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How To Wear A Black Shirt With Navy Pants

Black shirts look great, as do navy pants, but wearing them together may pose an issue. The question is, can you really wear a black shirt with navy or dark blue pants?

Wearing a black shirt with navy or dark blue pants can look great. Tucking in your black shirt is the best option here and ensure you wear a black belt with it. Consider the style of pants you wear; choose a pair according to the formality of the occasion.  

Although that’s the gist, there’s much more to it.

So, let’s dig deeper.

black shirt with navy pants and black shoes
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1. Think About Your Pants Style

Arguably the most important factor to consider when wearing a black shirt with navy or dark blue pants is the type of pants.

There are many different pants styles on the market, and picking the right one for the occasion and outfit is essential.

Not doing so could make you appear awkward or demonstrate a lack of men’s style knowledge.

Furthermore, under some circumstances, it could be seen as disrespectful to wear the wrong pants. 

For example, wearing jeans to a wedding could indicate a lack of respect for the couple.

Therefore, knowing the pants that work best in each scenario is crucial knowledge for any man.

Denim is a staple of casual wear, meaning that jeans are as casual as it gets.

Having said that, however, dark blue jeans in a dark wash (and with minimal distressing) have a more formal edge to them. It makes them appropriate for situations that jeans of other colors may not have been.

jeans with black sneakers and black dress shirt
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This is particularly true when wearing them with a black shirt, as the dark nature of black and navy creates a sophisticated, more formal look.

Such scenarios include events with a smart-casual dress code.

On the other hand, dress pants are simply too formal for casual occasions and should, therefore, be avoided in such instances.

Instead, they work best in formal situations – after all, this is what they were designed for.

Chinos somewhat bridge the gap between formal and casual wear.

Navy chinos look great with a black shirt in most situations, from informal to semi-formal occasions.

Avoid wearing them on anything of a greater formality than smart-casual. 

2. Black Shoes Work Best

While it may seem unlikely, the best shoes to wear with a black shirt and navy or dark blue pants are black ones.

Black shoes match the dark aesthetic of the ensemble, thus creating a near-monochromatic look.

Monochromatic outfits are great for looking sophisticated and elegant, as well as being appropriate for many occasions of a slightly greater formality than casual.

Although brown shoes can work for more informal scenarios, it’s best to stick to darker shades of brown, avoiding colors like tan as it would lead to too much contrast with the black shirt. 

Dark brown Chelsea boots look particularly good with this ensemble.

However, if sticking to black shoes – as is recommended – the best shoes to wear are dress shoes – regardless of the style of pants you wear.

This is because the overall outfit leans toward formal apparel, and, therefore, the best shoes are those that match this aesthetic.

Shoes like Oxfords or Derbys are on the formal end of the spectrum and look great in black with a black shirt and navy pants.

For a still formal but slightly more relaxed vibe, semi-formal shoes such as loafers are your best bet.

3. Tucking In Works Best

Whether or not you tuck in your shirt is primarily down to two factors: the formality of the occasion and your personal preference.

If wearing a black shirt and navy or dark blue pants formally, tucking in your shirt is a necessity. Otherwise, it’s entirely up to you. 

black shirt with navy pants and black belt
Image From Deposit Photos

Tucking in your shirt adds an extra hint of formality to your outfit and can aid the transition between your top and bottom halves. 

When deciding if you should tuck in your shirt, a factor to consider is the type of shirt you have.

Dress shirts are typically longer than standard shirts, as they are designed to be tucked in. 

On the other hand, standard shirts have a shorter hem and are much more difficult to tuck in than dress shirts.

If you decide to tuck in your shirt, wearing a belt is advised. 

A tucked-in shirt without a belt looks awkward and can make the outfit appear incomplete. Furthermore, a belt will help keep your shirt tucked in.

Ensure your belt has a silver buckle for the optimal look.

While there are different types of tucks, the ideal tuck for this outfit is the full tuck.

The full tuck involves simply tucking in your shirt around the entirety of your waistline.

4. Consider A Blazer

When wearing a black shirt with navy pants, you may have a desire to dress it up slightly.

Adding a blazer to the ensemble is the perfect way to do this and can make the outfit appear more ‘complete.’

If deciding to go with a blazer over your shirt, there are a few things you must first take into account.

The color of your blazer is a large part of this, and it can be difficult to know the best color to go with.

Here are some options for your blazer color when wearing a black shirt and navy pants: 

  • Black 
  • Charcoal
  • Slate Grey

It’s also essential to ensure your blazer fits properly. A poorly-fitted blazer can look incredibly clumsy and appear disproportionate to your body and the rest of your outfit.

The seams of your blazer should sit in a square fashion, and the shoulders should not feel too tight or too loose.

Your blazer’s sleeves should reach down to where your thumb joins your hand – when you have your hands straight down by your side.

5. Ensure Clothes Fit Well

Ensuring your clothes fit well is crucial to success for pretty much any outfit.

However, it’s particularly important when wearing a black shirt with navy pants due to the slimming nature of darker colors.

Not only that, but poorly-fitted clothes (those that are too baggy, for example) can look disproportionate to the rest of your body.

black shirt with navy pants
Image From Deposit Photos

Therefore, it’s best to make sure your garments fit well.

A good rule of thumb for checking whether or not your clothing fits well is if it conforms to the shape of your body without being overly tight or restrictive, it fits.

On the other hand, if it’s visibly baggy and moves freely – without conforming to your body’s shape – it’s likely too big.

The length of your pants is another fit factor to consider. Typically, if there’s any ankle exposure, your pants are too short.

Whereas, if your pants drag on the ground or move stretch over your heel, they are too long.

They should sit comfortably at the top of your shoe (provided you’re not wearing boots).

6. Accessorize With Silver

Silver accessories pair very well with the dressy sophistication of this outfit. Such accessories include watches and jewelry, such as rings, bracelets, and necklaces.

It’s best to stick to a maximum of two accessories, with one being optimal, and ensure they are both silver.

Accessories of matching colors look great together, and the silver creates an elegant contrast with the darker colors of the ensemble.

If you’re going for a watch, a dive watch is preferable. These are a brilliant balance of both formal and casual wear.

Their metal bracelet and relatively bulky appearance make them a statement compared to the dark nature of the rest of the outfit without going overboard.

Furthermore, dive watches come in many different colors, so the color is subject to some experimentation.

If wearing a watch, avoid wearing a bracelet too, as this could take the wristwear from subtle to excessive.