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Suit, Shirt, Tie 1: Pink and green

24 August 2011

One of my favourite colour combinations is pink and green. The pink here is pale, too pale perhaps to be portrayed accurately in the photo, but it provides a subtle field of colour for green to play on.

The green tie, from Neapolitan maker Isaia, is a muted, brownish version of that colour. And it is important to note that a darker and more muted shade of any colour will always be smarter. Hence the Isaia tie here produces a smart effect under the blue suit (double-breasted, from Graham Browne) despite the unusual colour combination.

The point about muted colors is something men often get wrong. A dressing book from the thirties, for example, instructs men that pink is fine in a shirt as long as the shade is pale enough to be manly. Many find that last phrase counter-intuitive.

Over the shoulder is a green knitted tie (Drake’s) in a much stronger tone. While this would go as well with the suit, the effect would be bolder, less formal, younger and preppier – in line with the preppy tradition of strong colour. Indeed, the place you are most likely to see a combination like this on the high street is in Ralph Lauren, who is worth studying for his strong colour combinations.