Pairing colors can be a challenging endeavor in menswear. In today’s guide, we discuss the color orange, how you can use it in your outfits and how to make the most out of this versatile color so that you always look dapper.
Orange can make you look really elegant and dapper, you just have to know how you utilize the color.
Unlike a green suit, you cannot wear an all orange suit without looking outlandish or clownish. However, if you use orange in doses such as a vest or maybe a shirt, pocket square, tie, boutonniere maybe even socks, you can get away with it and it just looks very handsome. It can also be an accent color in sports coats or suits.
Understanding The Color Orange
In the beginning, you want to understand what shade works well with your outfit. You can have a dark orange or you can have something lighter in two-toned or something really bright like a polo shirt.
In my experience, darker shades of orange such as the rust orange knit tie by Fort Belvedere or a bowtie which is a two-tone Shantung orange with a black undertone works really well for Fall-Winter colors.
On the other hand, for summery outfits, you can go with an orange and sometimes a white two-tone look, maybe a linen material. It’s brighter, airier and it has a pastel tone to it which is very appropriate for Spring-Summer outfits.
Orange is a wonderful color that warm and is such that works particularly with brown tones. At the same time, it also works well with things like black or charcoal which is usually more of a business color at the same time, you can pair it with navy, or with green.
One of my favorite combinations of orange is mixing it with charcoal because it can be dressed up for a business suit or dressed down in one with corduroys in brown ones with a kind of tweed outfit during Fall-Winter.
On top of that, orange is one of the few colors that works with any kind of skin tone. If you’re Black, Indian, Asian or Caucasian, no matter what skin type you are, this color works with you. Just make sure you have a high-contrast. If you yourself have a high contrast because of your hair and your skin tone, or if you’re black, then go with high contrast items such as a light shirt with a bold tie. If you’re fair-skinned, and you have very light hair, try to go with something a little less contrasting.
I like to wear a knit tie with tweed coats or sports coats in the summer and you could also have a sweater or a sweater vest that is mottled with green and brown undertones.
For Spring-Summer outfits, I found that orange works really well as pocket squares. You can wear them with lighter sports coats or dark ones, patterned ones, it doesn’t matter, it always looks very summery.
If you wanna go a bit more casual, a polo shirt is great and so are shorts. I like the color pastel orange for shorts which is not too bold but different from any other kind of short colors that are typical such as navy, beige or khaki.
The all-purpose kind of sock in charcoal and orange is also great. Orange in your outfit instantly gives you a Spring-Summer feel or a warm, cozy Fall-Winter feel and that’s why it’s such a great color to have in your wardrobe.
How Should You Combine Orange?
1. Orange With Black Shoes
As I said, it’s a very versatile color and you can wear it for example with all kinds of black shoes and, black oxfords, black derbies. Just make sure it ties it together such as in brown and orange socks or charcoal and orange socks or black and orange socks. I suggest you check out our written guide on how to combine shoes with socks and pants to get a much better in-depth understanding of how you can use orange to your advantage.
2. Orange With Brown
Personally, one of my favorite colors to combine with orange is brown. I like it with chocolate brown but also with dark brown or lighter browns. They all work really well and having that combination just makes you stand out because orange is not a color most men usually incorporate in their wardrobe so you don’t even have to be loud to really stand out but people will compliment you because it’s different and elegant. Some of my favorite brown items include a brown suit, a brown jacket – you can wear them in separates, a brown tweed, and brown corduroys.
3. Orange With Green
When it comes to green, I like to pair it with dark green, such as a suit. Sometimes I just have the pocket square, and maybe a solid green jacket, or combine the windowpane orange with a dark green tweed. You can also work with a kind of olive green in a tie, for example. The range of green is quite wide. It would always work with orange especially with a more rust tone or something very light.
4. Orange With Purple
A little more exotic combination of orange is to pair it with purple. It’s not one of those color combinations you think of in the first place but it actually works rather well. Like the Purple, Orange, Green, Blue Silk Wool Pocket Square from Fort Belvedere, you can see it combined with green tones and blue tones and even though most of these colors are bold, together they are much more sensible and elegant.
5. Orange With Blue
Another personal favorite of mine is combining orange with blue. It can be orange with a dark navy suit or a mid blue, or a royal blue suit, and again, it can be your tie, can be your pocket square, maybe your shirt. It just helps to really offset each other because there’s enough contrast and it’s a bold combination. It’s similar to yellow, so it’s good if you want to make a noticeable first impression without being just the clown that is over-the-top obnoxious.
Starting Out With the Color Orange
If you’re not sure what orange and you want to start out, I suggest to go maybe with a blue blazer, a blue suit, a light blue shirt, and instead of a red tie, try to use something in orange. Just use one element in orange at first, and then later on, once you’re comfortable, you can maybe add a second element, but most of the time, that’s really all you need.
If you don’t like blue very much or you have a lot of darker suits, try to go with a charcoal and orange, or even black and orange because it harmonizes very well together. It’s just one of those staples that any men can wear no matter what skin tone they have or what other elements they have in their wardrobe, it’ll work for you.
If you have an accent of orange that’s on the top half of your body, such as a tie, a vest, a shirt, or a pocket square, it works particularly well if you pick up the orange with your socks. The orange and charcoal socks are one of our bestsellers, and you can totally see why because they simply work so well with everything, and make everyone look dapper.
Mistakes To Avoid When Wearing Orange
1. Stay Clear Of Solid Orange Suits
Try to stay clear of solid orange suits because they’re simply over the top. If you want something that is similar, maybe go with a tobacco brown linen or add a slight herringbone pattern, that can help but an all orange pair of pants is never going to look advantageous and neither is a suit or just a jacket.
2. Only Light Pastel Color For Summer.
The only exception well maybe be a very light pastel color for summer. But even so, I suggest you go with a khaki kinda suit or a stone-colored instead.
3. Stay Clear Of Very Bright Oranges
Personally, I try to stay clear of very bright oranges because they remind me of construction workers or reflective vests and I find that just to be too attention grabbing. Instead, I go with richer colors of orange, that just have a different depth. That being said, it can still be a lighter orange but it’s still richer and these are as well, but it’s not so bright and garish as the reflective neon orange.
4. Do Not Combine Orange With Red Items Or Pink Items.
Because it’s too much and it looks odd. If you go with orange, bear in mind it’s a bold color and that means tone other things down and keep only orange as your only accent in your outfit.
5. Tone Down Other Accents
When you pair orange, tone down all your other accents because orange is a bold statement and it can look very good, however, if you use too many other things, it’s just conflicting information and people don’t know where to look.
Once you incorporate a few orange items into your own wardrobe, you’ll quickly see how versatile this color is and how good it will make you look. If you’re not sure where to start, I suggest, go with a pair of socks, then maybe a pocket square, and then a tie or bow tie. With these three items, you have a very great foundation, and if you find that you want more orange, you can always add a pair of corduroys, a vest or a jacket. But to start, stick with simple accessories, it won’t break the bank and you can experiment with them.
When I dabbled with orange at the very first time, it was actually very difficult for me to find proper accessories, and so I designed a number of different ones such as pocket square in different colors and material compositions, bow ties, ties, and socks, so you could have a better access to that color. Simply check out all those accessories on our website here. They’re labeled as Fort Belvedere which is the brand I started and all the products are designed by me.