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What Colours To Wear With Navy/Blue Pants: 8 Foolproof Shirt Options

Get even more wear from your blue and navy pants rotation by learning the shirt colours that work best and how to style them perfectly.

Words by: Ryan Thompson

Consider blue and navy pants the Andre Iguodala of your closet: quietly going about their business, doing whatever the team needs, and then every now and again coming up with a huge bucket.

Much of the work goes unseen, or at least uncelebrated – navy pants are navy pants, what’s to write home about? But in actual fact, blue strides are the glue that binds so much of our collective wardrobes together – acting as a neutral and muted canvas to let the stars of your closet shine.

Shirts are the natural team player when it comes to navy and blue pants, so we have curated the colors that will bring out the best in them.

Blue/navy pants with a beige/cream shirt

Blue with off-white is one of the most effective contrasts you have in your wardrobe. They just suit each other perfectly. Beige and cream tones offer a softer juxtaposition than brilliant white, and seem to bring out the nuances of navy fabrics better than any other color.

They also create a bold separation between your top and bottom halves, which allows you to introduce another color via your outerwear or maintain a tonal look with a blue jacket.

Cream short-sleeve shirt with blue linen pants

Men's blue linen pants, cream short-sleeve knitted shirt and black penny loafers outfit


A subtle interplay of tone and texture is what immediately sets this look off on the right foot. The softness of the cream is accentuated by the tactile fabric, which is in turn complemented by the slubby texture of the linen pants.

Linen is always a great vessel for blue and navy, since the tonal slubs in the cloth help to create depth. The addition of the black loafers gives the outfit a sharp yet casual finish.

Cream overshirt with navy blue pants

Men's navy pants, white T-shirt, off-white shacket and white canvas sneakers outfit


An easy-to-style off-duty look, the combination of three understated tones – navy, cream and white – works really well here to create an effortless aesthetic.

It’s a versatile base from which you can layer over any number of outerwear pieces or a chunky cardigan.

Off-white shacket with navy tailored pants

Men's navy pleated pants, tucked in white T-shirt, off-white overshirt and navy suede running sneakers


This is a great example of how you can take some pretty standard tailored navy pants and incorporate them into a look that feels thoroughly modern and effortless.

The simple combination of the white tee and off-white shacket dresses down the formality of the trousers, while the tonal navy sneakers are a nice laid-back touch.

Blue/navy pants with a pink shirt

Pink is one of those colors that has the ability to completely change the mood of a look, depending on the shade. Rich fuschia tones tend to bring the party, whereas softer coral and pastel pinks are much more versatile.

It’s the latter tones you should be focusing on when thinking about combining pink with blue and navy. It’s a classic tailoring combination that offers something much more expressive and playful than a traditional white shirt, but it can also be used effectively in casualwear looks to inject some vibrancy and personality.

Pale pink shirt and navy tailored pants

Men's navy tailored pants, light pink dress shirt and black leather derby shoes outfit


Now that most offices have adopted a slightly less formal attitude to the traditional lounge suit, making the tie optional rather than obligatory, the pink dress shirt has stepped up to the sartorial plate as a pretender to the crown worn by the white shirt.

And you can see why here… the pink tone riffs really well with navy, creating a soft and welcoming palette that lacks the harsh contrast a white shirt would bring.

Coral pink shirt with navy pants

Men's navy chinos, pink shirt, beige shawl neck cardigan and white sneakers outfit

Luca Faloni

The pink shirt isn’t restricted to the office either. This coral pink style features a brushed nap which gives it a textural handle that perfectly complements the knitted cardigan.

Both warm soft tones, the addition of the dark navy pants underlines the look with a sense of relaxed sophistication.

Pale pink shirt with navy pants

Men's navy chinos, grey T-shirt, open pink Oxford shirt and beige gum sole sneakers outfit


The pale pink shirt is doubly effective when layered over a light grey tee and combined with navy pants. The effect is a cohesive trio of colors, no one louder than the other.

Without the shirt, the look appears a bit lost, but the pink silhouette offers a casually elegant frame.

Blue/navy pants with a brown shirt

If navy is the formal edge to an outfit, then light brown is the money. From tobacco to creme, light brown hues provide a richness and luxuriousness that few other colors can do.

What’s more, those relaxed neutral tones are the perfect foil to the smart attitude that navy has in spades. They help to soften the look, while also making it easy to introduce other brown aspects to the fit, such as tan shoes or a brown leather belt.

Light tan shades work especially well in the summer months, or if you have dark skin, whereas darker brown shirts can get lost against a navy backdrop.

Textured tan short-sleeve shirt with tapered navy pants

Men's navy tapered pants, brown short-sleeve knitted shirt and white sneakers worn sockless outfit


This look is the perfect balance of summer casual and year-round sophistication. The tapered navy pants bring the latter, cut in a modern tailored fit with a cropped finish that works well with contemporary sneakers.

The light tan short-sleeve shirt comes in an equally modern fitted shape with some stretch, and features an interesting textural handle to lift the outfit and project confidence.

Light tan polo shirt with blue pants

Men's navy chinos, light brown polo shirt, round lens sunglasses and white sneakers worn sockless outfit


Super easy to put together, this is a great off-duty look for when you want to project a casual confidence with a preppy twist.

The blue tone of the chinos is just light enough to be relaxed and informal, while the polo gives the look a sporty accent. Add a windcheater or navy sport coat for a nice riff on collegiate cool.

Light brown OCBD with tailored navy pants

Men's navy tailored pants, tucked in light brown Oxford shirt and black leather Chelsea boots outfit


The OCBD has always been something of a preppy garment, with just the right amount of relaxed formality to be an ever-dependable smart-casual piece of kit.

Wearing it with navy tailored pants affords it a bit more gravitas than if you were to team it with, say, khaki chinos.

The addition of the black leather Chelsea boots in this example lends the look an edgy slice of modernity, too.

Blue/navy pants with a grey shirt

If you’re ever in doubt about how to style navy pants, the single most important thing to remember is to complement them with neutral tones, of which grey is one. It keeps things simple, and more often than not, simple equals sophisticated.

The grey shirt will work right across the spectrum, from charcoal tones to much lighter dusty grey hues. The latter gives you the option to create more of a stronger contrast with the navy pants and will allow you to introduce a brighter third color via a piece of outerwear.

Navy and grey don’t have to be boring either – play with your silhouette through boxy overshirts, shackets or cropped trousers, and as always, introduce texture wherever you can.

Grey knitted polo shirt with navy pants

Men's navy drawstring pants, long-sleeve knitted grey polo shirt and white sneakers outfit

A Day’s March

This is a great contemporary smart-casual look that anyone can pull off. The grey long-sleeved knitted polo shirt is a classy addition straight off the bat and sets the tone for the rest of the outfit.

Tapered trousers would be a smart approach but we love the fact that this look has opted for relaxed jogger-style pants to create a much more creative and informal silhouette.

Houndstooth shacket with navy tailored trousers

Men's navy pants, white T-shirt, grey houndstooth shacket and white sneakers worn sockless outfit


As mentioned before, the addition of a shacket is an effective way to create a modern boxy silhouette, as evidenced here.

The grey houndstooth pattern does all the heavier lifting, but don’t overlook the power of cropped pants when it comes to carving out a confident, contemporary aesthetic.

Grey striped shirt with navy trousers

Men's grey striped shirt with rolled sleeves, navy pants and brown leather penny loafers worn sockless outfit


There’s something inherently masculine about the simplicity of this look – it would work really well as a dress-down Friday office fit.

You could throw over a suede blouson or cotton shacket for a sophisticated finish, or even a leather jacket for a hint of rebelliousness.

Blue/navy pants with a green shirt

You only need to look outside at nature to see how the colors blue and green make excellent dance partners. They are one of the easiest pairings to master because you can pretty much combine any hue along each of the color gradients and they will complement each other.

In the summer opt for lighter pastel tones, while in the colder months, look to combine earthier green tones with navy for a rich autumnal look.

When combining two dark colors, try to create contrast in the textures of the fabrics, incorporating things like corduroy, brushed cotton and wool.

Forest green overshirt with tailored navy pants

Men's navy cropped pants worn sockless with tucked in white Oxford shirt, brown leather belt forest green overshirt and black leather penny loafers outfit

Alex Mill

The rich tone and beautiful texture of this forest green overshirt give this look an immediate impact, especially since it is layered over a white shirt to increase the contrast.

But the cropped navy tailored pants are also a key ingredient here, complementing the boxy shape of the overshirt.

Aqua green short-sleeve shirt with blue pants

Men's aqua green short-sleeve camp collar shirt, blue loose pants, silver chunky neck chain and white adidas sneakers outfit

Frank & Oak

Casual and confident, this is an easy-to-pull-off spring outfit combining green and blue. The sneakers underscore the sporty relaxed attitude of the outfit but if you wanted to dress it up a bit, you could just as easily swap in a pair of black leather loafers.

Pale olive green polo shirt with navy chinos

Men's navy pants, light green knitted polo shirt and tan suede chukka boots outfit


When you think you’ve got too old for contemporary fashion, but aren’t quite ready to become a middle-aged bumpkin, looks like these will extend your style cred for years to come.

A knitted polo always looks expensive (in most cases they are) while the tapered navy pants are just the right side of slim to be flattering and modern without verging on skinny.

The suede chukka boots underscore the look with a sliver of texture.

Blue/navy pants with a blue shirt

Sizing up a tonal look when wearing blue or navy pants is always a safe strategy, and a chic one at that. Monochrome outfits are inherently sophisticated thanks to a minimalist approach to color, but you can still add interest by playing with tone, texture and silhouette.

Wide-leg pants or boxy silhouettes will break up the shape, while subtle changes in blue tones give the outfit depth. Introducing interesting textures is the cherry on the cake.

Men's navy linen overshirt, drawstring navy pants, tucked in blue T-shirt and white sneakers outfit

A Day’s March

The interplay between the loose linen overshirt, the cotton crew neck and the relaxed drawstring pants provides a nice amalgam of comfort and class, proving that tonal looks ooze sophistication.

What’s more, you don’t have to think too hard to achieve it. Bookend the fit with some white sneakers to create a clean contrast.

Pale blue overshirt with navy pleated pants

Men's pale blue overshirt, tucked in white T-shirt, navy pleated pants and black leather Belgian loafers outfit


Unlike the previous look, which used subtle changes in tone to its advantage, this outfit swings the other way by juxtaposing the smart navy pleated trousers with a sky blue overshirt layered over a white tee.

The blue-on-blue effect is more vibrant but still within a minimalist context.

Pale blue OCBD with navy tailored pants

Men's navy tailored pants, light blue linen button-down shirt, clear frame sunglasses and brown suede penny loafer espadrilles worn sockless outfit


The new business casual? It certainly could be. This look takes the traditional City motif of navy suit and pale blue tie and gives it a more casual spin with what looks like a linen OCBD.

Yes, it still reads like a City uniform, but in a way that says you’re relaxed and off-duty.

Blue/navy pants with a denim shirt

With Western roots in Americana, but now widely produced as both a utility garment and luxury piece of menswear, the denim shirt is all things to all men.

It’s especially good at adding a touch of textural masculinity to a pair of blue or navy pants, bringing a different flex to tonal looks.

It’s incredibly versatile, too, meaning you can style it with smart tailored trousers just as easily as selvage jeans or cotton chinos.

Denim shirt with slim cotton navy chinos

Men's navy chinos, blue denim shirt, blue neckerchief and white sneakers worn sockless outfit


With its sleek silhouette, thanks to the slim-cut cotton chinos, this monochromatic outfit is an excellent balance of Parisian cool and nostalgic Americana (accentuated by the blue neckerchief).

The white sneakers cap it off with a modern urban accent.

Western denim shirt with blue chinos

Men's grey-blue utility pants, tucked in grey T-shirt, mid-blue denim shirt with rolled sleeves, white baseball cap and white Nike sneakers outfit

Alex Mill

This look channels a modern preppy aesthetic, which has been popularised recently by brands such as Aimé Leon Dore.

The western pocket and stitching details give the shirt a nostalgic feel, all of which work well with the casual blue cotton chinos.

The white cap and kicks frame the outfit succinctly and add some contrast to the blue hues.

Pale blue denim shirt with navy tapered chinos

Men's turned-up cropped navy pants, white T-shirt, open light wash denim shirt, round lens sunglasses and white sneakers worn sockless outfit


Cool as you like, this outfit shows why great style is all about keeping things simple.

The stonewashed shirt jumps off the white canvas provided by the tee and kicks, while the navy tapered chinos create a sleek silhouette.

As a weekend look, it’s hard to beat when it comes to effort vs reward.

Blue/navy pants with a white shirt

Navy and white is a timeless combination that harks back to traditional naval uniforms with items such as the Breton top. They offset each other perfectly, with white garments providing the perfect bright canvas upon which the nuances of blue and navy tones can do their thing.

It’s typically a smart duo, too, with white shirts and navy suits being a common sight in the City, but it can also be utilized effectively in casual outfits to create a polished aesthetic.

White shirt with navy chinos

Men's cropped navy chinos, tucked in white shirt, brown leather belt and black leather penny loafers outfit

Alex Mill

The classic. If you ever needed to quickly throw together an outfit that was equal parts stylish, professional and acceptable almost anywhere, it’s this one.

Smart cropped chinos are combined effortlessly with a white shirt, dressed down with an open collar and rolled-up sleeves.

The black leather loafers and belt give the look an extra bit of gravitas.

White open Oxford shirt with slim navy pants

Men's navy pants, white T-shirt, white open Oxford shirt and white adidas sneakers outfit

Frank & Oak

Another effortless but extremely effective white shirt and navy pants combo, only this time a more casual note has been struck by using the OCBD as an overshirt layered over a white tee.

The navy pants are a casual flat-fronted style that are cut quite slim, giving the overall look a modern silhouette, nicely capped off with the white sneakers.

If you work in a laid-back office, this is your uniform.

White short-sleeve shirt with navy tapered pants

Men's navy turn up trousers, white shirt-sleeve camp collar shirt, clear frame sunglasses and navy suede espadrilles outfit


An excellent summer outfit without any complication, this simple juxtaposition of the white camp collar shirt with the navy tapered trousers creates a refined yet relaxed aesthetic, underpinned by the navy blue espadrilles.

You could throw on a blazer if you wanted to dress the look up, but really, it has a great balance all of its own.