warmer.
Blue is a cooler tone, green is a warmer tone and together they harmonize and work perfectly. If you have a navy suit or navy blazer, a green accessory just works really well and harmonizes perfectly and you can wear all your existing white and blue shirts that you have in your wardrobe already.
If you like more texture, think about a green grenadine tie or maybe a green knit tie in bottled green or maybe two-tone with blue. I like the combination of green and blue so much that I even designed a tie with those two colors.
2. Green With Brown
The second big color you can combine with green is brown. I particularly like dark chocolate brown but also lighter browns work well with it. I love wearing a beautiful Fort Belvedere brown shantung tie with green stripes with a blue jacket. Unlike blue, browns is also a warmer color and they make the perfect combination for casual outfits. Something I really like to wear with this green jacket is a brown pair of corduroys. It really creates warm country inspired look especially when paired with a pair of tan Goodyear welted double soled boots.
3. Green With Gray
You might be surprised about the third color which is gray, another traditional business color that works really well with green. A beautiful green and gray grenadine tie create a very harmonious look that provides enough contrast no matter if you wear a brown jacket or a blue one or even a gray one. Although personally, I would probably stay away from a gray jacket and tie because the gray may be too similar. Two great outfit combinations are a green tie with a gray flannel suit or a green maybe knit tie with a gray tweed jacket.
4. Green With Orange
My favorite color to combine with green is orange because it’s likewise warm. Whether it’s an orange pocket square or orange knit tie or orange grenadine no matter what color green and orange, it will always work. Sometimes I wear an orange vest with a green tweed jacket because it is just beautiful, unusual and sophisticated.
5. Green With Yellow
In the same vein, yellow pairs really well. I like to wear yellow neckwear because yellow jackets really don’t look good. But as accessories, they really harmonize perfectly with dark green as well as light green.
6. Green With Purple
Another color that I’m really fond of is purple. It’s not a very popular color in countries like Italy, whereas in Britain it is quite popular with office workers and bankers. I believe that green and purple together that is dark harmonize really well and create a nice range of contrast that is not ostentatious or over the top. If you want to create a signature style that is truly unique implementing those two colors in your wardrobe will really help you to achieve that.
6. Green With Red
Last but not the least a really important color to combine with green is red. As you know, red is one of the most popular accessory colors and every man should have a red tie or pocket square in his wardrobe. You may think it can look like a Christmas combination but the key is to go with very dark shades or to have another color such as light blue to get away from that Christmas feel. Chance are you already have quite a few red items in your wardrobe, so adding a green jacket allows you to even utilize those accessories more. That way, you get a lot of mileage out of what you already have without having to invest more money. Red doesn’t have to be the dominant color. It can be an accent color in your jackets such as the overcheck in your glen plaid or just part of the glen plaid or your pocket square or boutonniere.
Now that you got a lot of inspiration about how to wear green and how to combine with different colors, one of the most important aspects to keep in mind is that you simply have to try it. There is no way around it and not every combination will be perfect but the more you try the better you’ll look. Don’t be intimidated. Green is a very versatile color and if you don’t know where to start, go with blue and combine that with green, it will look great.