Color gives you a great psychological boost. It works whether it is just one shot of color with bright red Topsiders or if it runs the whole gamut of clothing. -- Chip Tolbert, fashion director, Men's Fashion Association
A mauve tweed suit? A lemon yellow vest? Pink socks? Is this any way to go to work? Menswear designers and manufacturers are shouting yes, as they push colors for fall, colors ranging all the way from tiny brilliant accents to hues sweeping across entire outfits. It's the designers' way of brightening up the strikingly traditional men's clothing offerings for fall.
In fact, were these pictures fromt he recent Men's Fashion Association meeting to be shown black and white, the look would be pure classical. The big shoulders have been tamed, the ties have been allowed to grow, and the silhouette is familiar as golden oldies.
Never fear. There are plenty of gray flannels, classic tweeds and pinstripes around for Washingtonians this fall. But for the gutsier guy, there are bright color sweater vests to pub under them, vivid ties and pocket hankies, contrasting belts, socks and even shoes.
Color changes the barriers on how clothes can be worn. The subtle mauve-and-gray-tweed suit that is right for the office (yes, even in Washington) with a white shirt, gets totally revived for the weekend when worn with a change of shirt and a sweater.
But how do you keep from making a big blunder in combining colors? If you're unsure, ask retailers for help. And look over the different looks on these pages, chosen to let you see how designers in all price ranges are doing it.