Men Style

Tonal Dressing Complete Men Style Guide

You don’t need to be a fashion victim to try out the tonal dressing. Sometime in the distant past, wearing the same hue – or varieties of it – from head-to-foot was seen as an overly simplistic way of getting dressed. Nowadays, it’s a strategy frequently used by guys’ about-town like David Beckham, Ryan Reynolds, and Nick Wooster. And it’s so slick you probably haven’t even noticed them doing it.

Wearing a solo color top to bottom sounds easy, yet it requires some thought in the event that you would prefer not to resemble the Man from Del Monte. The catwalks have been invaded in ongoing seasons with tonal looks, so you can generally head there for inspiration (everybody from Billionaire to Bottega Veneta is busy). At that point, to make it your own, simply follow this guide to one-color dressing.

RELATED: The Right Colors To Wear For Your Skin Tone

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What Is Tonal Dressing?

It sounds pompous, yet once you have over the terminology, tonal dressing is menswear’s best-kept secret. The bad news: it’s not quite as easy as just taking a color and going to town with it. Tonal dressing progressed admirably is tied in with mixing up textures and same tones that appear as though they were nearly made to sit close by one another.

“Tonal dressing is presumably a standout amongst the most safeguard ways for men to dress – and one that not enough men take advantage of,” says Chris Kyvetos, Stylebop buying director. “Aside from the ease of it all, it’s a seriously modern look.”

In the event that you as of now wear similar shading on rehash, you’re most of the way there in joining the Tonal Club – simply switch up how you consolidate your pieces in the equivalent get-up. When your one-color outfit is arranged, you’ll quickly look and feel you are most set up together, even when you’re getting dressed with the darkest of hangovers.

Finally, tonal’s ultimate party trick? Its capacity to streamline and trap the eye with a continuous line of color – beer bellies becomes virtually undetectable.

Tonal Dressing: The Rules

Pick Your Color Wisely

The linchpin of any tonal vibe is the color (clearly). But, it is anything but an instance of staying a stick into a tube of Smarties and rolling with it. You need a color that a) complements your skin tone and b) doesn’t look ‘novelty’ when you’re strolling down the road. N.B., the Mask-style yellow is a distinct no-no, and millennial pink is just for the brave.

“It’s ideal to keep things muted in case you’re a Tonal novice,” says Kyvetos. “As I would like to think, tan and navy blue is the best alternatives – in light of the fact that they’re more secure; however, these colors will, in general, look most grounded as a general look. For the vast majority of us, all-over bright colors are best kept away from.”

Pick Your Color Wisely

Mix Up Your Tones

The tonal dressing may look like a wardrobe art form but it’s all about creating subtle variations on a theme. Think to mix up dark and light tones of the same hue.

“The number one thing to keep in mind is not to attempt wearing one block color head-to-toe,” Kyvetos says. “Tonal dressing is best approached with varying shades – that way you avoid looking like you’re wearing a uniform.”

Mix Up Your Tones

Neutral Back-Up

If one-color commitment all feels too much, don’t sweat it. You don’t have to wear the same hue throughout your entire look. If you’re a Tonal newbie, adding a white T-shirt or Oxford shirt for contrast can be an outfit saver, breaking up the feeling of color monotony or overkill.

Wearing a casual summer suit in a bold tone like powder blue suddenly feels far less daunting with a white tee to pare it down. Likewise, an otherwise all-black-everything look is given a little depth.

Neutral Back-Up

Play With Texture

Texture (or lack of it) can make or break your tonal outfit. Throwing different patterns, fabrics, and finishes into the mix make your look less uniform, all the more outwardly fascinating. For instance, try combining unexpected fabrics like cotton with leather, or woolly knits with silk.

Nick Hammond, head cutter for Savile Row tailor Norton & Sons, says: “Texture can really heighten the effect and impact of tonal dressing. Using different textures will emphasize contrast and add depth to your overall look – especially important if you’re carrying the same color throughout.”

Play With Texture

Shoe Game

Tonal doesn’t have to mean literally top-to-toe. Sometimes, matching your shoes with the rest of your look can be overkill for a tonal look. The same applies to accessories like hats and scarves. Instead, reach for a neutral tone, which won’t look weird placed next to a color.

“Keeping it as simple as possible is key for a tonal look,” Hammond explains. “There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles or accessories involved – this is way more about the clothes and keeping them cool and straightforward.”

Shoe Game

Key Tonal Dressing Colors


Surprisingly tricky to wear top-to-toe! Since it can look excessively harsh against most skin tones; in any case, if black is fearlessly your no.1 hue; playing with various textures truly becomes possibly the most important factor to include variety.

It’s razor-sharp for formalwear, however, when you’re pulling together casual wear or an end of the week outfit, take a stab at including dark charcoal to lift an all-black outfit.

Tonal Dressing Colours black


If, like the average man, you have an insane amount of blue and denim in your wardrobe; then it’s the obvious color to try first. And it’s hard to mess up.

Try a pair of stonewash jeans teamed with a darker blue shirt and jacket for some subtle tonal action. For a more dressed-up take on blue, check out the Go-To Tonal Outfits section below.

Tonal Dressing Colours blue


Honestly, lime green isn’t the least demanding color to pull off, yet khakis and forest greens are the places it’s at with regards to tonal dressing – both carry on more like a neutral than a ‘color’.

With regards to formal occasions, a rich green dinner jacket can likewise make you emerge from the penguin pack.

Tonal Dressing Colours green


Capricious weather implies a white-out outfit is a wide range of dubious to pull off convincingly. Blend light neutrals rather for a progressively wearable choice (that is likewise less inclined to be destroyed with a grimy puddle or lunchtime spills). For an adaptable blend of tones that all function admirably together; think cream, ivory, eggshell, beige, and putty.

Still into the possibility of all-white? Spare it for your Amalfi vacation suitcase and keep it fresh and new.

Tonal Dressing Colours Neutrals


The gray spectrum is pretty vast – and surprisingly wearable. For effortless cool; choose from charcoal, marl, dove, silver, or slate.

Remember to add variety via different tones and textures; the contrast is key so you don’t end up looking like a slab of granite. Mix up items like flecked coats, flannel suiting and woolen sweaters in winter, and cotton tees; seersucker suiting and canvas shorts in summer.

Tonal Dressing Colors gray

Go-To Tonal Outfits


Nothing says ‘I’ve-got-all-together’ like a smart tonal look. This is more head-to-toe so needs to be fully curated, rather than thrown on. Hammond has this tonal outfit inspiration; he would wear a midnight navy dinner suit with waistcoat, blue shirt, and navy bow tie for a twist on formal black tie.

Tread carefully if you’re going tonal with shirts and ties and steer clear of shiny finishes; in which this could come off a bit cheesy game show host. Instead, try subtle complementary contrast accessories like a pocket square or silk patterned scarf; to make your suit pop.


Tonal Outfits smart


To look sharp in smart casual pieces tonal is your need-to-know shortcut that works for the boardroom to bar.

For autumn/winter, Hammond suggests adding a roll neck to a suit; according to him, you cannot go wrong with a silvery grey flannel suit teamed with a light, heather grey turtleneck. You can also mix up blues, so a navy suit with sky blue shirt and royal blue necktie.

For summer, switch out the roll neck for a crisp T-shirt. For a look that’s ideal for business casual offices pair with breathable linen, cotton or seersucker separates.


Tonal Outfits Smart-Casual



Weekend and vacation gear is done best in an ensemble of two or three pieces in the same hues – beige and camel tones, greys and taupe, or navy and mid-blues. Taking a tonal approach makes your outfit look more put-together because there’s less structure in casual wear.

When you’re contrasting finishes avoid mixing summer fabrics with winter fabrics; e.g. linen with corduroy is a no-go, but linens, cotton, and canvas all combine well together.

For casual scenarios, soft greens and khaki lend themselves to layering and work all year round. Use some workwear- or streetwear-style trousers as your starting point and build from there.


Tonal Outfits Casual