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How not to clash colours

Prevent those awkward looks

How not to clash colours
Danielle de Wolfe
27 January 2011

There are certain colour combinations our eyes were never meant to see. Mithun Ramanandi, men’s casualwear buyer at Selfridges (, perfects our sartorial skills.

“The most important thing is never pick colours that are too similar,” Ramanandi warns. “If you’re going to wear two greens, make sure there’s a strong contrast.”

Loud colours are fine, but they need to be in the right places. “If you want to wear, say, yellow and purple, and you’re a larger gent,” says Ramanandi,”wear the dark colour on top and light on the bottom. Bright colours draw attention.”

It’s not just the clothes that shouldn’t clash. “Think about your skin colouring,” he says. “If you’re pale, iridescent colours will leave you looking washed out. If you’re dark, you should avoid browns and forest greens. If you’ve got red hair, think what will go with that.”

“Don’t be afraid of pairing patterns, either,” he continues. “Just make sure they’re different, like a check and a diagonal stripe. They should stand apart. And there should be one colour running through all the patterns.”

Finally, he says, if in doubt, play it safe. “Navy and charcoal or navy and grey always go. Navy chinos, grey crewneck – you can go anywhere now or in 15 years.”

(Image: Rex Features)