15 of the Best T-Shirt Colors and Color Combinations
We know the feeling; you find yourself in a rut and wonder why you have a closet full of the same colored t-shirts year after year. From time to time, you consider adding new colors into the mix, but you can’t bring yourself to venture too far into the thrilling territory of novel color schemes. For you, the stakes are seemingly too high. How will I look? What if I go too bold? Will I end up looking like a children’s television character?
Well, when it comes to fashion, playing it safe is the fastest route to dreading the process of getting dressed each morning. Instead, having helpful color rules at your fingertips allows you to play around with various shades and new combos. In these gloomy times, a heightened mood that has you excited about the arguably mundane goes a long way. Different hues bring out different demeanors and flatter different complexions. This guide will cover the basics of color and provide you with solid and robust color combinations to choose from. However, before you approach your wardrobe, you should be aware of what colors flatter your undertone, since your t-shirt color schemes should, more often than not, flatter your complexion.
It would be a fashion crime if we were to start this guide without addressing the basics. Know your undertone. Color can make you look radiant and self-possessed or downright dull and gloomy. It’s not enough to simply pick vibrant colors for the immediate sake of uplifting your mood. The crucial question you need to ask is, hey, does this color complement my undertone?
Evet Sanchez, a stylist for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, has emphasized the importance of knowing your undertone. “Everyone has their own unique power colors,” she says. “I like to use the warm- and cool-tone philosophy. Using colors that work well with your skin tone will make or break a look.”
So how do you determine your undertone? Basically, you look at your wrist underneath the sun. If your veins are greenish, then you have a warm undertone. If they’re bluish or purplish, your undertone is cool. However, if your veins appear colorless or match the color of your skin, then you have a neutral undertone.
Now that you know your undertone, let’s review the best colors of t-shirts for different undertones. For a cool undertone, your best bet is to go with jewel-color tones, cool greys, crisp whites, and sea shades. Meanwhile, Earth-tone t-shirts, along with oranges, yellows, taupe variations, and off-whites flatter a warm undertone. If you’re a neutral undertone, then you can incorporate a variety of hues into your t-shirt collection. Flattering colors for all undertones include true red, teal, and dark purple. These colors flatter men of all skin tones.
To put you on the right path, starting at your closet, we’ve assembled a number of good colors for your t-shirts and proper color combos for your tee-based outfits. Happy styling!
1. Fun Bright Colors
Adding bright colors to your wardrobe rotation helps you break away from dull hues. Contrary to popular belief, bold colors suit men too. The key is to find your flattering color.
Yellow is a symbol of hope, a ray of sunshine. [Hence why Fresh Clean Tees has a color called Shine.] The Pantone Color Institute revealed illuminating yellow as half of 2021’s “Color of the Year” alongside ultimate gray. Radiating a belief in better times ahead, yellow is a vibrant color that practically shouts happiness. Catch up on the cheerful fashion trend by incorporating one of this year’s most sought-after t-shirt colors. If you’re a warm undertone, a yellow t-shirt is all you need to brighten up your look.
We can’t talk about brightly colored t-shirts without touching on very classy white. This is one of the best solid colors for t-shirts and it’s absolutely stood the test of time. Confident and effortless, a white tee is the basic-color t-shirt every man should own. When in doubt, rock a white t-shirt. Its versatility makes it suitable for so many occasions.
Spirited red symbolizes passion and vitality. Red t-shirts radiate confidence and are suitable for a casual or formal style. Known to flatter all undertones, you can be sure to stand out in a red t-shirt.
1D. Light Pink
Brighten up your mood with a dose of light pink t-shirt. Light pink is one of the best plain-colored tees to add to your shirt collection since it’s bright yet soft. If a light pink tee proves too much for you, tone it down with a navy blue blazer.
Add a popping sunset orange t-shirt to your summer threads. With different shades to suit your personal style, orange offers various options for a toned-down, brilliant look. As always, take your undertone into consideration.
Flattering to all undertones, teal’s blissful marriage of blue and green offers a rich yet soft feel. You can pair it with bright hues like light green or tone it down with navy blue for a calmer aesthetic. Whatever the case, you can never be out of place in a teal t-shirt, whether in laid-back or upscale settings.
2. Calming Neutral Colors
Neutral colors consist of black, white, grey, browns, and dark blue. They suggest a structured yet welcoming vibe. Highly popular as basic-color t-shirts, neutrals are found in any given man’s wardrobe. The versatility of neutrals allows them to tone down brilliant colors in outfits while also being responsible for calm, class-act looks on their own.
Celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati uses neutral colors to balance the intensity of bolder colors. “Black can be too high contrast,” she once informed GQ, “I find it harder to pair. But browns and deep blue always look elegant with color.”
3. White Color Combos
White is the epitome of everything vivid, charming, and delicate. It radiates happiness and cheerfulness. Since it’s a neutral color, white harmonizes with most shades.
3A. Maroon and White
Given that maroon is a darker, moodier shade, the white adds brilliancy for an overall fun and merry feel. You don’t need to transition to bright colors right away; a maroon and white team-up is a safe option to try out.
3B. Red and White
Red’s a lively color that can’t really go unnoticed. Charged with emotion and vitality, it provokes intensity. When combined with white, however, it softens for a warmer, pleasing aesthetic.
3C. Blue and White
Blue is a receding color, thus responsible for a more balanced look. Add white to it and you have a tee-based outfit bringing all the positive vibes without distressing the eye. You can rock this color combination at casual outings or formal events (or even just lounging at home).
3D. Red, Blue, and White
Red and blue are arguably clashing colors when placed next to one another. You need to combine darker tones with lighter ones for a harmonious contrast. Since white is so neutral, it blends with most colors and enables red and blue to work together to create a tasteful color scheme. Combining all three for a sharp look radiates self-assuredness and energy.
4. Monochromatic Color Schemes
Monochromatic colors refer to various gradients of the same color, ranging from light to dark. Blended together, monochromatic colors create a harmonious, sophisticated, and confident look. Known for their strength in tee-based outfits, this type of color scheme can prove as bright as it is soft. Urbinati says, “It’s about not going too many shades away. For example, I won't do red with black but I'll do red with brown or maroon. Same with blue — I like it best with similar shades. I'll pair royal blue with teal. Or a bright blue with a sky blue.”
4A. Shades of Blue
Create a harmony of color by blending various shades of blue. Just be careful to ensure that the different shades are contrasting enough yet not too vibrant.
4B. Green, Green, and Greener
Green is never too much and it can match well with alternate shades of itself. For a tee-based outfit, the trick is to combine different shades of green for a rich, lively feel. Celebrity stylish Avo Yermagyan seems to agree: “It’s a fool-proof approach to styling.”
4C. Grey and Dark Grey
Grey is a strong yet subdued color that radiates reassured masculinity, so pairing it with dark grey is a full spectrum of confidence and sophistication. It’s not always a dude’s first impulse to combine the same color in different hues, but, oh man, here it works. It works like hell.
5. Olive Green and Gold
Olive green and gold give any tee-based outfit a hearty and heartening look. It has an earthy vibe with a wonderfully enticing richness that flatters warm undertones. The gold adds brilliance to the muted yet eye-catching olive green, crafting serious harmony. Wear this to any event to boldly catch eyes without standing out too much.
6. Navy Blue and (Subtle) Orange
If you’d like to try bright colors on for size, while admittedly playing it safe, this color scheme is a good start for you. A nice washed-out orange paired with an enticing navy blue offers up a curiously dynamic duo. Given such a bold yet soft demeanor, it’s best to pair this upper-body win with your favorite pair of jeans.
7. Red and Yellow
Red and yellow are two bold colors that work strangely well together. Just look at ketchup and mustard! Both can prove rich and intense if you go too hard on either, so opt for paler shades with your t-shirt and over-shirt or jacket to recognize a surprisingly powerful style.
8. Forest Green and Light Pink
Forest green is a fresh, rich tint with an aura of vitality. Combine it with light pink for a style that brings out all the positive vibes, suggesting you’re ready for a good time (without being too wildcard). The light pink is a soothing yet energetic color that harmonizes well with the forest green. Heck, think of how good and relaxed you feel surrounded by woodlands and flowers. That’s pretty much the mood you’re going for here.
9. Navy Blue and Grey
Build a tee-based outfit of navy blue and grey for an extremely chill combination. It’ll do wonders for you. In fact, observing cool colors has the potential to slow the body's metabolism, providing it with a sense of calmness (and we all need that in these uncertain times). Bold yet quiet, this color scheme is a good go-to for the office, whether it’s in person or through video calls.
10. Yellow and Blue
Yellow glimmers with easygoing vibes and in any shade, really, it’s pleasing, relaxed, and enlightening. Combine yellow with blue to tone down any potential shouting quality. Since blue’s a cool, receding color that calms the eye and balances any scheme involving a brighter color, this tag team works, no matter what hue you go with, whether sky blue, light blue, or navy blue.
11. Beige and Maroon
Beige and maroon is a subtle yet sincerely satisfying color scheme that really works. It’s one of the best color combinations for those seeking out a toned-down look, given its timeless and breezy quality. It doesn’t flash, but it always delivers.
12. Green and Grey
Green’s a clean, fresh, and restful color, representing growth and new beginnings. Paired with a practically stoic grey, green becomes grounded and engaging. This strong color scheme delivers a look that’s as approachable as it is mighty.
13. Yellow and Off-White
Many people are quick to rule out yellow-and-white combos since both can prove quite bright. But you can achieve a delightful contrast when you go for an off-white instead of a more crisp white. With off-white being so agreeable, it won’t matter if you go with a richer yellow or a pastel yellow to pair. You’re breaking up the monotony either way.
14. Black and Grey
Grey integrates the muted quality of white and the velvety aspect of black, making it a balanced, masculine offering. When paired with black, grey delivers a tee-based look that captures a sense of authority, mystery, and class. You can’t go wrong with this color scheme for literally any event. It always works.
15. Red/Burgundy and Navy/Royal Blue
Indulge your savvy side with a personal preference of red or burgundy and navy or royal blue for what ends up beaming like the epitome of a sophisticated look. The hues blend so well together, delivering a harmonious style that’s both rich and alluring. It doesn’t matter if your jacket is a hoodie or a blazer. This color scheme slays.
Life’s too short to keep your wardrobe humdrum or wear the same outfit over and over. Switch it up with new colors and new combos! New looks keep us fresh through every season and color can make or break your aesthetic. So use the power of the right colors and proper combos to flatter your undertone and rock fresh threads with confidence and contrast.
— Elsie Obat
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