The olive color theory
Every fashion season, designers always try to push a new “trend” color. This past Spring/Summer, powder pink slowly crept into many men’s wardrobes – and not in those moronically tacky “real men wear pink shirts” that we saw in middle school. From my own personal experience, finding a powder pink tee was a nightmare since it was sold out everywhere. Some men are even resorting to buying women’s apparel to incorporate this color into their wardrobe. With this rise to prominence, it’s probably no accident that Apple introduced their new “rose gold” colorway for the iPhone 6S.
As the weather cools down, though, wardrobe color palettes become more muted (think monochrome) to reflect the weather, and new trends develop. The brightest colors to be worn are shades of orange, but there isn’t enough longevity in that particular tone. As a result, something safer than orange will catch on for the upcoming season. Fitting in with that idea, Kanye West tried to push khaki for his SEASON 2 line. While that was a valiant attempt on his part, unfortunately, Yeezy missed the mark.
This Fall/Winter, olive green seems to be the new popular color of the season.
Olive green as a trend color, however, seems awfully familiar. Wasn’t it just a couple years ago – or even last year – that olive green was the color to wear? In fact, for years, many have recommended a blue oxford button-down with olive chinos as a starter men’s wear uniform. On a personal level, my military jacket from last fall (embarrassingly, the ones most women also have) was olive, too. So how is it that designers keep coming back to this particular safe color?
Historically, olive green was reserved for military uniforms. Rarely had the color broken out of that confinement. As fashion started to reach the progressive point it’s at now, designers looked to various areas for inspiration. One of those areas was the military. As a result, designers pulled many different aspects from this genre and imprinted their own creative fingerprints on these clothes. Along with olive green, combat boots started making an appearance. The bulky nature of the uniforms also inspired more drape-y silhouettes as well. Remember how Kanye West’s entire line was military (and homeless Jedi)-inspired? In addition, Balmain (which you may know from every recent rap song) built its recent reputation from its militaristic motorcycle apparel. The impact is so deep that Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing even refers to his fans as the Balmain army. The connection could not be clearer.
With the rise of military-influenced aesthetic, it only makes sense that olive green stays the trend color. The aesthetic shows no sign of slowing down, and the color subtly capitalizes on this popularity. It also helps that the only other Fall/Winter colors are shades of monochrome and khaki – all staples in the business color palette. With this as its competition, olive green certainly stands out.
This upcoming fall and winter, do yourself a favor and incorporate olive green into your wardrobe. If you’re thinking about getting a parka for winter, get it in olive green. If you want to get chinos, get them in olive green. If you want to bum around in a sweatshirt, bum around in olive green. You can wear it with almost anything if you dole it across your outfit (please don’t look like a giant olive). Even though it’s a safe color, people will think you’re more fashionable and, on top of things, than you really are.