Color For the Corporate Man

What to wear to work?  You want to dress appropriately, look good, feel good, and be comfortable.  As an executive, you know it’s not that simple; your wardrobe communicates more to colleagues and clients than just your personal style – it makes a strong impression about your role, attributes, and even accomplishments.  It’s a fact – people who appear polished get more respect because they look like bosses.  (Check out this article from, to learn how color influences perception.)

That being said, one very important element of conveying your message is incorporating color into your look.  Color communicates confidence, personality, and a friendly disposition.  There is nothing wrong with neutrals, but nobody wants to read boring.  Keep perusing to learn how to effectively inject color into your look:TIE FIRST – When dipping a toe into colorful waters, your tie is a safe place to start.  For example, if you love a certain color, you can take it to the next level.  Try various shades – darker and lighter, and embrace prints that incorporate a combo of that color and different ones.  Once you’ve sported a few bolder ties, expand outside of your color comfort zone and give other colors a try.

SHIRT IT UP – Most men primarily wear solid shirts with ties – particularly white or good ole blue. Now that you’ve bravely entered the world of bolder ties, give your shirt collection the same treatment. Initially try some new solid colors – lilac is one of our favorites – it coordinates well with most hues and looks great year-round. Start combining those new ties with new shirts by taking color cues from the shades in your ties. Next, venture into colorful prints. If your shirt is very bold though, keep your tie more subtle.

  • SHARP SUIT – At this point, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re starting to notice an uptick in your mood.  Not only does wearing colors make you feel more cheerful, the good cheer spreads to the people around you.  Now that you’ve conquered ties and shirts, let’s talk suiting.  Yes, every man needs a great basic navy suit and gray suit, but the most stylish suiting of today is far from basic.  A few of our fave suit options for instance are sophisticated, textured solid burgundy, or gray glen plaids with touches of purple.  Special pieces like this communicate an understanding of aesthetics and great pride in appearance – leading others to think “this guy really knows his stuff”.  Looking for a bit more info?  Check out this great article from Fashion Authority, GQ on how to wear a burgundy suit.

  • IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS – Not every day has to be full of color – sometimes you may want to wear your favorite navy suit, a white shirt, and a subtle tie. On days like that, there are still understated methods of utilizing color, which convey an attention to detail to others. So many men’s shoes these days incorporate color – in laces or soles; a pop of maroon will put just the right amount of pep in your step. Belts with colorful stitching may give you just the stylish edge you need.


  • USE RESTRAINT – One caveat – now that you’ve added so many fabulous colorful pieces to your wardrobe you may be tempted to wear them all at once – DON’T DO IT! A dapper look requires balance – stick to one bold item at a time and remember to take color cues from the other pieces. If you opt for a bold plaid multi blue sportcoat, select a tie with the same shade of blue and go with a white shirt for contrast. If you’ve decided to don a green, blue, and purple paisley tie, go with a navy jacket and lighter blue shirt, for example. You get the idea.

These techniques may seem incredibly simple, and they should! Style should not be complicated – it’s really based on common sense. Implement these small changes, and you’ll enjoy the satisfaction of compliments from TSA agents en route to your business trips, and approving nods from colleagues at meetings. Go forth and conquer the world of color!