It’s casual Friday.
And 94 degrees..
You remember reading that bright colors are cooler.
As a man with dark complexions you know lighter colors require the right balance.
Will it contrast too much?
How can you balance the outfit out?
Darker colors can have a wash out effect.
So what do you do?
Very few colors clash on darker skin tones when used in the right combination.
A great example of getting the right mix of colors is seen in the movie The Martian.
This article will review the wardrobe choices that were worn by Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character in the movie wears a navy blue suit with a gingham button-down shirt, a navy knit tie, brown derby shoes and a classic watch.
This interchangeable outfit of 5 staple wardrobe items works especially well with men who have a darker complexion and can be broken up to create new outfits with the rest of your wardrobe.
Continue reading for details on why you need to invest in these 5 classic and versatile items.
This is Episode 2 of my Celebrity Style Inspiration series. I collaborated with Celebrity Menswear Stylist Ashley Weston, who is here to help the audience at RMRS find the most versatile suit outfit inspired by Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor in the movie ‘The Martian.’
To see two more outfits from Chiwetel Ejiofor in The Martian visit Ashley Weston’s site – Click Here
Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Outfit From “The Martian”
Let’s break it down.
Don’t save your suit for the perfect moment. You can wear a suit any day. Just because it is considered formal wear doesn’t mean that you have to only wear one for weddings, interviews, and big meetings.
Suits can be dressed up or down. You just need the right mix of ingredients.
Navy blue is one of the most versatile color for a suit. Dark colors work great when paired with lighter colors on men with a darker complexion.
It serves up to “black tie optional” levels of formality when worn with a white shirt and conservative tie. Worn more casually, particularly if the jacket is worn separately with lighter slacks, a navy suit becomes a piece of social wear suitable for any relaxed occasion.
An unbroken solid color will be more versatile. If you’re going to own one navy blue suit, select a solid that can be used for solemn occasions, the most formal of business dealings and a variety of more casual occasions.
A 2-button, slim lapel navy suit is preferable.
A suit is two separate items of clothing. You pay for a pair of pants and a suit jacket that just happen to match, so you should be getting the most out of both. Wear your navy jacket with a pair of khaki chinos. Pair your suit pants with a gingham shirt and white canvas sneakers. You can pair it with a pair of dark denim pants, a button-down shirt and a pair of brown oxford dress shoes.
Once you start looking at your suit as the combination of two individuals entities, you’ll notice a number of outfits you can easily pull together.
To dress down a navy suit without losing its classic allure, choose a top with a more daring pattern or color.
Gingham shirts are one of the most ubiquitous clothing items in men’s closets today. And with good reason. They look good on everyone.
The gingham shirt is perfect for a wide range of social settings. The forgiving patter will look good on you even if the shirt is not perfectly ironed. The pattern hides wrinkles and even draws the eye away from any extra weight around your torso.
For the purposes of a versatile outfit, I especially like the medium-weight, balanced and plain-woven fabric of a gingham shirt. Made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn, this shirt straddles the line between dressy and casual.
It takes minimal effort to pair a gingham shirt with the other items in your wardrobe. They can be worn year-round, and can be dressed up or down with khakis, jeans, dress pants and suits.
On the dressiness scale – a gingham shirt is considered casual. However, it can be dressed up with a button-down collar with a tie or dressed down by leaving the top buttons of the shirt open.
If you feel your outfit is too dressed up for the moment, you can change the feel of your outfit by simply changing your ties. Wearing a silk knit tie is going to dress down a formal outfit.
As your neckties get lighter in color, they become less interchangeable. A solid navy knit tie with a blue gingham shirt and navy suit is a winning combination. The dark color of the tie complements a deep skin tone and presents a more uniform and professional look to a smart outfit.
The flat, squared bottom makes the knitted tie look a little less formal and consequently more versatile.
Anything other than a basic basic Half Windsor or Four In Hand knot will make the knot look bulky. As with a traditional pointed neck tie, the blunt end of the knit tie should still hit the top of your waistband.
It is generally not recommended to wear a tie with a button down shirt. The button down collar takes away the clean look and formality of the suit.
Dark Complexion Men Outfit Item #4 – Watch
A stylish watch is the most basic of accessories for a man. Purchase a timepiece that is both classic and rugged.
A slim, sleek dress watch is appropriate for a job interview, but to balance a dressed down suit – you need a timepiece with a bit more weight to it to help balance the look.
Leather bands look more relaxed than metal. Pick a bright color for your watch face. In this case, it is okay to have a white face.
A brown leather strap is preferable because you can wear it for a boardroom meeting or on in the field when physical labor is required.
Saint Honore – Coloseo Automatic Watch – Similar
Dark Complexion Men Outfit Item #5 – Brown Oxford Shoes
Although Chiwetel Ejiofor is seen wearing a pair of brown derby shoes, a pair of brown Oxford shoes would be more appropriate for this outfit.
The Oxford is a versatile style that can be worn to suit any formal occasion from a regular day at the office to special events like weddings. This type of lace-up shoe always has the curved stitching from the bottom of the lace section down to the welt.
The closed stitching on these shoes present a sleeker, cleaner look that is appropriate for formal and dressier occasions.
Dark brown is a more versatile color than black for shoes. Brown leather shoes add extra variety and color to your outfit.
Keep the shoe silhouette and color relatively simple, as anything too fancy will look too forced.
BONUS – Finishing Touches
- Polish up your outfit with a silver tie bar and white. A collar bar is a simple way to add elegance when wearing a knit tie.
- Accentuate your features by selecting the right glasses for your face shape. In the movie, Chiwetel Ejiofor sports square eyeglasses to add structure to his oval face.
- If your trousers fit correctly, you don’t need a belt. If you still prefer to wear one, select a belt that is no wider than an inch or so. A simple flat frame metal buckle is all you need and ensure that your shoes and belt compliment each other in color.
Chiwetel Ejiofor Inspired Full Outfit
This is also a great versatile outfit for lighter complexions as well.
This is a versatile outfit that can easily be dressed up or down based on the occasion.
An outfit that you can wear into a boardroom meeting. Appropriate for a lunchtime time date. And then for evening drinks with friends.
You can take off the jacket. Roll up the sleeves. Make another great outfit out of it.
Watch the movie The Martian for more examples of how a dark-complexioned man can use deep colors that will accentuate his facial features the best.
Hope you enjoyed Episode 2 of my Celebrity Style Inspiration series. I collaborated with Celebrity Menswear Stylist Ashley Weston, who is here to help the audience at RMRS find the most versatile suit outfit.