One key to dressing well is to know how your complexion works with clothes of different colors and combinations of different contrast levels.  This is the philosophy behind Color Me Beautiful, which taught a generation of women to use color to their advantage.  For men, Alan Flusser has a good chapter on it in his book Dressing the Man: Mastering the Art of Permanent Fashion.

My pale, ruddy complexion works well with blue clothes, but light earth tones can make me look somewhat sickly.  So when I wear tan or khaki-colored clothes, especially on my upper body, I try to work in something blue to balance things out.

Suit: Samuelsohn, thrifted, $20

Shirt: Land’s End, gift, $0

Tie: Brooks Brothers, discount store, $10

Pocket Square: Cut from an old bandanna, $0

Shoes: Alfred Sargent for Brooks Brothers, clearance, $180

Total: $210

If I’d paid retail prices: $1700 or more.

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One Response to Know Your Colors

  1. Kurt N says:

    The author of “Color Me Beautiful,” Carole Jackson, followed up with “Color For Men.” I have a copy I still pull out from time to time. Maybe a little over-prescriptive about some things (color of shoes and belt, for instance), but for a book like this that’s a lesser fault than not being prescriptive enough. Having some fairly definite ideas about what colors do and do not work for one’s complexion is one good way to maintain some discipline while thrifting–to distinguish the bargains one should snap up from the bargains that should be left for some other lucky person.

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