What Colors to Wear in Winter – Reader Question

Have you ever wondered how appropriate different colors are for different seasons?

You’re not alone!

Here’s an e-mail I received from one of my readers:

Hello Robert,

Greetings from Russia! Having lived to my middle age, I plunged into the world of style only about five years ago. By now, I have managed to clean up most of my style mess (…too bold a statement maybe!) but I am sometimes amazed at how puzzling some apparently simple things can be to me! One of such things is a light-coloured sport jacket. As to dark ones, everything is more or less clear: they are universal and appropriate both day and evening in summer and winter. However, the light one has to be more limited in use.

I have a very classic Italian medium to light greyish-blue or bluish-grey linen-wool-and-silk structured sport jacket (on the verge of a blazer) that must be, as far as I understand, on the casual side and is suitable for summer and daytime, but I could be wrong! Anyway, whether it can be worn in the evening or in winter or for not-so-casual events – that is the question! I am sure there are some sophisticated ways to do it, although maybe not for a style beginner!

Put simply, when and where can I wear a light-coloured sport jacket, what to pare it with and what is the colour range for shoes? Surprisingly, I could not find ANY more or less comprehensive answer to this question (except some limited infographics at MrPorter that provide no rules, only general looks without explanations) but I am sure you can help! Thank you very much in advance!



Robert’s Answer:

You know, I’m fairly relaxed when it comes to appropriateness, but certain colors are definitely more suitable for certain seasons than others.

If you’re looking for a hard rule on dressing well for the season, use this one: Avoid looking too summery in winter, and avoid looking too dark and gloomy in summer.

Sounds like common sense, right? So how do you apply it?

Well, colors come in four flavors; bold, tinted, toned and shaded.

Seasonal Colors

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Now, the bold and tinted colors are more appropriate for summer, while the toned and muted are more appropriate for winter.

You CAN wear bold and tinted colors during winter, but don’t go overboard with them. Keep them to a minimum. When you match your clothes, reserve them just for accent pieces. (You should also keep in mind that when lighter clothes get wet, it’s more obvious than on darker clothes.)

As for wearing lighter colors in the evenings… Darker clothes do complement the dark better, but on a hot summer evening, I’d go for a summery outfit just like I would during the day.

Finally, lighter jackets do look more casual than darker jacket. So if you’re attending a formal event, you should err on the side of safety, and go for a darker one.

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