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6 Tips for Matching Pants With a Dress Shirt

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

Whether its business casual at your office, dress down Fridays or you’re just out for the evening, sometimes you just want to look refined and smart without the added weight of wearing a suit. 

Who said a shirt and trousers couldn’t do the trick?  If paired off correctly with the right patterns and color, this could become your go to look for certain days of the week, if not every day for those of you who prefer to drop the tie, pocket square, suit and the more formal look.With that being said, here are 6 tips for matching pants with a dress shirt:

(1) Avoid wearing striped pants with just your dress shirt. This creates the impression that you have broken your suit in two and used the bottom half to wear with another shirt.  The signal here is one of confusion, as it would appear that you are mixing and matching elements from formal attire with elements from business casual attire.  It’s a no go!

(2) If your pants have a pattern (check, plaid, windowpane), go with a solid shirt and vice versa. Some fabrics are tone on tone, in which case the color throughout the fabric is the same but is presented through an intricate weave such as herringbone. In instances like these, the item of clothing is still considered a solid and so can be worn with a patterned shirt or pant.

For those of you that enjoy wearing ties casually with your pant and shirt, or if you are wearing a suit comprising of pants and jacket of a different color / pattern:

For Beautiful Silk Ties that match a checkered blue shirt, please click here!

For Exquisite Silk Ties that match checkered white shirts, please click here!

For a Stunning Array of Silk Ties that match checkered pink shirts, please click here!

(3) With regards to accentuating or minimizing your perceived height – If you are trying to enhance your perceived height, wear items of clothing that are similar in color, and hence do not create a horizontal line in your look. 

This seamless transition from shirt to pant will make you look more elongated by emphasizing perceived vertical lines.   If you are trying to minimize your perceived height (consider yourself too tall), try wearing colors that complement each other but break up your vertical line (e.g red checkered shirt with navy pants).

lighter color shirt with lighter color pant

By wearing colors that are lighter and not contrasting, this look helps to accentuate the man's height! 

(4) White goes with everything. As a cornerstone of many a man’s wardrobe, a white shirt comes in especially handy when running late to morning meetings!

(5) Contrast collar shirt - A contrast collar shirt is generally considered that of a Wall Street look. If you are going to strut a contrast collar shirt, it’s best worn with a darker shade of pants, such as navy, to maintain the formalness of the look.

Contrast Collar Shirt Darker Pants

A Contrast Collar Shirt works best with darker pants, so as to maintain the formality of the look! Courtesy of

(6) Regarding specific color recommendations for shirts and pants, a lighter neutral colored pair of pants, such as brown, would go perfectly with pastel colored blue, pink and yellow shirts.  Darker colored neutral pants such as grey tend to go very well with brightly colored shirts and bolder patterns.

Lighter colored shirts and pants
Lighter colored shirts and pants tend to go
well together!
And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have had as much fun reading this article as I did writing it!
Please feel free to check out The Dark Knot's extensive collection of Ties, Pocket Squares and Lapel Flowers, all of which come with recommendations for matching suits and shirts.

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