Beyond black and navy - experimenting with bold colours in business attire

For decades, business suiting has been governed by a relatively regimented rule book. In short, there was a holy trinity of colours to choose from and no wriggle room surrounding them. If it wasn’t black, charcoal or navy, chances are it wasn’t appropriate.

Fast forward through a pandemic though and things have changed significantly. In line with the rise of hybrid work there has been a distinct broadening of the work day wardrobe, one that celebrates both a more casual approach and a more personal sense of style.

To help navigate this expanded business suit tool kit, we’re delighted to be sharing the Oscar Hunt guide to embracing bold colours in work attire.

An introduction to bold colours

For those first dabbling in the bold colour palette, being selective is key. This generally means choosing one bold colour to play with and introducing it to your attire through a signature piece - whether it’s a blazer or even via an accessory like a pocket square.

Our recommendation is to start with hues that riff on the classics you already have in your wardrobe. For example, this might mean trying out cobalts or pale blues if you generally wear a lot of navy. Warm neutrals can also be a good place to start out via the likes of olive, sage, sand or even rust.

The key thing to remember is that ‘bold’ doesn’t automatically equate with bright or ultra saturated - subtlety is still key.

How bold colours can enhance your professional image

Amongst traditionalists, there might be some chin-scratching as to whether bold colours compromise your sense of professionalism. Ask us though and we’d say if anything - and based on significant experience - it’s in fact the opposite.

Embracing shades that you’re personally drawn to and that diverge from the tried and tested can help to highlight your unique sense of style and demonstrates confidence in self. What’s more, it can also be an excellent way to showcase your individual personality.

Complementary or contrasting shades for impact?

When it comes to pairing multiple colours, we generally advise for shades that compliment - rather than contrast - one another. A handy rule of thumb for understanding what these hues are is to look at a colour wheel. The colours directly opposite yours are complementary and will make for an elevated palette that demonstrates nuance and subtlety.

If in doubt, you can also always talk with our team of experts in your local showroom who can help map out a bold palette that will work with both your colouring and own sense of style.