How to Beat Back your Blue Style Bias
You ever look at your closet and just admire what you’ve created? Look at that beautiful navy Suit Supply blazer. Those gorgeous blue chambray pants from J. Crew. The sexy as hell navy knit tie from Club Monaco. That fantastic baby blue pair of socks from your trip to France. That ridiculously sexy and rich, dark navy tassel loafer from Alden.
“Yes! My wardrobe is so clean!” He screamed from a mountain top.
Blue, blue, blue, blue, bl……OH SH*T AM I BORING!?! When did all this blue take over my life?! Why? Why?! Am I the menswear embodiment of Eifel 65?
That might be enough blue jackets for one closet.
Look, the menswear industry is in love with blue. From the darkest, deepest navy, to the palest sky-blue dress shirts. And for good reason. It’s versatile, it looks good on every skin-tone, and it looks good against all those different shades of brown leather you find on shoes and belts.
But what if you’re growing bored with it all?
I recently found myself right there, in that position. And I set out to make some changes. Here’s what worked for me…
1. Start with Accessories
Not quite ready to fully commit? That’s fine. Understood. It took a long time to get all those items and that ain’t cheap. So, infuse some different colors into a mainly blue outfit with a few accessories from other parts of the spectrum. Instead of a blue tie with your grey suit, try green. Use a pocket square or a lapel pin for smaller nuances that have a significant impact. Just like that, you’ll start to develop some variety, even while you don’t stray from your mostly blues.
2. Limit yourself to just one blue item in an outfit
Small steps, right? Now, set some boundaries. Limit yourself to one article of blue clothing in an outfit. Change the blazer to a light knit sweater. Or, if you want to get more specific and you find yourself always wearing dark denim, try a lighter blue pair of chinos. And then put the brakes on there. Nothing else should have blue in it! This way you’re still in that comfort zone but you’re starting to try new things.
Maybe you’re just not sure what goes with what outside of blue. If you get to know the color wheel, you’ll be able to start picking out what works with what based on… science! Real Men Real Style has a great article on this. While getting used to using other colors, keep them muted. Less saturation. You don’t want to look like a walking game of Twister. The beginnings of the color wheel were developed by Sir Isaac Newton. Word on the street is that he knew a thing or two, and was also a snappy as hell dresser!*
Hey, what’s he doing? That’s such a great idea! STEAL IT. Then, learn from it and get inspired. Why does this work? Why didn’t that combination cross your mind? Browse fashion blogging platforms, Instagram, tumblrs, read GQ, etc…You might be surprised by what a day or two of concentrated inspiration gathering can accomplish.
Just don’t do it…at least not every time. Limit yourself to one item every other month. If you really like a certain shirt in blue, try and get the same shirt, just in another color. Give pink a shot. Yeah, rock that pink like it was made for you! Or…. get really serious about it and light all your blue stuff on fire! Usher had the right idea! No, no he didn’t. This is a terrible idea. But for those with a strict, one in / one out policy (every time you buy an article of clothing, you donate an old, less loved item) consider thinning your blue herd.
In no way in hell am I starting a war with the color represented by the third initial in Roy G. Biv’s monogram. That’s a losing battle and honestly, who doesn’t love blue? But if you’re feeling like your wardrobe is one dimensional, in a solo-hue type of situation, don’t forget there’s a cool six other colors in the rainbow.
Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Christian for putting together this post. Know that it’s for those that WANT to break out of a blue rut. If you’re happy there? Then by all means, carry on…
*Due to a lack 17th century English street-style blogs, this is unconfirmed.