Colors and fashion: When to wear green

A fashion guide to when to wear green.

The obvious immediate answer to when you should wear green, preferably in large doses, is: On Saint Patrick’s Day.

During the Renaissance, green was the symbol of fertility and was sometimes chosen in wedding gowns by women to indicate they were ready to bear children. Nowadays, green is sort of an icon for ecological awareness. One might wear green to indicate that. Green is also good if you’re going for a specific look, such as the military camouflage motif.

Certain shades of green work with other colors, for instance a dark, forest green goes well with black. Shades of tan and brown also go well with dark green. Colors you should not mix with green in an outfit are yellow, blue, orange and any shade of green opposite each other. You shouldn’t mix and match a cool green with a warm green.

Also, certain fabrics look very good in green. Linen, cotton, silk benefit from a rich green texture. Silk has a sheen that makes dark green look particularly appealing in a woman’s blouse or shell, though this should be avoided in a man’s dress shirt.

Another fashion statement that should be avoided is a green shoe. Green in a shoe, even tennis shoes, makes the entire clothing attire look unbalanced unless it is all green itself. However a woman’s dress pump, if part of a pants suit, dress or skirt, looks very good. Usually the darker greens work well with this, touched with a contrasting color, like white. The skirt or dress may have a fine pattern of tiny polka dots and the pump or flat may be two-toned.


Bear in mind that these are only suggestions, a kind of guideline for making a fashion statement in green.

Business Meetings/Office Wear

Not usually recommended in this type of environment, green still has a place, mostly for women. A dark green dress or skirt contrasted with black or white, or any of the lighter shades of tan, work well in this setting. Men should avoid green altogether, except maybe in a tie, and even then, the tie shouldn’t be entirely green. Also the green shouldn’t be the dominant color in the tie. An exception to this, despite the earlier assertion that green should be avoided in a dress shirt is a very soft pastel green. This goes well with various shades of gray in a suit or just slacks.

Picnics/Outdoor Activities/Outings

These are probably the most forgiving settings for wearing green in any amount. Khaki shorts, sundress prints, light cotton pants are excellent outfits for the various shades of green available. You probably don’t want to go totally monochromatic with green unless it’s a specific outfit like a cotton top and pants ensemble. Green should still be avoided in footwear however.

Parties (formal and informal)

Formal Parties.

Again men should avoid green in this kind of social environment. Green is an ideal color for women in formal gowns, even the paler pastel greens which look marvelous in silk or satin.

Informal Parties

Probably the second best forgiving setting for the color green. As in outdoor outings, you may want to make a statement with a rich green color in your attire. Children’s parties are particularly ideal for an abundance of green; usually the brighter spring greens. Dark green is too somber for this setting.

So, in closing, although green doesn’t seem to be a readily compatible color with most of the colors in the spectrum for fashion, it is still a good color in moderate doses to achieve a pleasing image.

Posted by on Jun 18 2012. Filed under Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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