Warm Up to Brown

The last time we saw brown featured as a proper business color was when Al Gore’s handlers attempted to project him as the “Alpha Male” by dressing him in brown.  Prior to that, we fondly remember President Regan, wearing his brown suits whenever he visited the Midwest in order to connect better with the agricultural community.  Since then, brown has not been a part of the fashionable color list.  Women are less dictated to by these trends but the principles still apply.

Allen Flusser, the men’s style expert of long standing, stated that he thought it was the British who transformed brown from an important business wear color to a country look.  It has been said that the British are some of the best-dressed men in the world but there is a distinct difference between their city business attire and their country wear.  Thinking of the royal family vacationing in Scotland conjures up pictures tweeds, heavy knits, plaids and heathers.

If you love brown, there’s good news!  Last weekend, there was an article in The Wall Street Journal touting the resurgence of brown.   Let’s look at how you might be able to incorporate some brown into your wardrobe.

Brown generally falls into the warm category, making it the perfect basic color for the warm-toned person.  As you may know from reading previous blogs, each of us falls into a cool or warm category.  The hair, eye and skin color determine if one is cool or warm which simply means whether warm-toned or cool-toned colors will best complement your natural coloring.  A warm-toned person has a peach undertone in their skin while a cool-toned person has a pink undertone.   If the shade of brown is a more deep, rich chocolate color, it will be more cool and will complement the cool-toned person.

Brown is approachable.  If you work in any profession where you want to draw people to you, being approachable is important.   If your profession demands an appearance of authority and aloofness, this is not your color.   I know a tax attorney who often wears brown suits conveying his professionalism and competence without being intimidating.

You can accent with a warm or cool toned shirt and tie or blouse in order to best complement your coloring and beautifully accent brown.  Brown is never formal but a woman can make it dressier with the addition of black.  Designers don’t use the combination often but I have seen some beautiful designs combining the two.

So if you are thinking brown, this is the time to head to the stores.


Is your organization looking for a speaker?   Let’s talk and see if something on style, color or wardrobe might be just what you are looking for.   Beryl@StyleWithAplomb.com or 404-428-2527.