How to Pair Blue & Red – Color Combinations for Smart Menswear Outfits

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette!
In today’s video, we’ll discuss how you can stylishly and effectively pair
two primary colors, blue and red, in your outfits. In the world of classic menswear,
there are certain time-honored color pairings that are almost guaranteed to
succeed. For example, you can find videos we’ve done on how to pair blue and brown
and gray and brown together, here. You can also find our article on pairing blue
and gray together, here, video coming soon. You don’t just have to confine yourself
to these staple colors of menswear, however, case in point, the more
adventurous pairing we’ll be discussing today, pairing together blue and red.
First then, a bit of background on where you may have already seen this color
pairing out in the wild. While it’s not an exceptionally popular
pairing, it is a favorite among politicians in the United States. A blue
suit, white shirt, and red tie has been the go-to uniform for many a politician
for much of the latter 20th century. That is, of course, if they’re not wearing a
black suit. We’ve got a video on that topic, why black suits shouldn’t be worn
very often, here. The intention with this red, white, and blue color pairing among
politicians is obviously to echo the colors of the American flag, however, it
won’t look like a costume, at least when it’s done correctly. Phrased another way,
if this red, white, and blue color pairing weren’t effective, politicians probably
wouldn’t wear it. After all, one of their main considerations is making a good
first impression. A secondary reasoning here is that
scientific studies have shown that red is perceived by many people to be a
power color. Said studies have often reached the conclusion that wearing red
makes people seem more attractive, outgoing, and successful and boosts their
confidence. In fact, a study of British soccer teams over
sixty years actually showed that teams who wore red won their matches more
often. This may have something to do with the fact that red not only increases
confidence but testosterone levels, as well. So the psychological benefits of
wearing red are clear then but outside of trying to evoke the American flag, why
do we think you should specifically pair it with blue? Simply put, the color wheel
holds the answer here. Red is an intense color. The richer of the two warm primary
colors on the color wheel, the other of those being yellow. Thus, because it is
often so bold and intense, it works better in smaller doses when paired and
grounded with a complimentary cool color. While red’s direct compliment on the
color wheel is actually green, the color green contains some warmth, given that
it’s composed of blue and yellow. Also, the red and green color pairing has
a particularly strong association with the Christmas holiday in many parts of
the world. As such, at least in the world of menswear, it can often be a smarter
choice to pair the intensity of red with the only cool primary color there is,
blue. By the way, if you’d like a deeper dive on all of the facets of the color
wheel and its terminology, you can find our video on that subject here. And
another plus for using blue in this combination, as we’ve already said, blue
is one of the staple colors of classic menswear
so you’ll be able to find it in almost any garment and in almost any shade.
Alright, that’s the color theory portion out of the way then but on to the main
question of the video, how can you stylishly pair blue and red in your
outfits? Given that we’ve just covered how blue is exceptionally versatile in
menswear and red less so, our first handful of examples are going to revolve
around wearing a blue suit. However, this won’t be the case for all of our
examples so stick with us. With most brighter or more intense
colors, the safest bet is to wear them in your accessories. Therefore, you can start
by incorporating red into your tie or your pocket square,
possibly also with blue. As we’ve said countless times before though, when it
comes to ties and pocket squares, don’t wear overly shiny satin silks and don’t
match your pocket square and tie together
exactly. Both of these choices are just going to come off looking cheap and
unstylish. Instead, you could try a tie that has some texture to it like a
grenadine tie or knit tie in red. Another option would be incorporating red into a
pattern like this shantung striped tie or this medallion pocket square, both of
them from Fort Belvedere. Or the tie I’m wearing here in today’s video which is a
madder silk model in red featuring a blue pattern. For a different sort of
accessory, you could also wear a red boutonniere
such as a carnation or a rose. Boutonnieres aren’t commonly worn by
most men these days so you’ll definitely stand out a bit if you try one but if
you’ve got one that’s working harmoniously in your outfit’s color
palette, it’s going to look all the more smart. You could also wear red cufflinks
as I’m doing here. Transitioning now from accessories to articles of clothing,
let’s first tackle socks. Now, we, here at the Gentleman’s Gazette, are not big fans
of outlandish or crazy socks as we’ve discussed before and as we’ve also said
in today’s video, red is an attention-grabbing color so you have to
decide if you’re going to wear socks with red in them whether you really want
people’s attention directed at your ankles instead of your face. To balance
this then, you could go with a subtle yet distinctive option like these shadow
striped socks from Fort Belvedere featuring midnight blue and burgundy. You
could also go a little bit bolder such as shadow stripes featuring navy blue
and red or blue socks with red clock patterns. and of course, now would be a
good time to note that not every element of your outfit has to feature both
colors working together. You could, for example, wear socks that just had shades
of blue or red on their own and not paired. And you could incorporate other
accent colors as well as with any outfit, just be sure that things are overall
working harmoniously together and not fighting
for the viewer’s attention. Let’s move now to shirts. As we just mentioned, not every
element of your outfit has to feature both colors working together. If you’ve
already got some red in your accessories, tamping things down a bit with a solid
blue shirt or a shirt with a pattern of say blue and white working together
would be a safe bet. A bolder choice, meanwhile, would be a shirt incorporating
a red pattern such as stripes or checks. And while pastel blue is a staple of
classic menswear, we wouldn’t really recommend solid red shirts, either bright
or dark, as they don’t really have much of a place in classic menswear. They’re
more at home in contemporary looks and don’t mesh well with the more classic
fashions that we’re talking about. A shirt with a red and blue pattern could
also be an option. Of course, whatever the color situation, just remember the finer
and smaller a pattern, the more formal a shirt is and the larger a pattern or
bolder, the less formal the shirt. Staying with the torso for a moment, let’s talk
about waist coats and sweaters. If you want a larger pop of red, especially in
the fall or winter seasons, you could try wearing a red toned
waistcoat under a blue jacket. Even classic British style, which is typically
more conservative, will often take advantage of slightly more colorful
waistcoats or odd vests. This will add some personality to your outfit while
still being appropriate for most offices. The key here is just to cover up the
bolder red hue with something in a more subdued blue and if you don’t own a red
waistcoat, red knitwear could also be an option.
This wine colored cardigan, for example, pairs well with white and navy in the
outfit shown here. Before we move on to jackets, let’s take time for trousers. In
warmer weather, chinos in a shade known as Nantucket red are a popular staple of
preppy style which we’ve covered in a video, here. Just do be aware though that
this close association with preppy style can
make Nantucket reds seem a little bit snobby or pretentious, especially if worn
in other areas like the UK. Otherwise, a darker maroon shade could work for
almost anything from corduroys to odd trousers and of course, your options for
blue pants in any shade are almost limitless. Moving on to jackets now and
as was also the case with trousers, blue on its own is a staple of almost any
kind of jacket, whether that be a sport coat, blazer, or a jacket for a full suit.
The bolder option then would be a red sport coat probably, again, most
appropriate for the warmer months of the year. Something like a red linen sport
coat would evoke more of an Italian or specifically, Neapolitan style and could
look smart with a white or off-white dress shirt and some blue pants.
Meanwhile, darker Maroons or Burgundys could, again, be more appropriate for a
wintertime blazer or sport coat. You could also seek out jackets
incorporating both colors. A blue base with a red pattern over top would
probably be slightly more subtle and the reverse, a red base with a blue pattern
would be more bold. This is true for jackets, as well as full suits. Next, we’ll
touch on overcoats. Similarly to how a red jacket would be a
bold choice, so too would a red overcoat. Essentially, wearing red as any kind of
outer layer is going to be more bold, especially in the wintertime. Red outer
layers are definitely going to stand out more so you could consider trying to
tamp them down by having a few visible blue accessories like a tie that’s
showing, a scarf, or maybe some gloves. And the guidelines we just discussed for
patterns in jackets would also apply to overcoats, as well. A brief word here
about hats, neither red or blue is an exceptionally common color for classic
hats in menswear, however, you will probably find a few more blue felt hats
out there than you will red ones. More often, you’re going to see blue and red
as colors on hat bands such as often the case with straw
boaters. Finally today, let’s cover shoes. Simply put, you’re not going to find too
many men’s shoes in classic styles that incorporate both red and blue together.
Even something like a spectator shoe in dark blue and burgundy leather would be
too bold for most men. With that said, each color on its own does have a
slightly wider array of options in classic footwear.
Neither color is terrifically versatile in shoes but you can find darker oxblood
shades in various styles, as well as blue suede shoes or even some blue leathers
if you’re feeling a bit bolder. As you can see then, there are several ways to
pair blue and red together in menswear ranging from the subtle to the bold. Blue
is the classic and versatile menswear staple that will almost always provide a
base and depending on how bold you’d like your outfit to look, you can choose
how much red to incorporate and wear. In today’s video as you can plainly see my
outfit incorporates quite a bit of blue and red the base color from which I’m
working here is the suit in a medium blue shade the other principal blue
element is my shirt which is pastel blue and also features French cuffs in those
French cuffs I’ve got our platinum plated sterling silver eagleclaw
cufflinks with red carnelian as the stone also from Fort Belvedere are my
tie which is in a ruby red shade featuring
blue and slightly orange Macclesfield neats and my boutonniere which is a
small red carnation and my Fort Belvedere pocket square is a silk wool
blend in a wine red color though you can’t really see it in the current
configuration the pocket square also has accent colors of blue green yellow and
orange in a medallion design my socks are our shadow striped models in navy
blue and red coincidentally today the suspenders I’m wearing also happen to be
blue although they are the only pair of non black tie suspenders that I
currently own and round the outfit today are my shoes which are
whole cut Oxfords from ace marks they’re in an ox blood red color with a
hand-painted patina and of course you can find all of the Fort Belvedere
accessories I’m wearing today including the tie pocket square boutonniere
cufflinks and socks in the Fort Belvedere shop here


  • First

  • Next on black and golden please!

  • Nice ensemble! I like red bowties

  • …I nearly only wear black suits; I don’t get the negativity.

  • I love my dark red shirts though

  • Great outfit!

  • Tie and handkerchief must not match neither colour nor texture

  • Preston’s favourite word: “harmoniously”. You look very smart today, Preston.

  • I hope some day we get an tutorial on how to get such a sharp jawline ! 😉

  • Preston is the whitest posh classy dude I ever seen.

  • Clarets… they can't name bread right round there but they win at football.

  • Wearing red increases testosterone? Are you serious?

  • The rose looks horrible and destroys the outfit.

  • Another psychological pro of red is that your enemy subconsciously thinks your a bit superior

  • beautiful shoes man.

  • I need that Madras jacket Preston has where did he get it?

  • Don't you think that flower lapele, pocket square and tie are a bit much if wearing all 3 of them?

  • Can you do a video on how to wear the cardigan

  • Peter Parker's an expert.

  • My pastor wore a burgundy velvet jacket with a burgundy tie. The tie and jacket combo looked very harmonious and a monochromatic look.

  • Preston looks like a cane corso.

  • Another excellent video from Preston and the GG.

  • Need more of these combo videos

  • Preston has really grown as a presenter on the channel, loving the videos with him !

  • I don't even own a suit or an extensive wardrobe but I love this channel. I'm holding GG responsible for my dive into shoe obsession though lol. Thank you guys for the great videos.

  • Yaaay I saw his hands he is not married !!!!

  • Why does his neck protrude a full foot

  • I recently picked up a pair of red corduroy (Ralf Lauren) trousers from a consignment shop…. however I haven't the slightest idea (other than a Black turtle neck)…. how to Pair them,.. any suggestions?

  • Creative idea! We're gonna try this at an upcoming event! ??

  • How to pair Red and Blue

    Answer – very easily ?

  • Thanks for the video theme that I previously requested! As always, well done.

  • preston you look way from camera a lil too far away than normal to look at the prompter. keep the prompter closer to camera to look less weird and you are straining too hard to read

  • Very nice, enjoyable and informative! Thank you.

  • panathinaikos bc…the king of european basket…welcome rick pitino

  • I like the combination. I don't like to look like a US politician however…

  • You guys should make a video on Don Cherry's suits I think that would be a funny video. A new series called "suit review" or something lol

  • I wear suits to school even though I don’t have to. This channel has giving me so much extra tips to look my best. Thank you guys

  • Dear Gentleman's Gazette,

    Excellent content as always!

    I am truly enjoying the new editing and video layouts.

    The animations seem rather fluid, and subtle.

    I would like to reiterate a previous point – the background 'jazz' music of the introduction.

    I feel 'classical' music would fit better with the flow of the channel, content and aethestics.

    Kind regards,

    R. G.

  • 2:08 Actually that's because throughout the 70s and 80s liverpool were the most financially successful team ..which is why they dominated. From the 90s to 00s United were the most financially successful club and so they dominated.
    Now a team wearing a baby blue jersey is dominating English football. Want to know their financial status? It's a vast bank backed by the price of Dubai. Embarrassment of riches.

    Color really has nothing to do with it.

    Im sure red does help market the clubs better. I wont deny that.

    Great video nonetheless. Just thought I should share some of my knowledge.

  • Forget the video. Want to know how to pair blue and red? In a word: don’t

  • The tie and the shoes look especially great.

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