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how to wear brown in winter
how to wear brown in winter

Warm It Up: How To Wear Brown In Winter

December 30th, 2021

4 Simple Tips To Pull It Off

When it comes to men’s style, wintertime color palettes typically fall into two categories. In the first category, you’ve got your stark colors, like black and white. These are the colors that match the simple, minimal, cold, and perhaps bleak winter landscape.

The second category contains those festive colors–all manner of greens, reds, purples–to complement seasonal observances, like Christmas and New Year’s.

That’s why when you start a conversation about brown as a winter color, you’re apt to get some quizzical looks from folks. However, brown is a wonderful color to incorporate into your winter wardrobe. We’ll be going over why as well as giving you some simple tips on how to wear brown in to wear brown in winter

Can you wear brown in the winter?

Given the colors one generally associates with the winter season, this is a perfectly logical question. Because if we’re talking about curating our wardrobe’s color palette to match the season, brown would seem to be a more natural fit for fall with its rich earth tones.

Now, somewhere someplace in some book, someone probably made up some rule about not wearing brown in the winter. I have no idea whether that’s true or not, but it sounds like a distinct possibility and, if it is true, some anonymous know-it-all on some forum might try to argue you into submission about it.

I offer the possibility of a “made up” menswear rule to illustrate that many of these so-called rules–and particularly rules that govern seasonal dress–are just that: made up. Which is a long, roundabout way to say that brown can be worn in the winter.

how to wear brown in winter

| WEARING | The Jacket Maker suede jacket, Falconeri cashmere sweater, He Spoke Style x Michael Andrews Bespoke pants, Coach belt (old, similar), Tod’s loafers (old, similar) | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver

Why wear brown in the winter?

Now that we’ve established that you most certainly can wear brown in the winter, you might be wondering why you might want to wear brown in the winter. I’ll give you four reasons why.

First, brown is a warm tone. Instead of matching the winter season exactly, it provides something complementary warms things up figuratively. Second, the color has a rich and luxurious quality to it. Third, brown is an extremely versatile color–in fact, you can consider it an alternate to navy blue any day of the week. And finally, brown in winter is unexpected, meaning it’s a great way to stand out in the most classic way.

Now let’s go over four tips on how to wear brown in winter.

1. Make it tonal

You could certainly just incorporate one brown item into your outfit, but one of my favorite styles of dressing is dressing tonally. A tonal outfit is one that sticks to one color (this is very similar to monochromatic dressing) but uses various hues and gradations within that color. It’s incredibly simple, but makes a big statement.

In this outfit, for example, I’ve got about five different shades of brown. Try to arrange the outfit’s color progression in a way that draws the eye naturally from top to bottom or bottom to top. Here, I’ve got darker colors up top that progress lighter as you go inward to the sweater and down to the cotton trousers.

how to wear brown in winter

2. Consider fabrics

While brown might not be associated with the winter season, you can help make the color feel more natural by choosing fabrics that are associated with the winter season. Cashmere, suede, and buttery smooth cottons are great choices and also enhance brown’s luxurious qualities.

3. Accessorize with brass and gold tones

When choosing metals to pair with brown, stay away from silver tones and instead opt for brass and golden tones. Silver appears “cooler” in terms of color and, as a result, will pair better with cooler colors, such as blue, grey, and black. The warmth of brass and gold matches the warmth of brown much better.

how to wear brown in winter

4. Inject a subtle pattern

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a pattern needs to be the focus of an outfit. It certainly can, but for tonal outfits like this one, I prefer to keep it subtle. Scroll up to the first photo and check out the pattern in the socks for an example of how to do it.

More All-Brown Outfit Ideas

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Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

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