We’ve talked about colour in a fair amount of detail in the past; looking at what hues look best against your skin, how you rank on the Von Luschan scale and even to work out if you have a fair or medium complexion.

Now let’s step things up a notch. Let’s start looking at how we can combine colours to create fantastic looks ‘on the fly’. In order to get ourselves looking dapper we need to take a look at the omnipresent ‘colour wheel’.

What is the colour wheel?

The colour wheel is a simple arrangement of hues and shades in a specific order around a circle. The order, arrangement and number of colours vary depending on the requirements of the wheel.

To use the wheel, select your primary colour, also known as the core colour. This is the prevailing shade you’ll be wearing, so make sure it’ll make up the body of your outfit; therefore, don’t use your core colour with socks, shoes, ties or belts.

Now, select a pattern type you want to use to create your outfit. In all our examples below, we’ll be using blue.



An analogous match is where your core colour is matched with the adjacent hues. So for blue, you’ll be using purple and aqua. Analogous looks are very common and, unsurprisingly, are the most often abused; keep intensity even and don’t introduce too many different shades.



This is where you have multiple hues of your core colour. In our example you’ll have light, medium and dark blues together. Monochromatic looks can blend beautifully, just don’t confuse a monochromatic palette with multiple shades of the same hue – it’ll look too bland!



The triad uses contrasts from three points on the wheel in the shape of an isosceles triangle. Therefore, with blue as our core colour, we’d have orange and green as our matches. The triad can look very stark, so be sure to be vigilant when combining in this style.



This includes a mix of your core colour and those which sit opposite. Again, using blue as our core, we’d be seeing shades including yellow and mustard. This tends to look pretty dramatic, so be careful to restrict your complements and only use them sparingly.

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.