This spring we’re going to see a lot of guys wearing bright, expressive, solid colors with color and style.

We’ve been slowly getting away from our masculine comfort zone over the last few seasons. But, this year we’ve finally hit a stabilizing point as men across the board get comfortable with showing a little more uniqueness in their wardrobe.

The best way to fit in is to stand out, but there are a few rules to follow:

Rule #1: When wearing contrasting colors or designs make sure that the contrast works. It’s all about balance, and if the colors clash rather than work together then you may garner the wrong kind of attention.

Rule #2: No matter how cool your shoes are, if they don’t match the belt they won’t match anything else. Go for lighter colors in brown, red, and blue (best in combination with a woven belt in leather or hemp or cotton). Always have them in mind when shopping for the rest of the outfit (or else risk another trip to the chasseur).

Rule #3: The addition of a light grey or tan (for warmer colors) or a blue sport-coat (for cooler colors) can really bring your look together on cooler spring evenings. For the beginning of the season wool is recommended.

Bright colors, when worn right, create a crisp contrast rather than an effusive or overpowering effect. The trick is to hit the right combination of neutral (grey, white, tan) and more vibrant colors. This year the return of salmon, comfrey green, and bright blue denims will afford many opportunities for hitting that sweet spot. Cargo, khaki, and plaid will remain in retirement until further notice.

Below we have included a color chart to help with pairings to achieve color and style. Combinations should be centered around the shoes/belt which serve as anchoring points. For those who don’t have an alternative to black shoes, just bear in mind that warmer colors (orange, pink, yellow, tan) do not pair well in either color or style. Grays, greens, and blues are the way to go.

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