Spring Colors for Men – The Modest Man

Mastering the spring palette can be tricky — here’s how to get it right.

Of all the elements of men’s style, color is one of the most daunting. It’s easy enough to get the basic neutral colors down, but experimenting with bold colors is uniquely difficult. Getting even an accent color wrong can be a faux pas, so you have to be extremely deliberate.

And traditionally, color in menswear comes with a lot of limitations. From “no brown in town” to “no white after Labor Day,” men’s style is full of rules about color. It’s hard to know which rules are just outdated and which ones you should still (mostly) adhere to.

And on top of all that, there’s seasonality to take into consideration.

Seasonality in clothing is tricky because it’s often oversimplified. Clothing has always reflected natural colors and, thus, the changing of the seasons. However, that doesn’t mean you have to wear the same four colors each season.

In other words, wearing seasonal colors doesn’t have to mean only wearing the most prominent colors. For instance, brown and orange are the main fall colors, but eggplant and powdery blue are just as autumnal.

What does this mean for spring colors? In short, you don’t have to stick to lighter colors and pastels. Springtime affords you all kinds of options — you just have to know what they are.

What Colors Do Men Wear in Spring?

Traditional dominant spring colors for men include yellows, light greens, pinks, and purples.

Basically, classic springtime colors are light, cool tones that reflect the dominant flora of the season. Pastels are also quintessential spring colors because of their associations with the Easter holiday.

At some point, this spring palette became the default, which means it’s pretty easy to find clothing in these shades.

However, there are less common spring colors that are just as seasonal as the classics.

These other spring colors include:

  • Olive greens: Rich, earthy shades that evoke foliage
  • Light greys: Light neutrals that work well in tandem with richer spring colors
  • Light/pastel blues: Bright yet subtle colors reminiscent of bluebells and forget-me-nots
  • Light browns/tans/beiges: Light tones that add earthiness to colorful outfits
  • Off-whites: Casual substitutes for pure whites

While these colors are less common in spring clothing, they’re no less seasonally appropriate because of it. 

Can Men Wear Dark Colors in Spring?

So far, all of these spring colors have been on the lighter end of the spectrum. But what about darker shades?

Even though darker colors don’t immediately come to mind when you think of spring, many of them are seasonally appropriate.

First, there are the dark neutrals: black, grey, and navy. These aren’t spring colors, but since they’re neutral, they work year-round.

Second, there are a few dark colors that are more seasonally tied to spring. Broadly, dark greens, purples, and browns will usually fit right into a spring color palette. Some deep reds will work, but if you’re wearing red as a main color, go for a more muted tone.

Of course, when choosing dark colors for spring, be careful when choosing the specific shade. For example, a dark lavender is a fantastic spring color, but a dark eggplant is more autumnal.

Spring Colors for Men: 5 Outfit Ideas

Need some seasonal inspiration? Check out these 5 springtime color combos that anyone can effortlessly pull off.

Classic Bright Colors

Let’s start with classic spring pastels. These are pretty easy to mix and match, but pairing pink and green makes for a great starting point.

If you want something a little less bold, incorporate a neutral and/or use pastels as accent colors. For example, you could pair a pink shirt with grey pants for a simple spring look.

Dominant Earth Tones

For something that’s not quite as bold, try sticking to earth tones like olive and light to medium brown.

Ryan Wearing Bomber jacket over cardigan

You can wear exclusively earth tones, but you can also easily add in neutrals as well as bolder colors. This outfit nicely combines an olive bomber jacket and brown corduroys with a grey cardigan and light blue shirt.

Primary Colors

Primary colors always go together, so a primary palette is a great way to easily experiment with tones.

Rajesh wearing sky blue shirt, mustard yellow jacket and khaki pants

In this case, that means “spring-ifying” the colors with a rich yet muted goldenrod, a powdery blue, and pinkish reds.

Casual Pastels

Keep it simple by wearing just one pastel (or even a pastel-adjacent tone) and complementing it with neutrals.

This outfit features a soft pastel matcha and a similarly toned hat juxtaposed with medium-wash jeans and white sneakers. This approach of focusing on just one color is an excellent entry point into wearing pastels.

Darker Shades

Not into bright colors at all? You can still look springy — you just have to embrace the season’s less obvious tones. This fit does just that with a dark navy jacket and nut brown pants.

Keep in mind that your garment choice is just as important as the color. For example, a lighter jacket is more of a spring garment, so it works well here. This outfit would feel more wintry with, say, a heavier car coat.

Spring Suit Colors for Men

When it comes to incorporating spring colors into your wardrobe, suiting is a bit of a different story. Think about it this way: Pastel green is a classic spring color, but a pastel green suit is a statement.

Since suits have matching tops and bottoms, they require more finesse to get right with regard to color.

In most cases, light grey is the best spring suit color. Grey is a neutral that fits right into the season’s palette, but it’s also not too loud or casual.

Basically, if you’re going to a formal occasion — and if it’s less formal than black tie — you can go light grey.

That said, if it’s closer to winter and you want to look a bit more formal, you can also go with a darker grey. The darker shade will be more appropriate for the transitional period between seasons.

Blue is another good spring suit color for men. Light blue evokes spring the most, but a medium blue will also work nicely.

And, of course, you can mix grey and blue if you want a balance of vivid and neutral colors. This is also a nice choice for more formal functions.

It is possible to wear an entirely pastel suit, but there’s a time and a place for this. A pastel pink suit probably won’t fly in the office, but it could work for a laid-back spring wedding.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that black is as good of a spring suit color as any. Black works throughout the year, so while it’s not particularly springy, it’s always a safe bet. (The same goes for navy.)

Getting Your Colors Right

Understanding the basics of color theory can work wonders for your personal style. What’s important is that you understand why certain colors work together and why others don’t. Memorizing color combinations is a good start, but it will only get you so far.

Now that you have a starting point for wearing spring colors, go forth and experiment! 

I’ve given you the fundamentals, so your spring color journey doesn’t have to stop here. Try incorporating different colors in different ways and find out what you like best.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

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