Matching Your Shirt and Pants: A Guide (B)

Pants and shirtMost men wear shirt-pants outfits on an everyday basis because of their office’s business casual style policy or simply because of their own style preferences. Whichever reason you might have for wearing a classic shirt and pants outfit, if you want to get great style results, there are a few elements to consider when you are wearing a shirt with a pair of pants.

Today you can get shirts and pants from pretty much anywhere, both off and online. While we all know the big brands and stores, there are also many smaller places where you can buy shirts and pants, but which don’t lack in quality. To give you an example, such a brand is Lumina clothing. They are an all-American brand established in North Carolina, where they own a store, where you can get not only great shirts and pants, but ties, bow ties and other pieces as well. Due to their online shop, anyone in the world can purchase their garments and enjoy their wonderful products!


In this guide, we will look at how you can make the best of your shirts and pants and what elements you need to consider when you want to put such an outfit together.




To make sure that you look good, one of the things you need to focus on is to make sure that your outfits are cohesive. A cohesive outfit is a look where all the pieces are from the same family. A casual outfit needs to be composed from casual pieces and a formal one needs to be put together from formal pieces. We do not recommend wearing casual and formal pieces at the same time. If you want to look neither too casual nor too formal or business, remember that there are also informal pieces that are casual but still elegant. Blazers, elegant yet casual vests, tailored pants, etc., are all pieces that fall in this category.

When it comes to shirt and pants outfits, you need to follow this rule as well. Don’t wear a pair of dress pants with a casual shirt. One good indicator of whether a shirt is casual or more on the formal side is whether it has pockets or not. A dress shirt has no pockets, a casual shirt may have a pocket, even though it is not mandatory, and a shirt that has three pockets is either a utilitarian shirt or a shirt made for hiking and other similar activities.

When it comes to pants, dress pants differ from casual pants in terms of cut, but mostly in terms of fabric. Dress pants are always made from richer, smoother fabrics, whereas casual pants are made from more relaxed, everyday materials such as cotton, canvas, etc.

It is always important to put together pieces from the same category, otherwise you risk looking like a scare-crow.




It is very important to wear the right colors for your skin tone and for your lifestyle. Knowing how to mix colors is something that can be learned and once you know how to do it, you will get amazing results. For a harmonious look, you need to know how to work with colors and how to use them to your best advantage.

A light-dark combination can make a tall person look shorter

A light-dark combination can make a tall person look shorter

Your height can also give you some clues when it comes to choosing the colors of your shirt and pants. If you are a very tall man, you should break up your height by opting for a pair of pants and shirt that come in contrasting colors. Contrasting color are colors that very different one from the other and which lie on opposite sides of the color wheel. You can also work with colors and dark or bright neutrals. Neutrals are colors that can be matched to any other color.

These colors are black, white, beige, khaki, tan, ivory, dark blue, brown, gray, etc.

If you opt for such a combination, you can wear for example a light pink shirt with a pair of brown pants or a pair of light gray pants with shirt in a dark purple.

The effect of such a combination is that it will create a horizontal line at your waist, since the two colors are so contrasting and therefore, you will have more structure, from a visual point of view.

On the other hand, if you want to appear taller, you should choose combos where the colors are similar in terms of intensity and depth. These combinations will create a top-to-bottom line that will result in a longer, leaner appearance.

For subtle, elegant looks, you can always rely on mixing colors that are quite similar to each other, but different at the same time. For example: pink and brown, brown and orange, red purple and pink, or even opt for neutral combinations in different hues: black and ecru, ivory and khaki, etc.


A print always looks great paired with a neutral

A print always looks great paired with a neutral


Wearing patterns is also a great way to shine and look great in your clothes. A little practice can make anyone know how to mix prints and patterns. There a few rules you might want to consider if you want to wear one or more patterns and or prints at the same time. These rules are not unbreakable laws, but they are guidelines that will help you look your best. These are:

a) A print or pattern can be very easily mixed with any neutral

b) A print or pattern can be mixed with a solid piece that features on of the colors found in the print.

c) If you wish to mix prints and patterns, make sure that they are not in the same size. For example, thin stripes should be matched with thick stripes. The same rule applies to dots, paisley, checkers, graphic prints and everything else.

Moreover, what you should know is that different frames look better in different types of patterns than others. Smaller men should opt for smaller patterns, while bigger men can wear bigger patterns, but if you are really big, don’t go for a very big and heavy pattern. Men who are average in size can wear pretty much any type of pattern, but they look better in medium-size patterns. To make more sense of this, you can look at it backwards: A small person wearing a huge print will appear as if they are drowning, whereas a large person wearing a small print will look like they are even bigger.




To get great results from your clothes, you can also mix fabrics. To obtain amazing results, the rule is that your fabrics should be similar, but with a little difference between them. For example, plain cotton can be mixed with a fabric that features a texture. A soft fabric can be paired with a rougher fabric, but we would not recommend mixing too soft with too rough, as you risk losing your cohesiveness.



Following these guidelines, you will be able to make the best of any simple shirt and pants outfit and to feel confident and more trusting that even if you choose to wear just a shirt and a pair of pants you will still look amazing!



Fraquoh and Franchomme






Further reading:

Matching your shirt and pants: A guide

How a shirt should fit

What makes a quality shirt: A guide

How to match striped shirts with striped ties

Add a pop of color to your shirts: Accent fabrics

P.S. How do you wear your shirts and pants? Share your thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!


22 thoughts on “Matching Your Shirt and Pants: A Guide (B)

  1. I really like the idea of mixing prints and patterns, but I don’t like the idea of mxing different fabrics.. anyway, good tips!

    • It’s great to hear that you found some tips you can incorporate in your style! Mixing different fabrics is definitely optional, you can do it if you like the way it looks and feels, and if you don’t, feel free to skip it!


  2. I was very pleased to see that you offer advice for men who want to dress casually, not just for guys who like extravagant and expensive clothes!

    • Hi Kenn,

      we are glad you noticed that Attire Club features articles for all types of men! Make sure you subscribe for more!

  3. really liked d concept of using contrasting colours for taller guys & combos for to luk tall .. dat seems like an idea for me
    great work guys

    • Dear Akash,

      In theory you can – a contrasting look does go well, but we’re not very sure of how pleasing to the eye this combination is – at least, not without seeing the pieces!

      Let us know if you have any other questions!


    • Dear Mohit,

      Thank you for the question. You can go for a dark pant, for a light gray one or even something like khaki or beige. Blue and gray is a rather neutral combination, so you can wear a pair of pants that is more colorful too, such as purple or light blue.


    • Dear Sachin,

      Light pink goes well with neutrals such as beige, white, gray, etc. The neutrals that it really goes well with are black and brown.

      Also, blue is a good color to wear with pink, especially a light blue. Red and orange can work in some cases, but it’s hard to say if they will work or not without a visual of the shirt.


    • Dear Manjot,

      Yes, dark blue and black are both neutrals, so they go together well.

      You can even go for a light blue t-shirt.

      Let us know if you have further questions!


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