So what have I been up to lately?
I'm about to reopen this for those who have not joined yet, and as I was going through everything,
I've been working on The Personal Image Blueprint.
I thought about making a quick video on color and walk you guys through my e-book.
By the way, everyone who's joined actually gets a copy of this 41-page e-book on color.
There's really not much out there when it comes to color for men, I can tell you that.
There's one book, but the e-book we put together is much better. It's 30 years younger.
So what is the goal of this post?
I want to create in you a hunger to learn more about color. I would say color in itself could easily be a college course.
In fact, there are many of you guys out there that are designers that have taken entire courses on color. So this presentation, it's based off of a 41-page e-book, which I'm going to be walking you through, and it's part of my Style System.
You can get it for free actually if you're on my early bird list.
What we're going to talk about:
- Why you should care about color
- Understanding colors
- Introduction to traditional men's colors
- Understanding color relationships
- Understanding patterns and textures
- Putting it all together
- Examples from film
- Energy, personality, and hidden meanings
I would like to thank Cori Burchell. She's an image consultant up in Canada and she just worked on the latest movie with Colin Farrell, Total Recall, the remake.
She's going to be helping me bring in some great examples here.
A Man's Guide – Color & Clothing:
First, why care about color?
You need to start understanding color in order for you not to make obvious mistakes. Whenever you make a mistake with color, it is obvious to the world. Unfortunately, close to 10% of men are color-blind, so that's something that for those of you that are color-blind. Now let's have systems in place first so that you're not making common mistakes.
Reason #2 :
Color lets you guide people's eyes.
So if you know how to use color, like when I'm looking at this picture here with this gentleman, I'm drawn to the red, not necessarily the softer colors around it, but to that red right on his chest, kind of like a robin.
Color is a Jedi mind trick. Let's take white for example. White signals cleanliness. It's just got a very authoritative feel to it, so if you understand that, you can use it to your advantage.
Understanding colors makes shopping easier.
Three types of contrast:
High contrast men – You've got light colored skin, dark hair.
Medium contrast – Like me, I've got medium skin, dark hair, but not black or anything.
Low contrast men – They usually have lighter colored hair with lighter colored skin.
Unless you're really East African, then oftentimes those gentlemen from the ivory coast area have sometimes very, very, very dark skin, almost the same color as their hair. In that case, they would be low contrast as well. But African-American style, I'm not going to go down that path.
It's something that a friend of mine named Grant Harris can. We've actually written and we talked about how the African-American style applies and it's got its own set of rules, so we're actually coming out with a style book specifically for the Black men.
How to determine your contrast
1. Take a photograph of your face and then photocopy in black and white (or take a black and white photograph and print it out).
2. Look at the gray scale above and then look at your skin, eye and hair color and match each to a value on the gray scale.
3. If you feel that your skin color is a 2 (far left) and your eye color is a 9 (far right) then you would have high contrast between your skin and your eyes.
4. If your hair was a 3 or 4 then you would have a very low contrast overall and you'd know that it would be best to wear combinations of clothing that also have low contrast.
The effect of skin color
Skin tone. If you're a cool-toned person blue is your undertone. If you are a warm-toned person, you're going to have colors like orange, red, and yellow as your warm undertones and that's going to affect what type of red looks best on you.
Look at the picture to the right – Jay Z is cool toned while Kayne West has a much warmer tone.
You might have a ‘blue' undertone to your skin, which would make you ‘cool'. Or, you could have a yellow or red undertone to your skin, which would appear more ‘warm'.
And so, they can wear in a sense the same colors, but they're going to want to wear different hues of the same color. I know this is a lot of detail, guys. That's why I've got this 41-page e-book. I go into a lot more there.
When you're talking with somebody, you want them looking right in your eyes. So if you have blue eyes, make sure to wear a shirt which reflects that color because what that does is it draws out.
Again, a picture of Alain Delon a little bit later on in life and he had very piercing blue eyes, and he used his clothing to even draw those out even more. So if you've got green or hazel, look to somehow bring that out by bringing some of that into your clothing.
The effect of hair color with what you're going to be wearing. Now, George Clooney is an interesting example.
Let's look at George Clooney 15 years ago. He actually had black hair; it wasn't grey. Nowadays, he's graying and George is really smart, kind of like Fred Astaire did 50 years ago.
George realizes that okay, my colors are going to need to change. So here, he's wearing a medium grey suit with actually a black shirt, but that medium grey works much better with his gray hair. So again, he's framing his face by properly using color. And putting it all together, we've got these gentlemen here:
I only know the guy in the middle, Bruno Mars. I'm not sure who the rest are. I know some of you guys can tell me in the comments. But what I really like here is you've got three different styles which means three uses of color. This one over to the right, a little bit more flamboyant, but all of them perfectly fine for what they do as entertainers and all of these did a great job here.
Introduction to traditional men's colors.
Let me stop here really quick. A lot of guys get wrapped around the axle with color because they think that, “Oh, I've got to bring in purple, orange, red, and yellow.”
80% to 90% of your wardrobe should be very simple colors.
Think of those bright colors as a spice. If you're making something, you don't want to put a whole lot of spice in there. It just needs to add to the flavor, so I talk about white, grey, navy blue, light blue, brown, indigo, which is with dark colored jeans, black, tan and khaki, grey. Those are the core colors. They should make up 80% to 90% of your wardrobe.
Understanding color relationships
You are allowed to bring in those brighter colors as spices.
I know some of you guys are really big into wearing a lot more of your brighter color and you can do that like this gentleman here.
It really gives a younger, spring feel, high contrast combinations with complementary colors.
It's really jarring to the eye, but it can be used to affect, especially for men who are entertainers, artists, or even students.
However, I'm a bigger fan for the professional men of low contrast combinations like we see here, and then you can bring in one or two bold colors as a spice.
I talk about tints. We talk about shades. Tint is where white has been added; shades where black has been added to the colors. And so, you see we both see yellows here, but this yellow has black, this yellow has white, and they're going to go for – remember we talked about the hot, the cool complected guys.
Understanding patterns and textures
Let me talk about this briefly. Patterns introduce multiple colors. They all “count,” so be aware of all of them and think how they fit into the outfit overall. Good outfits can use patterns to “reference” the colors in the core items, such as a yellow tie with small blue crests on it paired with a navy blazer.
Textures make a garment look “busier” than it would without the texture.
They're a good way to make solid colors more interesting, particularly if you're wearing a large expanse of something plain-colored. A gray herringbone tweed suit has a busier, more eye-catching look than a smooth worsted one (it's less formal as a result, of course, so be cautious of too much texture in business clothes).
Examples from film
I hate to use movie stars as examples, but since there are so many images of them out there and because we see contrast, they're the best ones. Look at Colin Farrell in this picture:
Look at the straight color. It's got only a little bit of color here which draws our attention to Colin's face here. Now, when I bring this down, look at Colin here:
Do you guys remember this movie, “Terrible Bosses”? I haven't watched it yet. Tell me if it's any good in the comments. They went with this yellow color because they knew it does not complement most men. In addition, they put some stuffing in there and it really made Colin look bad – which is exactly what they wanted to go for.
Let's look at Richard Gere:
We can look at a younger Richard Gere when he had brown hair and that would work for him. Here, the problem with Richard Gere is that he is stuck with the same type of clothing and you can see with his light-colored hair now and his light colored skin, this really is too much. It looked a lot better when he was a younger man. I would say Richard should start leaning towards lighter colors.
Okay, now let's get into Ryan Gosling, a perfect example:
You guys should go out and watch his movies. What was the latest one? “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, great movie when it comes to helping understand how fit and color affect a man's style. But in this middle picture, we can see that Ryan actually is a bit overpowered by the black tie, so he actually looks better in navies and blues.
Hidden images and meanings in colors
Each color has a meaning.
This is one thing I really recommend to salesmen:
Brown – which express trust.
Black – means you're a good listener and it's an authority color.
Red and orange – a dramatic, self-assured color
Let me go ahead and step right back to the presentation. Like I mentioned earlier on, I'm about to open The Personal Image Blueprint again. Go ahead and check it out once it's officially reopened.
I'll keep you guys posted once it does!