A Gentleman’s Guide to Wearing Yellow

Yellow is traditionally used as an accent color. However, it has recently been trending as a new color worth exploring in many ways within a man’s wardrobe. In this article, we will take a closer look at how to use yellow with other colors, how to wear yellow as an accent, and how to pick the correct shade of yellow to best match your skin tone and clothing choices.

Matching Yellow with Other Colors

Yellow stands out. That is often why it is best to combine yellow with other colors. Not only will this tone down the impact of a bright yellow, but the color you match to it will also gain by standing out more. Here is a look at what colors go well with yellow.


We’re not talking about your ordinary blue here. The softer, lighter shades of blue are the best ones to wear with yellow. Look for muted hues of blue that have names like “sky blue” or “Robin’s Egg Blue” with the darker hint of a mustard yellow, the yellow lightens up rather than serving as a contrasting color in this combination.

Grey or Brown

Earth tones are always a good choice to match with yellow. Stay away from black because it will contrast far too much with yellow and create a bumblebee effect. Unless that is what you intend. The dark neutral look of different shades of greys and browns gives you a perfect blend of dark and light that aren’t as harsh on the eyes as black and yellow tend to be.


Think of the colors you see in a garden or the deep woods. Greens of all shades, mostly darker ones, work very well with yellow. Just be prepared to keep the yellow parts less dominant than the green parts and you will be fine. Olive and forest green are your best bets but turquoise can also serve in most instances to keep a friendly tone in place.


Here is an example where more of a cool, dark, and neutral shade can balance the brightness of yellow. It may not seem apparent at first, but when you see the two colors together you will understand why this combination works so well. Navy and yellow produce a depth accompanied by a brilliance that cannot be ignored.

How Your Average Guy Can Wear Yellow

As we have explained, yellow is often used as an accent color, although it has been trending into other territory making it a color that can be used as a statement standing on its own merit. This does not mean you should seek out the brightest, almost fluorescent shade of yellow that exists on the planet, unless you plan to partly cover that with other earthy tones to tone it down a few notches. Ideally, your yellow choices should come from both ends of the yellow spectrum. Here’s a bit of help dealing with that situation.

Light Yellow

At one end of the yellow color spectrum, you will find light shades. These may remind you of butter.  They are far from bright and blinding and that is sort of the point. When you choose clothing items from the light end of the yellow spectrum, they are much easier to work into an outfit.

Deep Yellow

At the far opposite end of the yellow color spectrum live the deep and rich shades of this color. If you can visualize a spoonful of turmeric, then you are familiar with this shade. These stand out more than the light yellows but do not stop traffic or attract insects like a loud, screaming yellow would.

Key Yellow Wardrobe Pieces

Here is a quick review of some clothing pieces and accessories you can add to your wardrobe that would be just fine in yellow.


Keep these to the light yellow end of the spectrum and you’ll be fine. You can even pair these with a t-shirt or hoodie of most any other color including white.


If you intend to wear a darker jacket over a shirt, you can get away with brighter shades of yellow in this combination.


With white socks and everything else in light colors, sure, why not. Just make sure the shoes aren’t the brightest thing you are wearing.


Nothing says summer fun on the beach like a brightly-colored pair of glasses frames in yellow. Go as bright and blinding as you wish.


Here’s a place where shades can help you tie together a wardrobe. This No Cold Feet Guide has some useful tips on how to best make yellow socks a part of your repertoire.


Headgear of any kind is more of an accessory than anything else and light tones of yellow will be the safest way to go here.

Matching Yellow to Your Skin Tone

Here are a couple of simple guidelines. If you happen to have pale skin, lighter shades of yellow are going to make you look washed out. However, light yellow tones work well on darker skin tones. Yellows that are golden, brown-based look better on multiple skin tones, including pale skin.

Still a Bit Scared to Start Wearing Yellow?

There’s no doubt that if you have not been wearing yellow before this time, it will take a little getting used to. However, it isn’t as hard a transition as you might think. All you have to do is start small. Try a yellow shirt under a jacket or yellow socks. Stick to the light shades at first and when you gain confidence, venture out to other parts of the yellow color spectrum. Be careful not to get too wild and you will be fine.

In Conclusion

Yellow is no longer reserved for traffic warning signs. It can be a fitting accent or feature color in your wardrobe. You just have to know where to wear it best, what colors combine to create the best visual, and what tone of yellow looks best on you. Should you run away screaming from yellow? Absolutely not. Embrace it and make it your new go-to color.

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