How to Match Clothes When You’re Clueless About Color-Matching

Editor’s Note: If you want to know ALL the ins and outs of matching clothes, check out my guide: Effortless Outfits: The Men’s Guide to Matching Clothes for Powerful Impressions in Your Personal and Professional Life. You’ll love it!

Well-matched outfit with a neutral brown jacket and a red hat
Matching Your Clothes Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

So you don’t know how to color-match your clothes, huh?

I don’t blame you — it’s pretty confusing.

But you can’t wear color until you figure out what colors go together, right?

You’ll wear colors that clash and look like a fool.

So maybe you just avoid colors for now. You stick to black, white and grey, with the blue of your jeans being the sole exception.

Well, that stops today.

Because you can wear colors — even if you don’t know how to match them. And you can do it without any chance of looking like a fool.

You just need to know how to match clothes in a way that avoids color-clashes, and you don’t need to know anything about color-matching to do so.

Color Matching is Confusing

Obviously, you want to dress the best you can, but keeping track of which colors match and which colors clash is hard.

Even if you ignore the full color spectrum, and only look at basic colors, you still have a ton of possible combinations.

Just look at the basic color wheel pictured above.

This color wheel only has 12 colors in it, but that means you can combine them in 66 different ways. (Yeah, you got me, I had to look that up)

Figuring out which of those combinations match and which clash would be a pain.

So Let’s Try Something Else Instead

Example of a neutral outfit with grey jeans, black and white striped t-shirt and navy jacket
An Example of a Neutral Outfit (They Can Also Look Quite Good)

Instead of racking your brain trying to learn color matching, you should use my secret trick for effortlessly matching your clothes.

But we get to that, you need to learn about neutrals.

Neutrals are colors that work well with all other colors. They are impossible to clash, which is why they make great supporting pieces. If you’ve already added some of the wardrobe essentials, you should already have a few neutrals in your wardrobe.

Examples of neutral colors are:

  • Black
  • White
  • Grey
  • Navy
  • Brown (including camel, khaki, beige, etc.)

(Note: Navy and brown are not technically neutrals, but work so well with such a high number of colors, they are considered as such in the world of fashion)

The One Color Trick

Since neutrals won’t clash, you can match them to any color you wish.

So instead of trying to match colors together, you simply wear a max of one color in your outfit, and keep the rest neutral.

This little splash of color will be enough to add a little pop to your outfit, and you’ll be completely safe from clashes. On little pop is enough to make your outfit stand out.

These are some examples of good outfits using the one color trick:

  • Red tie, white shirt, navy blazer, camel cardigan, khaki pants
  • Green shirt, grey sweater, navy jeans
  • White shirt, orange sweater, grey pants
  • Grey suit, white shirt, turquoise tie

Get the idea?

Here are some examples:

Illustration of outfits with only one pop of color

Examples of real life one-color tricked outfits:

examples of outfits with one color matched with neutrals

But Does That Mean You Can Only Wear One Colored Item At a Time?


Wearng only one colored item in your outfit makes it easy… And yeah, it is enough to give your outfit a bit of pop.

But you don’t have to restrict yourself to just one colored item. You can also apply the one-color trick on more than one, as long as you keep it in the same color-family, like so:

Illustration of outfits compiled of neutrals and one color family

Can’t make it any easier than that!

With this easy hack, you’ll never have to worry about wearing the wrong colors together again.

Real life examples of One-Color Tricked Outfits with Multiple Colored Pieces:

outfits that use multiple items in the same color family

You might also like: What to Wear with Green Pants

Now, Add Some Color to Your Wardrobe

So now I want you to go out and add some color to your wardrobe.

Go out and buy a colorful shirt, and then go home and try it on with some of your neutral items. You’ll see how well they play together.

You’ll be completely safe.

You don’t have to wear every color in the rainbow every time you leave the house. Just one splash of color is enough to add a touch of visual interest to your outfit.

One color per outfit is all it takes to look sharp.

It’s a pretty simple trick, and anyone can pull it off.

So now you have no more excuse.

Start rocking some colors, dude.

If you want to learn more about matching clothes, please check out Effortless Outfits: The Men’s Guide to Matching Clothes for Powerful Impressions in Your Personal and Professional Life. You won’t regret it.

Did You Find That Useful? Then Check This Out…

I wrote a men’s style guide that simplifies the art of dressing well, focuses on what matters, and takes you through it one step at a time. Enter your e-mail below and you’ll receive three free chapters, which will show you:

  • How to build an easy-to-match wardrobe
  • How to make shirts look awesome on you
  • How to create flattering clothing combinations

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