It’s a combination that’s hard to get wrong but not easy to perfect. Blue and grey often go hand in hand, but how exactly should you wear a blue shirt with grey jeans?
In smart-casual settings, consider a light blue casual button-up with a pair of tapered, non-distressed dark grey jeans. In more casual settings, consider different shades of blue and more casual shirt styles such as tees, polos, and Henleys. Jeans in lighter shades of grey can be worn here.
That’s the gist, but you need more.
First, we’ll go through some great outfit examples you can try out for yourself. Then, we’ll go through some tips for getting this combination right, each and every time.
Let’s get to it.
3 Blue Shirt And Grey Jeans Outfits To Try
Consider all three of these and whether one of them would be the most suitable for the specific setting you’re dressing for.
As usual, we’re going from the dressiest option to the most casual one.
Items: Light Blue OCBD Shirt, Dark Grey Jeans, Dark Brown Derby Shoes, Navy Blazer
The blue shirt and grey jeans pairing should really only be worn in casual and smart-casual combinations. This “dressy” ensemble would be ideal for a smart-casual occasion.
When dressing this combination up, you’ll want to go for a blue button-up shirt. Here, we’ve gone for a light blue OCBD – a favorite of the Ivy/prep scene.
It’s dressy, but not as dressy or “professional” looking as a light blue dress shirt.
In other words, it’s still casual enough to make sense when wearing a pair of grey jeans.
The grey jeans we’ve gone for here are dark and non-distressed. This is about as dressy as you can get when it comes to grey jeans.
The darker and less distressed they are, the dressier they’re likely to look.
We’ve gone for dress shoes here – dark brown Derbys to be specific. Once again, they’re “formal”, but not so formal that they’d look out of place with grey jeans.
The navy blazer isn’t essential here but is a good option if you wanted to take things to the next level or you were simply worried about underdressing.
Items: Navy Blue Casual Button-Up, Mid Grey Jeans, Suede Chukka Boots, Grey Overcoat
A navy shirt will generally look more casual than a light blue alternative. However, a black button-up can still look sleek, sophisticated, and appropriate to wear in smart-casual settings.
The grey jeans are a lighter shade of grey than the ones in the previous example, but still look pretty sharp and non-distressed.
The suede chukka boots look more rugged and casual than the sleek dark brown Derby shoes in the previous example.
But they won’t look quite as casual and dressed down as a pair of sneakers, for example.
Suede boots, much like navy button-ups, often hold their own in the more relaxed smart-casual settings.
Finally, round things up with a grey overcoat. Subtle, stylish, and sophisticated.
Items: Blue T-Shirt, Light Grey Jeans, White Sneakers, Dark Blue Denim Jacket
It’s easy to see just how casual a blue T-shirt looks compared with the button-ups of the previous example. This would be the case no matter what shade of blue you go for.
It should also make it clear just how different a “blue shirt and grey jeans” outfit can look depending on the specific styles and shades you go for.
The grey jeans in this example are much lighter than the ones in the previous examples. This is the main thing that makes them look more casual.
They’ve also got a more distressed appearance due to the stone-wash fading.
Finally, the white sneakers are a great touch because they’re sleek and minimalist while still looking laid-back and ultra-casual.
All-white leather low-tops will always do this. They’re about as versatile as you can get.
5 Tips For Wearing A Blue Shirt With Grey Jeans
Here are some tips for perfecting this combination in a variety of different settings.
Choose The Right Pair Of Grey Jeans For The Setting
As you saw from the outfit examples above, grey jeans can look very different depending on their specific features.
The main features to consider would be the shade of grey, the level of distressing, and the fit.
The darker the shade of grey, the dressier the jeans are likely to look. That much is simple.
In addition, the less distressed the jeans are (i.e no rips, frays, or fading), the dressier they’re likely to look.
Again, still pretty simple.
The fit is a little more complicated. What’s considered “dressy” when it comes to the fit is up for debate.
However, in general, slim and tapered pairs of jeans are likely to look dressier, while skinnier and baggier fits (eg. bootcuts, wide-leg) are like to look more casual.
Summing this all up, when wearing a blue button-up shirt to a smart-casual setting, it would usually be best to wear a non-distressed pair of slim/tapered dark grey jeans.
In more casual settings, consider more attention-grabbing fits, lighter shades of grey, and features of distressing.
Consider The Contrast Between The Two Items
Consider the contrast between the grey jeans and the blue shirt.
Would you prefer a high-contrast combination or a low-contrast one? A lot of this comes down to personal preference.
Light grey jeans worn with a light blue shirt would be a low-contrast combination. Dark grey jeans worn with a dark blue shirt would also be a low-contrast combination.
High-contrast combinations would be those where the difference between the two items is more noticeable.
Light grey jeans worn with a dark blue shirt or dark grey jeans worn with a light blue shirt.
High-contrast combinations are more eye-catching, while low-contrast combinations are more subtle.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer here. But think about how much contrast you want based on your preferences and what look you’d prefer when making your decision.
The Style Of The Blue Shirt Should Suit The Setting
The outfit examples above gave you an introduction into just how different a “blue shirt and grey jeans” outfit can look depending on the style of the shirt.
It’s important to consider the setting and to let it guide your decision here.
In dressier settings, light blue button-up shirts made from fabrics such as Oxford cloth (OCBDs), linen, and chambray would work well.
In more casual settings, you’ve got plenty of options, including blue T-shirts, polos, and Henleys.
A quick note on the shade of blue:
In general, light blue button-ups look dressier than dark blue alternatives (eg. navy or midnight blue shirts).
This might seem contrary to what you often hear. Most would argue that darker colors are always more formal.
But when it comes to blue shirts, this isn’t strictly true.
As an example, you’d never see a dark blue shirt worn in a business-professional setting. Light blue shirts, on the other hand, are considered one of the few acceptable alternatives in most professional environments.
In general, when you’re dressing up a blue shirt and grey jeans combo, strongly consider going for a light blue shirt as opposed to a dark blue one.
Consider Leveling Up With A Blazer Or Sport Coat
This would really only be appropriate in smart-casual settings. Wear a blazer at the wrong place or at the wrong time and you quickly become that guy.
The one that overdresses or comes across as attention-grabbing.
But in smart-casual settings, a blazer can work well when worn over a blue shirt and a pair of smart grey jeans.
Consider the color. I like to try and coordinate it with either the shirt or the jeans to produce a monochromatic combination.
Let’s say you’re wearing a light blue shirt with dark grey jeans. Consider wearing a navy blazer to coordinate with the shirt – you’re going for a different shade of the same color (blue).
Alternatively, you could go for a light grey blazer to coordinate with the dark grey jeans.
Experiment and have fun with it, but monochromatic pairings are hard to get wrong.
Choose The Right Shoe Color And Style
When wearing a blue shirt with grey jeans, consider a pair of brown dress shoes in smart-casual settings or white sneakers in very casual settings. Suede navy shoes can also work well as a more eye-catching alternative.
You’ve got plenty of options, but sticking to the basics is often best.
Brown shoes work well here, mainly because they add a touch of contrast and warmth to an otherwise “cool” blue shirt and grey jeans combination.
The darker the shade of brown, the dressier they’ll generally look.
In smart-casual settings, consider a pair of dark brown Derbys, monk straps, or loafers in a shiny grain of leather.
When dressing down a notch, consider the same styles of brown dress shoes in suede.
As mentioned earlier, navy suede shoes can look great with this combination as they’ll coordinate nicely with the shirt.
When you’re really dressing down, it’s hard to go wrong with a pair of all-white leather low-tops with minimal branding.