Is it ever in to mismatch clothing at the office or on the ball court?


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Lily Ransom

Dear Lily,

What colors of your outfit should match? Like I’ve heard your shoes and belt should match when wearing a suit. Is that true? What are some other matching rules?

-Color Confused

Dear Color Confused,

To put it simply, the dressier the outfit, the more necessary it is for the belt and shoes to match.

For a suit, not only should the color match, but the leather finish and texture as well – think shiny leather versus matte leather finishes. The same rule goes for metals; match silver with silver and gold with gold.

But, as we see more and more often with the rise of stylish sneakers, men are wearing white sneakers with khakis and button-down shirts.

How do you make white sneakers match your belt? You don’t. In that case, the rules don’t apply.

Some other rules involve color choice of clothing.

For example, colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel can be worn together.

Complementary colors, or colors directly opposite each other on the color wheel, can also be worn together for a more high-impact kind of look.

However, there are some color combinations that should never be worn together, such as purple and yellow, brown and black, red and orange, red and green and green and orange. They just don’t go.

Typically, darker colors equal a higher level of formality, like with suit jackets and shoes, and lighter colors equal a lower level of formality, such as for casual events and summer wear.

When in doubt, look to celebrities as role models. And never be afraid to experiment.

Just have some trusty close friends to preview your new outfits first.