Real People: Playing Hot And Cold

July 20, 2016

Real People: Playing Hot and Cold

Summer isn’t just the time for warm weather. It’s also a good time to break out warmer colors. 

In color theory, colors can be categorized according to their “temperatures.” Those with underlying red or yellow hues are said to be warm, while those with blue or green hues are said to be cold. An easy way to think about this: warm colors are those associated with dawn and dusk (e.g. red, pink, and orange); cold colors are those associated with an overcast day (e.g. blue and gray). 

Most men rely on cold colors for their wardrobe: navy blazers with light blue shirts and grey trousers, or blue jeans with olive field jackets. Warmer colors can take a bit more thought to coordinate, but when done well, they lend a nice, causal feel – especially in the summertime. 

See Philip in New York City. He’s wearing a tan Solaro suit from Sartoria Formosa, a small tailoring house in Naples, Italy. Solaro is a unique worsted wool (although it also comes in cotton). Originally designed around some quack science about protecting wearers from UV rays, it’s woven with a beige warp and red weft, giving it a subtle bi-color effect in the herringbone. And although nobody believes in its health properties anymore, it remains popular for its distinctive look. (Also because Gianni Agnelli wore it). 

With a suit like this, you could wear a white shirt and either a navy silk four-in-hand or black knit tie (warm and cool colors can mix, so long as you’re thoughtful). However, I like Philip’s choices a bit better. To complement the red undertones in suit, he’s chosen a pink hopsack tie and vintage Kimono silk pocket square with hints of orange. Basically warm colors all around. 

“When I first got into tailored clothing, I was only interested in dark, classic colors,” says Philip. “Colors such as navy, forest green, chocolate brown, etc. Over time, that has completely changed and I’m now all about finding ways to incorporate brighter colors into my wardrobe.” 

The nice thing about the combination here: the warmer, lighter colors not only feel more summery, but they also reflect light better, helping keep the heat off Philip’s back. Perfect for the wedding party he wore this to last week.