5 Key Colours For Autumn/Winter 2016 (And How To Wear Them)



Quick aside – you don’t have to care about colour. Wear last season’s shade of russet and it’s only a certain kind of fashion snob who’ll roll their eyes. Beyond the obvious – go bright when it’s warm, dark when it’s not – if you stick to shades that suit your skin and which don’t clash, you’re golden (which is, incidentally, one of AW16’s biggest colour trends).

That said, a tweak to your colour wheel is the easiest way to light up dull outfits. Not keen on wide-leg trousers? Think track tops and joggers should stay in the gym? Then let tone be the trick that refreshes your wardrobe. You needn’t toss those slim-fit suits, when an emerald tie makes last season’s silhouette look oh so AW16.

And since men feel the need to reflect grey skies in their looks, you don’t have to go all MC Hammer to make your shades stand out. Against a dark backdrop, even ruby shines.

“With any colour that sits outside the safe spectrum – black, navy and white – it’s easiest to ground an outfit by keeping to one [colourful] piece in your look,” says Matt Braun, design manager at River Island. When you need a plain background to make muted tones pop, mo’ colour means mo’ problems.


Metallics made noise for AW16, but this season it’s what doesn’t glitter that’s wardrobe gold. From Maison Margiela to Craig Green to Oliver Spencer, designers mined this metal for precious pieces, forging it into top-to-toe looks (Topman Design) and statement outerwear (Wooyoungmi).

This rich seam of copper was struck from the same archives as the move to wide trousers and wider lapels. “An interest in 1970s trends has been sweeping catwalks for a couple of seasons,” says Braun. “With the cuts and the corduroy come the rusts and coppers.” Just leave the chest hair in storage.

How To Wear It

Pick either 1970s shade, or 1970s style. Copper, corduroy flares are best left for fancy dress. The colour is this season’s “new neutral”, according to trend forecaster We Connect Fashion. Which means it works with winter’s default tones: black, navy, grey, white.

It’s perhaps best in outerwear, especially made of wool, which gives the shade extra depth. Consider it a bolder spin on the camel coat.




Green is a winter perennial, most men’s ‘other’ neutral, when they tire of black and blue. This season’s spin picks up on AW15’s forest shades, but takes thing chillier, with the blue notes of spruce instead of deep green leaves.

It’s a touch more masculine, which is perhaps why Burberry used it for sporty track topsand punky bombers. Although it’s not all macho, judging by Gucci’s silk, spruce pyjamas.

How To Wear It

Wherever you’d go green, go spruce. Leathers and silks take the shade particularly well, its blues accentuated by shimmer. But being a mix of green and blue, it also lends itself to more utilitarian garb – a punchier spin on the shacket, say, or even detailing on a graphic sweat.

As so often in menswear, if in doubt, go military: this season, it’s the civvy street way to wear slimline cargo trousers, bomber jackets and overcoats.



For a primer on what to wear in winter, look up. Leaf tones appear on runways as regularly as on trees and, as the foliage proves, they all work together.

Uniqlo’s new U collection, designed by Christophe Lemaire, proves ruby’s versatility on everything from bombers to scarfs, and on the runway it shimmered on Casely-Hayford trousers and more subtly in the military brocade Dries Van Noten draped across his outerwear.

How To Wear It

“Jewel tones marry beautifully with earthy hues,” says Braun. It’s a shade at the brighter end of winter’s spectrum, so if colour shy, keep it to accessories; a belt, a pocket square, even the subordinate shade on a shirt.

But you can use ruby to make a statement, says Braun: “The camel overcoat is back in a big way for autumn/winter. Bring it to life with an emerald green or ruby sweatshirt, or chunky knit, layered over an Oxford shirt.”


Earthy Neutrals

Fashion’s gatekeepers took unkindly to Kanye’s torturous NYFW show, but snarky tweets haven’t curbed his influence. He might still bang on about being locked out of fashion’s upper echelons, but Yeezy’s go-to palette of beige, olive and dusky pink has infiltrated everywhere from Lou Dalton to Topman Design this season.

“These washed-out neutrals and pastels are a nice alternative for those not willing to go bright,” says Braun. Yeezy taught them.

How To Wear It

“It takes a special kind of swagger to go full-neutral,” says Braun. “Unless you can carry it off with confidence, stick to the one-piece rule.”

It’s equal parts street style and runway, which means it plays well on everything from hoodies, if you’re not colour confident, to suiting, should your self-assurance rival ‘Ye’s.



Another beneficiary of this season’s disco fever, tobacco has gone from 1970s upholstery to AW16’s runways, courtesy of Tom Ford, who used it as a background on patterned jackets, and Berluti, which echoed its rich, burnished leathers in striped bomber jackets.

At Coach, Stuart Vevers continued his luxed up blue collar tip, lining leather jackets with tobacco shearling and using the shade for fleecy bombers. Smoking.

How To Wear It

Like copper, tobacco’s best mixed with neutrals. But with more brown in the mix, and less orange, it takes brights too: “Colours like emerald and ruby,” says Braun.

It’s also a good way to break up your jewel tones, before they get too festive. A tobacco crew neck or tee ensures your sapphire overcoat takes the crown.



Source: http://www.fashionbeans.com/2016/5-key-colours-aw16/

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