How to Spruce up Your Wardrobe with Color—Without Overdoing It

We all enjoy a little bit of color in our wardrobe. We’re sometimes just afraid of overdoing it. But even conservative dressers will enjoy something outside the proverbial box if they don’t feel like they’re a fashion experiment. 

If you’ve been color-averse in your fashion leanings, there’s good news. It doesn’t take a professional stylist to put together an outfit with some color in it. Just follow this simple guide, and you'll be well on your way to a stylish wardrobe full of color.

Stop Adding These Four Colors

If you already have a complete wardrobe—just not a colorful one—then you know which colors we’re talking about.

They’re the colors you’ve worn every day for the past year in some form or another. The “safe” colors. The versatile colors. The colors everyone else is already wearing:


  • White
  • Black
  • Khaki
  • Navy
  • Light Blue

It’s not that these colors don’t work. Far from it. Some of our best trousers are shining examples of how to pull off these colors. The issue is, if you’re like many of us, you already own these colors in abundance. Adding new colors means branching out beyond the basics.

Add Conservative Colors First

To avoid overdoing it with color, you’ll want to start slow. That means starting with a color or two that might make you just a little bit uncomfortable the first time you wear them—but not too uncomfortable. If you have experience with the “southern gentleman” look, you’ll know exactly what we mean:

  • Charleston Brick. Also known as “pink,” “red,” or “salmon.” This is one step outside the usual realm of white-black-khaki-navy-light blue, but still a perfectly conservative option for work, casual social events, and even weddings.
  • Baby Blue. You’ll find this color in our Seersucker Flat Front trousers thanks to the subtle striping. You could argue that this is simply another form of light blue, but that’s the point: we’re taking small steps here.

Build Up from a Solid Foundation

There’s nothing wrong with the basic colors we’ve mentioned. In fact, they’re the foundational colors for a reason: they’re professional, they’re versatile, and they match with many other colors.

As you continue to experiment with different colors in your wardrobe, turn to these foundational colors as your tether. Ground an unusual pine green shirt with khaki pants. Match your baby blue pants with a simple white oxford cloth button down shirt.

The more comfortable you get with new colors, the better you’ll get at styling your own outfits. Over time, you can add subtle touches, including:

  • Multi-colored canvas belts
  • Bracelets and neckwear
  • Watches
  • Pocket squares for jackets and blazers
  • Bold ties

The key is to start by making a few conscious changes to your wardrobe. Get comfortable with new colors and there’s no limit to what you can do to define your style. A little help from some of the best trousers around won’t hurt, either.