How to Pick a (SOLID) Matching Outfit Part 2


Welcome to part 2 of matching your outfit with solid colors. In my last post I shared how I approach matching a solid color shirt which can be difficult given you have to figure out what colors to match (apart from my other post where you had options based on different colors on your shirt). I introduced 2 ideas

1) Understanding common colors that match

2) Understanding Light and Dark tones for each color 

By understanding what common colors will most likely match your shirt and figuring out if you want to go dark or light can help you determine what colors to wear next and how you want to present yourself.

So keeping all of this in mind this is how I came up with this outfit. Same presentation style as my last post I’ll go by steps starting with the shirt.

Step 1: Pick a Solid Color Shirt


  • Pick whatever color shirt you like.
  • If the shirt is covered in at least 70% that color then I’d consider it a “solid” colored shirt
  • If not then you might want to try on this other method
  • The shirt I have is a green shirt that I bought from a great company called Everlane. The shirt is great. Very simple and Everlane is very transparent with who they do manufacturing with.

Step 2: Pick a Colored Pants using the Common Color List


  • First I think about the most common colors that might match my shirt  in this order
    1. Brown & Black
    2. Blue
    3. White & Grey
    4. Red
    5. Green
    6. Yellow
    7. Purple
  • As you can see from this list the higher the color is on the list the more likely that color pants will probably match my green shirt
  • Take the first 2 colors for example (Brown & black and Blue). I can wear a brown pants, I can wear black jeans, or I can wear a nice simple blue jeans and it would work.
  • But if you take for example Purple or Yellow it will definitely work but you are definitely going towards the “unique” area meaning you really do feel that yellow and purple are reflecting your mood or your personality. most guys I know will probably not wear purple pants or yellow pants. The higher you stay on the list the “safer” you will look and more likely people will see that it matches (in my opinion).
  • For this outfit I chose brown because I wanted to reflect my heart about going slow, steady, and taking in every moment as I’ve been learning from Miles Davis.
  • Now that I have a color pants in mind I now can move to tone

Step 3:  Choose either a dark or light tone Of Your Pants Color


  • now that I chose brown as my color the next thing I need to figure out what tone (dark or light) brown I want.
  • This part is really subjective and based on your style. Darker usually conveys more serious tones while a lighter tone would be more casual
  • As long as its brown it’ll work. I went with this lighter brown because I felt it was a little bit more positive

Step 3: Choose an outwear colour using colour list and tone


  •  If you want to wear something on top you’ll have to incorporate the list again but making sure that the colour matches both the green shirt and the pants.
  • Usually in my head I start crossing out colours that I am already wearing to figure out what on top of the list. So if I already have green and brown then my list would be:
  1. Brown &Black
  2. Blue
  3. White & Grey
  4. Red
  5. Green
  6. Yellow
  7. Purple
  • The same concept here again the higher on the list the more it will probably pair. I went ahead with blue and searched around for something that might look good. If you go on the bottom list, I certainly can wear a purple or yellow but again that might be something more unique.
  • Also as in Step 3 choose a light or darker tone based on how you feel for whatever colour you chose. I chose to go with this wool cardigan with a dark blue cause I wanted to continue that feeling of being more calm and it balances well with the brighter brown.
  • The key point here if you are just starting out is to try and choose a colour thats different then what is already being used. I think it’ll expand your outfit more and it’ll help you narrow down what to wear on the list.

Step 4: Shoes & Socks


  • I think you get the picture here as we get to shoes and socks. Use the same concepts of the colour list and the dark and light tones. I chose these blue shoes from Zara cause it balances out the blue cardigan I have on top. By having the same colour on the bottom it balances things
  • lastly the socks. Since my main colour is green I wanted to wear some kind of green coloured sock.

Now you got an outfit!


As I wrote this post I realised I forgot to mention another important concept that I use which is POSITIONING. To be exact where you place certain dark and light coloured items and how to balance things out. I write about it here and here, but in a future post I plan on possibly expanding on this in more detail ( and better looking post)

All photos from my friend Daniel Hoffman.

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