The Ultimate Guide on How to Match Clothing Colours

by Jamie Wilson

Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA

It can be confusing, trying to pick an outfit. What should you pair your yellow tee with? What about those baby blue chinos? It’s ok. We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide on how to colour matching your clothes so you can get ready with ease. 

Does this tie match? Will this shirt go with those shorts? What jacket shall I wear? We’ve all heard or even asked these questions but what are the answers? And more importantly are the answers right for everyone?!

Clothes colour matching can make your entire outfit, or alternatively ruin it – and by ruin it, we mean completely doom your whole day! You aren’t born knowing how to match clothing colours, and the thought can be very intimidating. But it’s actually really simple to do, and like everything in life once you know, you know. Here are the best little tips and tricks that every style conscious man needs to know, to keep you on the straight and narrow and make sure your clothes are always matching. We promise it’s really easy.

How To Colour Match Clothes

Stick to the one colour trick. Similar to only wearing one printed item at a time, the one colour trick is when you simply wear one colour and keep the rest neutral. Go back to school. We all know that primary colours are yellow, red and blue, and whilst they may have looked horrendously bright in our Crayola felt tip pen packet when we were 7, if you tone them down they’ll work together perfectly.

White shirts go with everything, just trust me. Don’t question it, look into too deeply or reject it. White shirts really do go with everything. Also, grey isn’t dull or boring, it compliments all those bright jumpers your mum bought you. Grey is great for dulling down vivid colours, so use something grey to manage the boldness of stronger, brighter colours. Not only will you earn kudos for your strategic stylish use of colour, but you’ll look great as grey itself is a smart, sophisticated colour that’s cool, classic and chic.

Tonal Colours

Remember when girls were dying their hair half blond and half brown – some even added blue or pink or even grey? Well FYI, that little trend is called ombre. Ombre shouldn’t just be restricted to hair trends – try it out on your clothes. Different shades of the same colour look effortlessly cool, but at the same time strategically planned. You’re winning in the style stakes.

How To Match Clothes


One print for the sprint. If you want to race through the fashion world, then allow one printed item to dominate your outfit. An average person will only be able to pull off one print per outfit – now we’re not saying you’re average but in this instance, just be average – you don’t want to look like Keith Lemon! Choose your favourite printed item – whether it’s a jacket, shirt or pair of trousers, and leave the rest of your outfit plain.


When in doubt, choose black and white. Nothing else needs to be said. Black and white are the two colours that suit everything, so use them to their full advantage. Neutral colours also work with this strategy – think browns, navy, grey and burgundy.

Colour Wheel For Clothes

Colour matching clothes might be second nature to some people and granted, it’s not exactly rocket science. But there are certain colours that can be slightly more difficult to pair than others. And to make things even more complicated, some colours work better on different people depending on your individual style and even skin tone. It’s not easy this, is it? But don’t fret too much – some clever person has put together a colour matching guide to show you which colours look good together, and which should be kept as far away as possible.

Now we’re not telling you to print one off and stick it on your bedroom wall, but a colour wheel can be a life saver if you’re having trouble putting together an outfit. On a colour wheel, ‘complimentary’ colours can be found opposite each other on the spectrum. So let’s put this into practice. If you’re looking for a colour that goes with notoriously difficult to wear purple, for example, the colour chart suggests opting for orange tones. Opposites attract and all that…

Matching Your Skin Tone

Know what colours suit your skin tone and use them to your advantage. Dark skin tones can naturally pull of brighter colours, whilst paler people tend to carry off navy blue, grey and burgundy better, as brighter colours have the tendency to wash you out.

Shoes – Black, brown and burgundy shoes are definitely your best bet. By all means, you buy those chequered white loafers, but are they going to go with anything? Will you really want to wear them once you’ve returned home from Benidorm? No.

On That Note

So if you only take a couple of things from this article, then remember: opposite colours on the wheel look good together, white shirts are always a safe bet, and if you’re struggling, choose one printed or brightly coloured piece, leaving the rest of your outfit neutral.

Once you’ve mastered the tricks of the trade, it really is that easy, and you’ll soon be strutting down your local high street with pride. With these simple tips, matching clothing colours has never been easier. That is unless you’re colour blind…

Feature image from Pinterest

You may also like