A Gentleman’s Guide

How To Wear Green

Working the colour of the season into your wardrobe is far easier than Kermit lead you to believe

  • Oliver Spencer’s senior management team. Photograph by The Urban Spotter/Blaublut-Edition.com

With so many variations of green to choose from, it’s easy to find a shade that works for you. Darker muted tones such as olive and khaki are the easiest wardrobe entry points. These are the go-to tones for military-inspired outerwear such as parkas, trench coats and MA-1 bombers (as adroitly demonstrated by Oliver Spencer’s management team, above). It’s not just those old favourites, however: tailoring on this side of the colour spectrum provides a viable (if audacious) alternative to corporate-coloured workwear as well, and brighter shades such as bottle and forest can be a stylish alternative to black at more formal events.

Contrary to Kermit the Frog’s famous lament, it is easy being green. Here’s how.

GREEN WITH BLUE

  • Photograph by Mr Julien Boudet/BFA.com/REX Shutterstock

It’s one of the oldest rules in fashion: “blue and green should never be seen.” It’s also bunkum – there is no reason to this rhyme. Olive green worn with blue denim is a combination that just always works. Denim jacket and khaki chinos? Winner. Likewise, indigo jeans and a military green jacket. Here, we see the colour combination with a chunky shawl-collar cardigan – a useful wardrobe staple that manages to be rakish and comfortable at the same time. The rounded, elongated collar shape forms a window for a shirt and tie or, in this case, a scarf. This moss-coloured version sits well with the selvedge denim it’s paired with. Olive and indigo –  especially when finished with a touch of autumnal russet in the scarf and brown shoes as seen here – is a muted, organic colour combination that’s well suited to this season’s wardrobe.

What to wear

  • The Workers Club Slim-Fit Raw Selvedge Denim Jeans

GREEN ON GREEN

  • Photograph by Mr Stefano Carloni/Mr Tuft

“The love of green… is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament,” wrote Mr Oscar Wilde, whose own artistic temperament was anything but subtle. And who can deny the truth of that when presented with such a green-anchored masterclass in colour coordination as that demonstrated by the gent above. This resplendently white-whiskered chap pictured on the streets of Paris has balanced the intensity of his wide-wale emerald cords with an elegantly tied cashmere scarf in a forest green. It’s the careful consideration of colour, texture and pattern that helps to pull this outfit together. The lesson here: don’t attempt too many shades in one outfit or you’ll look as if you’re dressed as the tree in a nativity play. And if one item is especially bold in colour, as with these cords, the rest should be more muted.

What to wear

CAMOUFLAGE

  • Photograph by Mr Stefano Carloni/Mr Tuft

Camouflage is one of those trends that is rarely out of fashion, even though it’s not actually the easiest to wear – one wrong move can leave you looking a little too Rambo. To hit the right note, limit yourself to one piece of camouflage per outfit. Make sure it fits well, and think about where you’re going to be wearing it as camouflage in the wrong context can, ironically, stand out too much. It’s better suited to a relaxed environment rather than anything too formal. Camouflage is a busy pattern, so everything else should be quiet, as demonstrated with the above plain white tee and khaki chinos combo. Round if off with a pair of low-top white sneakers for a considered off-duty look.

What to wear

TAILORING AND A MILITARY PARKA

  • Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding/Trunk Archive

Imagine this three-piece suit worn with a more formal overcoat, as you would more usually expect. The overall effect would be completely different – it could even look a bit stiff. Whereas here the tailoring is softened by a warm, quilted, parka, which allows the wearer to dress smartly and practically without looking like “a suit”. The formal/casual combination and the contrast in textures balances the look and keeps it contemporary. Note how this shade of military green complements grey. In fact, there’s very little it won’t go with colour-wise, which, allied with the fact that parkas never go out of style, makes this a versatile choice as outerwear.

What to wear

THE TRENCH COAT

  • Photograph by Ms Melodie Jeng/Getty Images

The trench coat is so named because it was designed to keep soldiers dry in the dug-outs of France and Belgium during WWI. Here, we see a green military-issue version – an original 1960s Marine National trench, no less – performing its primary function of keeping its wearer, Mr Nick Sullivan, from getting drenched. (Mr Sullivan, US Esquire’s fashion director, is something of a vintage military aficionado, incidentally, as you’ll see from his @nicksullivanesq Instagram account.) A long-belted trench like this is roomy and unstructured enough to wear over tailoring during the week or with a chunky knit and jeans when off duty.

What to wear

THE BOMBER JACKET

  • Photograph by Mr Adam Katz Sinding/Trunk Archive

From the original MA-1 model to the latest Nomex CWU-45, flying jackets – aka bombers – have always been as sought after for the way they look as for the warmth they afford. Cut to sit on the hips while seated in a cockpit, bomber jackets invariably convey an active and sporty image. This gentleman has layered his khaki green version over an unstructured black blazer to add a contemporary, urban edge to an otherwise normcore outfit. And look, you can see yet more military-green parka in the background! We told you it was everywhere this season.

What to wear

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