Beige: your secret style weapon

beige jacket

Beige is your secret style weapon
Image source: Shutterstock

Beige used to be a byword for boring, but not any more. Today’s modern gent can rock this colour in all manner of ways, creating a look that’s classic, sharp and endlessly adaptable. Here’s our top tips on how to wear beige.

50 shades of beige (well, 5)

beige graphic
Beige is your secret style weapon. A natural, neutral and totally wearable colour, at the lighter end of the spectrum come nudes and creams, at the darker end, you’ll find tan or toffee as well as lighter shades of warm brown.

Whatever the hue, beige provides a neutral canvas allowing you to experiment with colours and patterns. The only no-no: unless it’s a classic trench coat, keep beige away from your face – a beige shirt will wash you out, no matter what your skintone.

How to wear it: trousers


Beige chinos are incredibly versatile
Image source: Carl Thompson

Beige chinos and khakis made their way into civilian wardrobes from the battlefields of the last century. The Idle Man says: “They’re one of the top pieces in every guy’s wardrobe, taking you from day to night… You’ll find a use for them, be it for formal or casual wear, this bad boy can adapt to everything.”

Think of beige as your outfit’s foundations and build from there. Don’t be afraid to add colour – a burgundy jumper in the autumn, pastel shirts during the spring.

Be bold. Khaki chinos are Indiana Jones’ trouser of choice. Try channeling his style with a pair of action-ready khaki desert boots, a simple t-shirt and a denim jacket. Fedora and whip optional.

Beige trousers or chinos are a great choice for smarter occasions too – they’re perfect for garden parties, barbecues or even for work. Pair cream or tan chinos with brown Oxfords and a button-down pale-blue shirt for a preppy look. Add a smart summer jacket to complete your outfit.

How to wear it: suits and jackets

Beige can be red carpet ready, as David Dubrovny proves
Image: Video Still/YouTube

As David Dubrovny shows, a beige suit looks pretty snappy at a red carpet event. But though most of us will have more weddings than premieres in our futures, a beige suit in cotton or linen is the go-to option for spring and summer events, keeping you cool in both senses of the word.

A pink or light-blue shirt would look great with this, as well as some good accessories – Dubrovny’s navy tie is smart addition. Just remember, this is a look best reserved for daytime events as it’s not quite formal enough for evening dos.

How to wear it: coats


Humphrey Bogart knew how to wear a trench – this is timeless style
Image source: Trailer screenshot / Public domain

As anyone who’s ever seen Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca knows, when the rain pours, there’s nothing like a beige trench coat to keep you dry and looking dashing.

For sharp Bogartian styling, wear your trench left open or casually belted. Either way, Ape to Gentleman says it’s an “essential piece of kit”. We have to agree.

British weather may, however, necessitate outerwear with a bit more heft. For those occasions, Fashionable Frank (top 50 UK men’s fashion blogger) suggests a camel-coloured coat will make you look dapper.

How to wear it: shoes


Shoes at the darker end of the beige spectrum are your best bet
Image source: Samuel Windsor – Brown Prestige Brogue

When it comes to shoes, stick to the darker end of the beige spectrum, with warm shades of brown and tan shoe. Think brogues, Chelsea boots, loafers and everything in between – tan looks great with jeans, or chinos and contrasts well with dark navy blues as long as you don’t go too light with the tone of your shoes.

As Permanent Style’s Simon Crompton suggests: “Try chocolate brown [with navy blue] they embolden each other.”

So what’s your take on beige? Are you a convert? How do you sport this secret style weapon? Share your sartorial stories with us over on our Facebook page.

Posted in Men's style guides.