Even stylish guys are at risk of falling into the colour (or lack thereof) trap. You know what garments look good on you, you’ve dialled in your fit, you’re investing in high-quality pieces, but somehow your outfits still look dull and lifeless. It’s probably because you’re playing it safe and sticking to the same old colour palette.
Don’t get us wrong, monochrome and neutrals are great, but they lack the vibrancy that’s often needed to make an outfit pop. So what better to fix that than a sprinkling of the hottest colour of the season?
Viva magenta is Pantone’s official colour of 2023. It’s somewhere between a berry red and a medium pink with a dash of purple added in for good measure. Granted, it’s not for all skin tones (more on that below), but if you have the complexion to pull it off then it’s going to really help to enliven your outfits and keep your wardrobe relevant without leaning on trend-based pieces.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the year’s key colour and how you can work it into your day-to-day looks.
What Is Viva Magenta?
Pantone (meaning ‘all colours’) is the company that developed the first colour-matching system. It allowed designers to see exactly how one shade might look next to another and has become an indispensable tool over the decades. This has made Pantone something of an authority on colour, and every year it selects a ‘Colour of the Year’.
This is far from an arbitrary process. The company’s experts scour the world looking for trends in colour to inform their decision. This means looking at fashion, interior design, travel, entertainment, new technologies and more to build a detailed picture of what colours are most popular.
This year, the colour of the moment is something called Viva Magenta, which is a rich reddish, purplish pink.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, and it is true that Viva Magenta is rather bold as far as colours go for men. But remember, we’re not suggesting that you deck your entire wardrobe out in it, simply work in a statement piece or two to make simple outfits pop.
Key Pieces For Introducing Viva Magenta To Your Looks
A knitted sweater or roll neck is perhaps the perfect Viva Magenta piece. It’s extremely versatile, so you can wear it with almost anything, and it’s ideal for layering.
What this means is you can easily add a pop of the year’s official colour to any outfit in a nice, subtle way. For bonus points, go for cashmere.
Velvet Dinner Jacket/Blazer
Viva Magenta is deep and rich – the sort of colour that works wonderfully on a similarly deep, rich fabric. OK, the vast majority of people might wear a tux once a year, but if you find yourself getting dressed up often then a velvet dinner jacket in this trending tone is an investment that will pay back in the long run.
Use it as a statement piece to bring life to black formal pants, black dress shoes/slippers and a crisp white shirt.
Perhaps you’re a little wary of wearing a colour this bold. Breaking it up with some pattern is a good way to tone it down slightly while still enjoying the benefits.
A checked overshirt works well here, because again it’s a versatile piece you can wear across most of your pre-existing wardrobe, but the other colours in the pattern will help dull down the magenta slightly.
If you fall under the majority of men who probably won’t get much use out of a vibrantly coloured dinner jacket, you might want to consider some casual outerwear instead.
A cropped jacket like a bomber, blouson or coach jacket can work very nicely in Viva Magenta when worn with understated colours as the statement piece of the outfit. Given that Viva Magenta works so well with navy, this is something you can team up with a nice pair of raw denim jeans while keeping everything else simple and subtle.
It’s understandable that you might be wary of investing heavily in such a bold hue. This is why going for an accessory like a scarf is such a great way to embrace this year’s coolest colour.
The financial outlay is relatively small, but the wearability is relatively high. This equates to a solid cost-to-wear ratio while allowing you to mix a bit of Viva Magenta into any outfit you choose.
What Colours Does Viva Magenta Work With?
Making a colour like this work within your wardrobe is all about knowing what colours it sits well next to. Rich jewel tones like emerald green and navy blue (good news for jeans wearers) are top of the list, but Viva Magenta goes great with understated earth tones too – think beige, brown and camel – as well as dark neutrals like black and charcoal.
The idea is to make it your standout piece, then keep everything else fairly toned down to anchor it.
When Should I Wear Viva Magenta?
Whenever you feel like it. Viva Magenta might be bold, but it’s also extremely versatile. It’s the sort of colour that you can wear in every setting from casual to formal, as long as it’s painted across the appropriate garments.
A cardigan or knitted sweater is great for casual and smart-casual scenarios as it can be dressed up or down easily, or even worn with tailoring. But for formal settings we’d suggest using your tie or pocket square to get the colour in. If you want to go all in, you could even go for a Viva Magenta dinner jacket.
That said, we feel it works best in the autumn and winter months due to the sense of warmth it gives off and the colours it goes with.
What Skin Tones Does Viva Magenta Work With?
If you have a lot of red undertones to your skin then this colour is probably best avoided. With tones of red, purple and pink, Viva Magenta will highlight the redness of your skin and wash you out. The key is contrast.
Viva Magenta therefore tends to work best with pale, dark and olive complexions.