It seems like sometimes brown can have a reputation for being boring or drab. But the truth is – that can be the case with any color styled improperly. Brown is an essential color in any wardrobe – it provides versatility and there is sure to be a shade that looks good on everyone. So – what color shirts go with brown pants?
Brown pants pair well with shirts in other shades of brown. Look for a contrast between the tones to create a visually pleasing look. Neutrals such as black, white and grey also work great, as do colors, including pink, purple, and blue.
In this article, we will go over what color shirts go well with brown pants, what different types of brown pants you can get, and how they should be styled. Finally – we will cover what shirts go with brown pants for men and what colors should be avoided when wearing brown pants.
What Color Shirt Goes with Brown Pants?
Brown is often grouped with neutrals because it goes so well with many other colors. Brown is an extremely versatile color to have in your wardrobe for many reasons.
A pair of brown pants can be a stand-in for another neutrally shaded pair of pants while also adding a little more interest to your look. If you want to step away from the most classic neutrals – black or grey – a pair of brown pants is a fun way to change it up.
Brown is a great grounding color. It looks thoughtful, creates a well-put-together outfit, and can be paired with any neutral in many shades or different colors.
Brown looks great on everyone too! Try choosing a shade that looks great with your own skin tone, and then go from there to choose the perfect shirt to complete the look.
Other Shades of Brown
If you’re unsure where to start when looking for a shirt to pair with brown pants – a great place to begin is with another shade of brown. Different shades or tones of the same color will always match each other – so this is a safe place to start while putting together an outfit that looks tasteful.
When pairing different shades of brown together, try and play with contrast. If the pants are a darker chocolate or espresso color – pair them with a toffee or caramel brown shirt. The contrast will make the outfit look sharp.
And it’s the same in reverse for a pair of brown pants in a lighter shade – choose a top in a darker shade of brown.
Medium browns – whether it happens to be the top or the bottom – tend to work well with both light and dark shades of brown. Use your best judgment and make sure there is some contrast and it doesn’t end up looking like you’re wearing an all brown one piece.
Neutrals – as their name implies – are neutral; therefore, they are easy to pair with just about anything. But there are some ways to do this that tend to work out better than others.
When pairing brown pants with neutrals, try to create contrast – just like you would when pairing shades of brown. Darker neutrals should be paired with lighter shades of brown. Try to avoid pairing browns similar in tone to the dark neutral you’ll be wearing.
You can also try breaking up colors that look slightly too similar with an accessory. A standout belt or scarf could add the visual interest necessary to keep the outfit looking stylish.
There may be a bit of controversy here with a rumor that black and brown don’t match – but it’s not always the case. A black shirt would be great for a pair of lighter brown pants. This would provide great contrast and a slightly classier outfit since black is a classy color.
Navy blue is a great color to wear with brown. Navy blue is a classic summer color. Pair a navy blue shirt with a pair of tan pants, or play with a shirt in a navy blue pattern for even more visual interest.
Navy blue shirts in many styles will also look awesome with medium brown pants. If the brown pants are on the darker side – try breaking up the dark of the navy by incorporating a navy blue patterned shirt instead of a solid.
Light neutrals may be even easier to pair than dark ones. These colors go with everything. Neutral tops in light colors are the perfect choice to wear with darker pants for the ultimate contrast. But – they can also be worn with lighter shades – especially when working with white since it is much lighter than everything else.
White shirts can work with just about any shade of brown pants. White is so light that no matter what color the brown pants are, the two colors will never look too similar.
White can be dressy or casual – depending on the style of the shirt. A white button-up is a classic option in everyone’s closet and could be worn with almost any pair of brown pants.
And there’s nothing more classic than a white t-shirt – which would be a great choice to wear with brown pants on a more laid-back occasion.
Grey should be on everyone’s favorite colors list – it is versatile! Grey comes in so many shades that there’s no way you wouldn’t be able to find one to match any pair of brown pants in your closet.
Lighter heather grey would work with dark or medium shades of grey pants. Charcoal would be perfect for anything medium to light. This combo gives you a large spectrum to work with.
Brown may be similar to neutrals in many ways – but it’s not quite as easy to pair with other colors as something like grey or white.
While almost any other color can work with brown – especially considering how many shades of brown there are – a little more consideration should be taken when putting outfits together.
Pink and brown is one of my favorite color combinations – specifically lighter shades of pink. Light pink can be paired with many shades of brown – as long as it’s not so light that there is no contrast between the two colors.
A brighter shade of pink is also a great way to add a pop of color to a very grounding color, such as brown. Or – consider a rose-colored tone which can be colorful in a subtle way but also slightly earthy.
Purple often strikes me as a color for cooler weather – and this makes a great complement to brown. Light to medium shades of purple tend to look terrific with dark or medium browns.
Darker purple shirts make a great top for medium or lighter brown hues. You can create a sharp-looking outfit with a fitted purple shirt over wide-legged brown pants.
There is a lot to work with this color combination. Have fun trying out different shades of purple with your brown pants. You may be surprised at how good so many of them will look!
Blue is one of the most versatile colors – one of its many shades that can be paired with almost anything.
Lighter shades of blue will go with practically any shade of brown pants. Whether it’s a t-shirt, sweater, or jacket – light blue is an ideal color to wear with brown.
Medium blue hues also look great with brown. This is a versatile choice because this combo can be worn in so many ways.
Choosing patterns that contain different shades of blue is also a great way to integrate this flattering color into an outfit.
I’m not going to leave green off the list because it can go well with brown. But this is one color you need to be slightly more wary of.
Instead of choosing bright kelly or forest green – opt for green tones that are muted or slightly lighter. Sage, army or olive green will all pair nicely with brown. If you want to pair a brighter green with brown pants, try going for green as an accent rather than the full top.
It’s not the color green so much that it doesn’t match with brown – but rather the fact that you could end up looking like a tree. If you think the green in question will look great – give it a try – you’ll probably be able to get away with it.
Different Types of Brown Pants
There are so many types of brown pants to choose from – choosing one may be even more difficult than selecting which top to wear with them! Any style of pants you desire can certainly be found in some shade of brown.
Brown pants can be found in fitted styles – with skinny or tapered legs. But even more in style these days – super wide-leg pants look fabulous in brown. High-waisted or paper-bag brown pants are seriously stylish and a great option if you consider adding brown pants to your collection.
The precise color of brown that you choose adds even more versatility. A super dark pair of brown pants can be worn as dress pants and paired with all sorts of shirts.
Or you might want to go with a brown that’s more medium. Depending on the style – these shades of brown can usually be worn across seasons. Suitable for spring, summer, and fall – depending on what tops you choose to wear along with them.
If you’re seeking visual interest with a pair of brown pants, you might consider a pair in a fun fabric – such as houndstooth or tweed. Or even look for a pair with a brown pattern – there are sure to be pin stripes or animal prints to choose from.
How to Style Brown Pants
Brown pants are such a versatile garment – they can be worn in so many ways and it all comes down to how they are styled.
There are different factors you can look at when considering how you should style your brown pants. Below you will find four helpful things to think about when trying to put together the perfect outfit around a pair of brown pants.
Consider the occasion. One of the first things you should consider when dressing for any occasion is the dress code for the event.
If the dress code is classy – you’ll know you need to pair your brown pants with a nicer top or blouse. Dark pants should be paired with light tops – super dark brown and white would be a good combo for a dressier affair. The accessories you choose and a nice pair of heels will dress up the outfit even further.
On the other hand – if you’re going to an outdoor barbecue, you’ll probably want to pair a more casual pair of brown pants with your favorite tee and a pair of comfortable sandals or trainers.
Consider wearing patterns with your brown pants! For a color that can get a rap for being on the less exciting side – consider wearing shirts in fun fabrics or patterns to give a look some life.
Brown pants are great for wearing some of your more outlandish shirts. Since brown is a grounding color – a louder pattern can look balanced against its backdrop.
Time of Day
Of course, there is no super strict rule – darker colors tend to be worn for nighttime events and lighter colors will be seen more often during the day. So this is a great way to gauge what would be appropriate to wear.
Pants that are very light brown would be a good choice for a lunch event. Save the darker shades of brown for dinnertime.
A pair of brown pants in a medium shade of brown could easily be worn across time periods. Just be mindful of what shirt you plan on wearing. A darker black, navy or charcoal top would take medium brown pants into the evening. The same pair of pants worn with a cream or white top would be lighter for the daytime.
I always like to consider the season whenever I put any outfit together. Whether it’s dressy or casual – the weather is always going to play a role in how my total look is styled.
Thankfully – brown pants can be worn in any season; what you wear them with is what’s going to change.
I love medium browns because they tend to be the most versatile – just change your top and they can be worn in any season and at any time. A medium brown pair of pants can be worn with lighter colors – pinks, blues, and purples – and be perfect for spring.
The same pair can be worn with sweaters – in goldy dark yellows, muted shades of green, or another shade of brown – and be perfect for fall.
Super light brown pants are best worn in warmer weather. And for many occasions, you’ll probably want to wear your pants in the darkest shades of brown when it’s a bit colder outside.
What Shirt Goes with Brown Pants for Men?
Brown pants are a great choice of slacks for men. They can add a bit of interest to your wardrobe, look great, and are also very versatile.
Men can wear brown pants in any shade. Light or dark brown pants work well in many atmospheres – from business casual, smart casual, or just plain casual. Although – unless you’re wearing a full suit – in most cases, brown pants aren’t usually considered formal.
Brown pants can look great paired with many different colors. Neutrals are great to pair with brown pants – any neutral shade looks great, depending on what shade the pants are. White and grey look clean with medium or darker shades of brown pants. Both black and navy blue look sharp when paired with medium or lighter brown pants.
Other shades of brown are great to pair with brown pants as well. Try to create contrast with the different tones so that it doesn’t look like you’re wearing all one color. Dark brown pants should be paired with lighter brown shirts and vice versa.
For guys that want to add a bit more color to their outfit, shirts in light pink and purple look great with almost any shade of brown pants.
Blue is one of the best colors to complement a pair of brown pants, and almost any shade of blue will work. Consider the occasion, season and time of day when deciding on a blue shirt to wear with your brown pants. Lighter blues for daytime or warmer weather – darker, richer blues might work better for nighttime or an event that’s meant to be a bit more dressy.
Green can be a great choice for shirts to pair with brown pants – just make sure it’s a somewhat muted tone or that the green is an accent color in the shirt.
Consider plaids in almost any color for a great casual shirt that looks spectacular with brown pants in any shade.
What Not to Wear with Brown Pants
Brown pants are pretty versatile – with a little attention to detail, it’s possible to make just about any color work. That being said, a few colors don’t tend to look quite as great as some of the other options will.
Warm colors in super bright hues tend to clash with brown. As a general rule, this means that bright red, orange, and yellow should be avoided. Of course – try it out if you have doubts. There are no super strict rules when it comes to fashion and adding your style can be what makes you stand out.
This also doesn’t mean that warm tones will never work with brown. Colors come in an infinite number of different shades. Brown tends to work better with these warm colors in muted tones – lighter yellow or red or deeper shades of orange. The shade of brown also plays a big role in what warm colors will work and which won’t.
Green is the other tricky color for shirts that go with brown pants. The right shade of green worn with just the right shade of brown can inadvertently make you look like a walking tree. So – unless that’s the look you’re going for – it may want to be avoided.
There are many great shades of green that will work great with brown – overall, the colors complement each other well. Keep this little note in mind when putting together a brown and green outfit.
Brown pants are a great option to have in your closet. They are grounding and subtle but also slightly different from classic jeans or black pants. They have a different look and can be paired in so many ways – a great addition if you’re looking for something fashionable to add to your wardrobe.
Brown pants can be dressed up and down, worn to work and on weekends. They come in just about any style you might want – if you were to buy a pair of brown pants right now, which would you choose?