A colour wheel. That's what I use as my wallpaper. That way I confidently match my shirts and trousers in creative ways. And I now buy more patterned shirts and blazers.
Here's the background knowledge you need.
The color wheel was developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1666. It's based on his research on color theory. And its use for us is that it helps us in identifying colors that complement one another and the ones that cause disharmony.
The rules are not hard to remember, though you might need to take the chart with you on your phone like I do.
Here are the basic rules:
- You can wear colors that are directly next to each other. For example, a Blue-Green shirt on a Dark Blue trouser.
- You can wear colors that are directly opposite one each other. For example, an Orange shirt on a Dark Blue trouser.
- You can wear colors that are 2 colors apart (or 90 degrees apart). For example, you can wear a Yellow-Green shirt on a Dark Blue trouser.
- You can wear colors that form a T. This is more applicable to ladies; guys hardly wear more than 2 pieces of cloth. An example is blue, orange, and violet-red.
- You can wear colors that form an X. Also for ladies. Example is blue, orange, violet-red, and yellow.
- You can wear Black, Brown, Grey and White with any other color. They are called Neutrals. But avoid wearing black on black, brown on brown, grey on grey and white on white, except there's a special reason.
- It's preferable to have one color dark and the others light/regular, rather than having all colors dark or light/regular. It's better to wear bright red on dark green rather than wearing bright red on bright green.
- For patterned shirts, note the dominant color and match appropriately. Avoid wearing a patterned shirt over a patterned trouser. And if you're wearing more than 2 pieces of cloth, it's best to let only one be patterned. Solid color shirt on a solid color trouser with a patterned blazer on.