02/24/2015 03:12 EST | Updated 04/26/2015 05:59 EDT

Which hue for you? Complementing skin tones can help men select signature shades

TORONTO - Whether they're embracing paler shades or brighter hues, Hollywood's leading men aren't shying away from making strong statements with colour.

The Oscars' red carpet showcased striking shades in men's formal wear, from the powder blue Givenchy tuxedo donned by past Oscar winner Jared Leto, to the crimson three-piece Dolce & Gabbana suit worn by "Selma" star David Oyelowo.

Yet for some men seeking to incorporate more colour in their wardrobe, determining the most suitable shades can be just the start of their style challenges.

"Guys tend to get gun-shy when it comes to colour. They don't know which direction to go in, how much is too much, how much is too little, and it can be confusing," said Spiro Mandylor, brand ambassador for menswear boutique Loding and editor of online magazine It's All Style To Me.

Men who work in a conservative environment, or are more reserved in their fashion choices, may opt for more subtle infusions of colour in their socks, ties, pocket squares and cufflinks.

On the flip side, men who are a bit bolder in their approach to style may consider mixing and matching colours and patterns, he noted.

Men are even eschewing traditional black and brown hues in footwear by favouring more vibrant shades, or sporting colourful laces.

"I think comfort level is key," said Mandylor of colour choice.

"You should never wear or go with something that makes you uncomfortable."

Mandylor said certain colours work better for particular skin tones and individuals with cooler or warmer undertones. Veins with a bluish hue typically mean individuals have cool undertones, while veins with a greenish tint are indicators of warm undertones.

"For the more fair, cooler skin tones you go (with) more sky colours: greys, navy blues, lilacs. When you get into the darker tones or possibly warmer colours, you can get into earthy tones like burnt coppers, olives, dark forest greens," said Mandylor.

In assessing how to pair colours and patterns, Mandylor favours the two out of three mantra: go bold with two elements in the ensemble — like a shirt and suit — and keep one element neutral to ground the look, such as a solid-coloured tie.

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