What Colours To Wear With Khaki Pants: 6 Foolproof Shirt Options
To reinforce just how versatile khaki pants are, we've set out the shirt colours that work best with them, to make getting dressed each morning that bit easier.
They might not be the trousers you instinctively reach for, but khaki pants are amongst the easiest to wear. One of those underrated shades that complements a wide spectrum of colours, khaki acts as a blank canvas for you to paint your daily looks, whether smart or casual.
To reinforce just how versatile khaki pants are, we’re going to set out the shirt colours that work best with them, to make getting dressed each morning that bit easier.
Khaki pants with a blue shirt
Khaki and blue is a colour match made in heaven, and one most men will feel comfortable in. Blue shirts should be plentiful within any modern capsule wardrobe – whether crafted from Oxford cloth, denim/chambray or cotton – so this combination will help you get even more wear from your current rotation.
Light blue shirt with khaki pants
As far as foolproof khaki pant outfits go, this one is right up there. Ideal for all manner of social situations – from casual offices to first dates, drinks with friends to Sunday walks in the park – it’s laid-back yet still smart thanks to the crisp collared shirt.
To pull it off it’s important to keep the fit consistent. That means seeking out a pair of khaki pants with a straight, tapered cut and combining them with an equally relaxed shirt. The shirt should look comfortable untucked, while the canvas sneakers keep the look firmly in smart casual territory.
Dark blue shirt with khaki pants
A light blue shirt might be the obvious pairing for khaki pants, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook darker shades, as proven above. The rich navy Oxford button-down instantly gives the khaki pants a smarter, more sombre feel which works well for business casual outfits.
Here that translates to a soft-shouldered sports coat (in a textured fabric that incorporates flecks of blue), bookended with a pair of navy leather deck shoes to tie the top and bottom halves together. It’s a look that would be perfect for creative offices, wedding receptions or relaxed dinner dates alike.
Navy overshirt with khaki pants
Navy and khaki is a classic workwear combination. Think relaxed khaki carpenter pants with dark blue worker shirts or denim jackets worn over the top – time-tested pairings that have been worn by style icons including Jack Kerouac and, more recently, the likes of David Beckham.
It works because the colours naturally complement each other, but also because it’s so easy to pull off – regardless of body shape, skin colour or personal style. There are a number of ways to approach this look but the most effective is a minimalist take.
Khaki pants with a white shirt
White acts as a blank canvas in the truest sense, which means there’s not a colour on earth that doesn’t look good when combined with it. Khaki is no exception, as you will see below.
Off-white shirt with khaki pants
There are several ways you can approach a khaki and white pairing. You could go full mid-century by tucking an Oxford shirt into khaki chinos, or opt for a more bohemian vibe with an oversized artist’s shirt and worker pants, as shown here.
There are a few pointers worth considering if you want to try this look. Firstly, go for a shirt in off-white brushed cotton, which won’t be quite as severe as pure white regular cotton. The slightly softer shade and texture of the fabric give it a more casual feel, while the boxy cut ensures it works well worn untucked.
Combine it with relaxed-fit, heavyweight twill pants that finish just above the top of the shoes, which should be appropriately chunky to match the weight of the trousers.
White pullover shirt with khaki pants
For a versatile smart casual look, you can’t go wrong with a white Oxford shirt tucked into khaki pants. This timeless combination has served everyone from serving presidents to ad men and continues to be popular today.
Here we bring the pairing into the 21st century by swapping out the OCBD for a half-placket pullover shirt, which gives off a more contemporary, playful feel. Combined with relaxed tapered chinos and canvas high tops, it’s an outfit that references the old school while remaining modern and easy to wear for a variety of occasions.
White Oxford shirt with khaki pants
Another twist on the classic Oxford shirt and khaki pants combination. This time the OCBD is left untucked and thrown over a clean white T-shirt, creating an easy casual look that is ideal for changeable weather.
Khaki pants with a black shirt
Black might not be the first shade you’d think of combining with khaki, but it works surprisingly well. Especially khaki pants that lean more towards green tones than yellow.
Black grandad collar shirt with khaki pants
Although a black shirt would traditionally be considered quite formal, it still works well for casual styles like band collar and Cuban collar shirts. Wear the former with some wide-legged khaki pants and retro sneakers and you’ve got a relaxed summer look that’s perfect for hot days spent in the beer garden.
Black overshirt with khaki pants
An easy way to wear black with khaki is by going tonal. That means ensuring that black is a crucial part of the outfit, featuring in multiple pieces. The shade can look quite severe when worn with other colours, so keep it simple and combine a black overshirt with a black tee and black leather loafers or Derbies, which tie everything together.
The result is a smart casual look that’s surprisingly adaptable, whether you’re off to work in a creative office, on a first date or hitting a bar on the weekend.
Black patterned shirt with khaki pants
Black is not a colour typically associated with prints and patterns. When was the last time you saw a black Hawaiian shirt, for example? However, if done well, a black patterned shirt can be incredibly effective, especially when partnered with khaki pants.
Here, a Cuban collar version featuring a solid black base with subtle touches of colour is worn open over a white vest and straight-fit khaki pants for an edgy, mid-century-inspired take on summer dressing.
Khaki pants with a grey shirt
An underrated shade, grey is able to adapt to formal or casual attire, much like khaki – making this an easy combination to pull off.
Light grey Cuban collar shirt with khaki pants
Light grey works particularly well with khaki, with the difference in shades subtle enough not to have to think about it, but offering enough contrast that it doesn’t look like you’ve dressed head to toe in a single colour.
Indeed, pick up a light grey camp collar shirt and wear it above khaki pants and you’ve got a minimal outfit that’ll serve you well throughout spring, summer and beyond.
Grey flannel shirt with khaki pants
If you don’t already own a workshirt, what are you waiting for? The utilitarian style has been serving the fashion-conscious for years now and, before that, those that required a functional, comfortable piece of attire for manual labour.
Featuring practical pockets at the chest, they typically come in relaxed, boxy cuts that are ideal for layering. Try a light grey flannel or wool version above your khaki cotton pants and you’ll see just why the style is so well-loved.
Dark grey polo shirt with khaki pants
Polo shirts, chinos and loafers are staples of the modern preppy wardrobe and have long served those who like to dress stylish yet relaxed on a daily basis. While they’re not typically as popular, long-sleeved polos look superb with khaki chinos, smartening them up slightly when compared to their short-sleeved counterparts.
A mid or dark grey take works untucked or, as shown, tucked in and finished off with a brown leather belt and shoes, resulting in an Ivy league-inspired look that will take you anywhere on the weekend.
Khaki pants with a green shirt
Khaki and green are considered earth tones – i.e. colours found together in nature – which makes them a natural fit, as the outfits below prove.
Green polo shirt with khaki pants
Due to their neutrality, khaki pants are easy to wear with colour. While it might be tempting to dial it up to 11 with vivid primary shades, pastel tones offer a subtler, more refined approach that works particularly well in summer.
The above is a case in point: the soft green knitted polo perfectly complements the lightweight khaki chinos and sockless suede Derby shoes for a mod-inspired, warm-weather fit.
Light green Oxford shirt with khaki pants
Milestones, one of the most stylish album covers of all time, features a young Miles Davis Jr wearing a light green Oxford shirt, nonchalantly tucked with the sleeves rolled. Take a leaf out of the jazz icon’s book and try it for yourself, albeit with khaki chinos rather than black.
A simple look, the two shades complement one another perfectly, demonstrating the power of classic menswear. Pay attention to cut and you can’t really go wrong with this combo, especially if you finish it with equally minimal leather trainers.
Green work shirt with khaki pants
Dark green might just be the easiest colour to wear with khaki pants. The two earthy shades work harmoniously, giving off a mid-century adventurer feel that looks just as cool now as it did then.
A work shirt is, as always, the perfect style for wearing with khaki chinos, especially when cut in a dense cotton twill. Wear it above a white tee to lift the look slightly and finish with canvas slip-on sneakers for an effortless smart casual fit.
Khaki pants with plaid shirts
A plaid flannel shirt is a natural bedfellow for khaki pants, emphasising their outdoors, workwear feel. Available in a wide range of autumnal colour palettes, below you will see just how good this combination can look.
Red plaid shirt with khaki pants
The lumberjack aesthetic has received plenty of backlash over the years due to its appropriation by hipsters. But, for a masculine fall look, it’s hard to beat.
Tonal brown plaid shirt with khaki pants
For an understated approach to fall/winter dressing, try a plaid shirt in natural tones of stone, brown and orange. These warm colours chime perfectly with khaki trousers, creating a tonal look that suits a wide variety of skin types.
Finish with matching brown suede boots and you’ve got an outfit that will take you from Casual Friday at the office to after-work drinks in style.
White plaid shirt with khaki pants
One mistake many men make with khaki trousers is going too slim. Overly-tight pants are not only restrictive and uncomfortable, they can also ruin the balance of your look – especially if you’ve gone for a boxy plaid shirt and T-shirt up top.
Instead, look for straight-cut pants that better complement casual pieces. Keep the shirt untucked, wear it open like a jacket, and finish with your favourite pair of white sneakers.