Going for an all-black outfit sounds simple enough, but it needs to be done the right way. So, can you really wear a black shirt with black jeans?
Black shirts can be worn with black jeans in both casual and smart casual settings. Black dress shirts should be worn with dark wash, slim fit black jeans, while more casual black shirt styles could also be worn with more distressed and loose-fitting black jeans.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s more to it.
Here are some essential tips for pulling off the black shirt and black jeans combo in the most effective way possible.
Let’s get to it.
1. Make Sure It’s Appropriate
There are certain situations where the combination won’t work quite as well.
As a color, black is really as formal as you can get no matter what clothing item we’re talking about.
Jeans are no exception – black jeans look a whole lot more “formal” than blue jeans.
But at the end of the day, jeans should always be considered casual no matter what color they are.
Because of this, the black shirt and black jeans combination should really only be worn in casual or smart-casual settings.
No matter how dressy the black shirt you’re wearing is, it wouldn’t be acceptable to wear this combination to business-casual or formal settings.
But the style of shirt and the type of black jeans you choose will influence how casual or smart-casual they look.
Here’s an example:
A black polo shirt with black jeans will look more casual than a black dress shirt with the same pair of black jeans.
The black polo and black jeans combo could be considered “casual”, while the black dress shirt and black jeans combo could be considered “smart-casual”.
If you feel as though an ensemble such as this would be appropriate for the setting you’re attending, read on to find out how to do it in style.
2. Pair Casual Black Shirts With Casual Black Jeans
When wearing a more casual black shirt style such as a black T-shirt, polo shirt, or denim shirt, choose a more casual black jeans style if you want to dress down. If, however, you want to dress it up, go for black jeans with a tapered fit and minimal distressing.
It’s no secret that some styles of black shirt will look more casual than others.
Let’s talk about the more casual styles of black shirts first.
Casual Black Shirts To Wear With Black Jeans
|Wear black jeans with fading and distressing more a more laid-back look
|Black Polo Shirt
|Wear black jeans with slight distressing and a more tapered fit
|Black Denim Shirt
|Wear black jeans in a slightly different shade of black to add a sense of contrast
When wearing a casual black shirt style such as these ones, you’ve got more freedom when choosing your black jeans.
You could potentially choose a very casual pair of black jeans if you wanted to dress things down. For example, go for a pair with distressing (frays, rips), stone washing, acid washing, and other more vintage manufacturing techniques.
You could also choose a pair that’s baggy or with a wide-leg fit.
These casual black jeans features would work well with casual black shirt styles such as the ones in the table.
But at the same time, you could also choose a pair of more “formal” looking black jeans if you wanted to dress the combination up a little.
Choose a pair of dark wash black jeans with no distressing and a slim fit. You could also tuck the casual black shirt into the jeans to produce a more tapered silhouette.
The bottom line here is that going for a casual black shirt style allows you to choose both very casual and less casual pairs of black jeans, depending on how sharp you want to look.
If you choose a more “formal” black shirt style, on the other hand, you’ll need to be more careful with your choice of black jeans.
Let’s talk more about that now.
3. Pair Formal Black Shirts With Less Casual Black Jeans
When wearing a more formal black shirt such as a black dress shirt or button-down, choose a more “formal” looking pair of black jeans with a tapered fit and minimal distressing.
The main two styles of shirt to consider here are dress shirts and button-downs (Oxford Cloth or OCBD shirts).
Formal Black Shirts To Wear With Black Jeans
|Black Dress Shirt
|Wear black jeans with a slim, tapered fit and no distressing. Always tuck it in.
|Black Button-Down Shirt
|Wear black jeans with a slim fit and minimal distressing for a sharper look.
Dress shirts will always look more formal than button-downs, but button-downs should still be considered “formal” when compared to T-shirts, polos, and Henleys.
These two shirt styles would benefit more from a “smarter” pair of black jeans.
In other words, very little distressing, a slim-fit, and a dark wash.
Here’s an example of a pair on Amazon:
Choosing a more casual pair such as baggy black jeans with rips, frays, and stone washing will look a little more strange when wearing a formal black shirt.
Here’s a thoroughly acid-washed pair of black jeans on Amazon that would look strange when with a formal black dress shirt:
Ultimately, be a little more selective with the type of black jeans you wear when you go for a more formal-looking black shirt like this.
In addition, dress shirts should be tucked in, while OCBD shirts can either be tucked in or left untucked.
4. Go For Minimalist Shoe Colors
When wearing a black shirt with black jeans, minimalist shoe colors such as black, white, or brown usually work best. If you go for red, choose a dark shade of red such as burgundy.
Wearing a monochromatic black outfit does make your choice of shoe color more important.
The trick is to add just the right amount of contrast without it being too conflicting. Picking a neutral color such as black, white, or brown would be perfect for this purpose.
If you want to add even more contrast with a less neutral color such as red, green, or blue, make sure you stick to dark shades of these colors to avoid a color clash.
For example, if you wear blue shoes, stick to navy blue or a similarly dark shade.
The style of shoe you choose to wear with this combination will be determined by how formal you want to look.
If, for example, you’re wearing a black dress shirt or a black button-down with black jeans, consider a pair of suede dress shoes. For example, suede Derbys or monk straps.
These will look formal enough to pair well with the shirt, but also not too formal to clash with the casual nature of the black jeans.
If, on the other hand, you’re wearing a more casual black shirt style like a polo or denim shirt, you’ve got the option of going for a more casual shoe style.
Sneakers work well here. However, if you did want to dress up your casual black shirt style, a pair of suede dress shoes would still work great.
5. Consider A Black Blazer
When wearing black jeans, layering a black blazer over both casual and formal styles of black shirt works extremely well. While dark grey blazers can also work here, going for a black blazer will usually produce a more sophisticated aesthetic.
The great thing about a black blazer is just how easy they are to add to any outfit. You can turn an otherwise casual black shirt and black jeans combo into a smart-casual one by simply popping on a black blazer.
You can do this with T-shirts, polos, Henleys, button-downs – literally anything.
It’s such a simple, yet effective way of layering.
The only thing you need to consider when picking a black blazer is the weather, as the fabric you go for will have an impact on how comfortable you feel and how appropriate it’ll look.
In colder weather, go for a more insulating, rough, and rugged black blazer fabric or weave such as tweed.
In warmer weather, consider a more breathable black blazer fabric such as linen, hopsack, or even a poly blend.
6. Wear A Belt With Shiny Metal Buckle
Never underestimate the power of a simple belt buckle. It can be a great way to break up a monochromatic outfit.
When wearing a black shirt with black jeans, there’s always a “risk” of the two items blending into each other.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad look, having some way of breaking things up into separate components is always a good thing.
The belt you wear is a simple way to do it.
Choose one with a relatively large and shiny metal buckle. The glare will add a sense of contrast and split the shirt and jeans outfit into its two separate components.
Of course, it really only makes a difference when the black shirt you wear is actually tucked in.
But you’ll probably find that even casual black shirt styles look better tucked in when wearing black jeans.
Try tucking in a black polo into your black jeans, adding a belt, and reviewing the results.
You’ll most likely find that the end result looks a lot more sophisticated with the shirt tucked in as opposed to being left untucked.
7. Accessorize Tastefully
This combination gives you so much opportunity to accessorize as it adds to the edgy, yet timeless aesthetic. However, it’s important to do so tastefully.
The more casual your black shirt and black jeans combination really is, the more freedom you’ve got to accessorize freely.
Add a black or grey beanie, a pair of black sunglasses, a black necklace, a silver chain, bracelets, or anything else.
It all works great when you’re going for an all-black look, as long as it’s subtle enough to not look overbearing or excessive.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.