Everyone had those “color block” days in high school. Heck, it carries over today. It’s easy just picking all of the same color and wearing it to class to give a monochromatic look. Here we explore taking those color block ideas and turning them into something that can be mature and cool to wear around your campus! Just remember two main ideas when pulling this off:
1. Wear differing shades in your articles of clothing
2. Use patterns to set each piece apart!
1. “Monday Blues” on Ethan
The key to doing any monochromatic outfit is having differing shades and differing textures. Everything here is different; navy blue pants, gingham shirt, woool tie, and light grey/blue short jacket.
It might be obvious that you’re color blocking, but at least the blue is being broken up by the different patterns. Patterns, if you don’t already know are my favourite things to waer.
To “break” from the blue, I wore grey socks and shoes, which are very complimentary to the rest of the outfit.
Pants from Banana Republic, Shirt from American Eagle, Vintage Short Jacket, Tie from Theory, Shoes from Aldo
2. “Army Tuesdays” with Scott
Scott is showing off another great way to wear one color and still look fantastic. Firstly, he knows that green shoes can be a bit tacky, so he wears a nice pair of blue casual ones. To avoid an overly militaristic look, he keeps his shirt and pants different shades. Not so uniform now! Interestingly, shirt has two breast pockets and its a welcome change to anyone’s wardrobe from the typical button up which has only one breast pocket. It’s a throwback to loop collar shirts from the 1950’s and the obvious military shirt.
Unlike me, Scott decides to go with a pop of black in his jacket. A good grounding color as a jacket or sweater is a great way to top off your color block.
He also decided to show off his epic smart watch. Hail Hydra.
Four bellow pockets? Yes please.
Shirt and Pants from The GAP, Shoes from Aldo, Utility Jacket from Kenneth Cole Reaction
3. “Street Samurai Wednesdays” on Tim
People say that black and white is a classy ensemble, and they’re right. Black joggers, black shirt with white print, slick leather jacket, and wicked black and white Nike’s? Tim just means business. The katana umbrella sells the dangerously sharp look.
The “air tie” is optional but essential in streetwear.
Leather jacket from F21, Shirt and Joggers from Publish, Shoes from Nike, Sword from Kim Mah.
4. “Preppy Purple Thursdays” on Jay
Even a more drastic change, Jay wears completely different types of purple. You might argue that his pants are burgundy and his tie is a bit more red, but who cares. It’s a great color look! The patterns, along with the texture and stripe of tie) help distinguish each part of the outfit.
I normally wouldn’t pin-roll pants that aren’t jeans, but Jay pulls it off greatly. Doing this turns the otherwise more formal trouser into a great casual look! Jay understands the basics of menswear and even matches his belt and shoes together (sockless gives him an A+). One thing that I don’t do often is the watch and wristband combo. It’s an accessories look favourited by Tim and Raj, and I have yet to try it. Good job Jay!
I didn’t even know he matched his wrist band to his watch!
Shoes from Johnston & Murphy, Shirt from J. Crew, Tie From Aeropostale, Pants from Empyre
5. “Friday at Midnight” on Jason
A great alternative to black is midnight blue. In certain lighting and depending on the quality of the fabric, black suits tend to look green. This especially applies to black jeans, who tend to look greener the more washed they are. Just take a look at a black crayola marker after a few weeks of use. Unlike black, Midnight Blue just gets bluer. Jason creates an overall dark blue/black outfit.
Jason goes for a nice shiny ensemble, with his black shirt and silver bowtie. His ensemble would be much better if he was able to have no break in his pants, but it works out great because he’s tall! Shorter guys should go for no breaks.
Lastly, check out the shoes. With a blue suit, I’d typically say to go for brown shoes but if you want to pull it together to make it formal, wear black. Black shoes are only worn in formal situations (unless made of a casual material like canvas or suede) and should be restricted to do so.
6. “Somber Saturdays” on Kaitlin
…or you can just go all black.
I just love Kaitlin’s style because everything just comes so easy to her. She already knows that she shouldn’t just wear all black of the same texture. Kaitin mixes that sheer dotted top with a lace bralette (? I don’t know much women terms) making a unique look.
What’s an important component of Kaitlin’s style is that she tends to have at least one piece from her travels. In this one, her earings is from Las Rumblas in Barcelona (Spain!) and her ring is from Ireland!
7. “Sunday Brunch” on Ethan
Brunch is where American’s show off their classy casual. For college students, brunch is usually just had in the cafeteria, but why can’t you still look good for that? Here, I wear nice trim pants with loafers, the sprezzy equivalent of those Nike slippers. If you can’t tell, my monochromatic color is khaki.
Something I’ve learned from Raj, is that there’s nothing wrong with wearing a polo shirt and a blazer! What’s interesting about my polo-style shirt is that it has an interesting “scratchy” pattern on it with contrasts with the solids of the rest of the outfit. The jacket has it’s own birdseye pattern and for an added touch, I had a brown plaid pocket square.
Jacket from Zara, Shirt from Banana Republic, Khaki pants from Banana Republic, Sunglasses from H&M
Your monochromatic or color block outfit doesn’t need to be limited to these styles. Pick your favourite color and go nuts! Just remember the two keys to doing this:
1. Pick different shades or varying gradients.
2. USE PATTERNS
This way, you won’t look like you’re one blob of a single color.
So which one looked the best? What didn’t work? Let us know!
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Ethan W. and Tim M.