Monochromatic combinations are effortless to coordinate but can look awkward when worn in the wrong way. So, can you really wear a dark blue shirt with light blue jeans?
It’s entirely possible to wear a dark blue shirt with light blue jeans in casual settings. Dark blue button-up shirts (eg. OCBDs, linen shirts, and chambray shirts) are good options when you’re looking to dress the light blue jeans up a notch. Overall, it’s an effective monochromatic combination.
While those are the main points, you’ll need more to really take this combo to the next level.
After going through a few great outfit examples for you to try out yourself, we’ll run through some essential tips for making it work.
So, let’s get to it.
3 Dark Blue Shirt And Light Blue Jeans Outfits
We’ll go from the dressiest way of doing it to the most casual way.
As always, it’s important to never think of a jeans combination as anything other than casual.
Having said that, there are definitely dressier ways of going casual, as well as less dressy ways.
Items: Dark Blue Casual Button-Up Shirt, Light Blue Jeans, Light Grey Sport Coat, Suede Chukka Boots
As you can see, this outfit has a dressy appearance to it, while still being casual at its core.
If you were keen on wearing light blue jeans to a casual setting but didn’t want to dress them down too much, an outfit like the one in the image above could work well.
It all comes down to the style of the shirt and jeans you choose, as well as the other items you choose to wear them with.
As you can see, we’ve gone for a dark blue button-up shirt. Think OCBDs, linen, and chambray shirts.
These will always look dressier than going for a dark blue polo, Henley, or tee.
The light blue jeans should be slim and have minimal distressing.
The grey sport coat isn’t essential but would be a good option if you were really looking to dress those light blue jeans up.
Finally, the suede chukka boots would work very well in a variety of different casual and smart-casual settings. The napped texture of suede works well with denim.
Items: Dark Blue Button-Up Shirt, Grey Shawl Collar Cardigan, Light Blue Jeans, Navy Suede Derby Shoes
This outfit looks more casual than the previous example but not much more casual.
We’re still going for a dark blue button-up shirt to keep things sleek and sophisticated. But we’ve swapped the blazers/sport coat for a grey shawl collar cardigan.
This would really only be suitable during the colder months of the year.
The light blue jeans we’ve gone for here are still slim, tapered, and have minimal distressing.
Finally, we’ve rounded off the outfit with a pair of navy suede Derby shoes.
They’re still “dress shoes”, but going for an unusual color and going with suede instead of a shinier grain of leather gives them a more laid-back and relaxed aesthetic.
Plus, you’re still sticking with the monochromatic theme.
If you’d prefer more contrast and less blue, you could consider a shoe color such as burgundy or cognac instead. Dark shades of red often work well for this purpose, although you’re less likely to find them in suede.
Items: Dark Blue T-Shirt, Brown Leather Jacket, Light Blue Jeans, All-White Leather Low-Tops
As you can see, going for a dark blue T-shirt instead of a button-up immediately makes the combination look more casual.
The light blue jeans you choose here could have a more casual-looking cut or fit – skinny, wide-leg, bootcut, and so on.
They may also have features of distressing.
The layering option here is also more casual. Going for a brown leather jacket still looks sharp, but cropped, rugged jackets (eg. leather jackets, denim jackets, chore coats, etc) always look more casual than blazers and long coats.
5 Tips For Wearing A Dark Blue Shirt With Light Blue Jeans
As promised, here are some tips for getting this combination perfect no matter what setting you might be dressing for.
Ensure It’s Appropriate
A dark blue shirt and light blue jeans combination would only ever be appropriate in casual settings. Avoid the combo in smart-casual, business-casual, and formal environments.
Trying to wear this combination where it doesn’t belong will usually end badly.
It all comes down to the fact that light blue jeans epitomize the casual aesthetic. They’re tough to pull off in settings that aren’t casual.
This would also apply in “smart-casual” settings where they wouldn’t be shunned completely, but would generally be considered underdressing.
Think dinners at mid-level restaurants, garden parties, first dates, etc.
A pair of dark jeans (eg. black, charcoal, dark blue) would be more appropriate here.
The ultra-casual aesthetic of light blue jeans works best in truly casual settings where there’s no risk of underdressing at all.
Hanging out with friends, going to the movies, and so on.
This principle would hold true even if you were wearing the smartest and sharpest dark blue shirt along with it.
It doesn’t matter; the casualness of the light blue jeans would be too overpowering for it to work.
Casual Dark Blue Shirt Styles Work Best
When wearing light blue jeans, stick to casual dark blue shirt styles. This could be a casual dark blue button-up shirt, a Henley, a polo, or a simple T-shirt. Avoid dark blue dress shirts when wearing light blue jeans.
Here, it’s important to recognize the difference between a casual button-up shirt and a dress shirt.
A dark blue dress shirt wouldn’t work well with light blue jeans as they would simply look too formal.
They have stiff collars, long and rounded hems, and are often made from “formal” looking fabrics and weaves.
They’re generally smoother and less likely to wrinkle.
Not a great option when wearing light blue jeans – it’s a mistake many men make.
So, when you’re looking to dress up a pair of light blue jeans, stick to casual button-up shirts instead.
Dark blue OCBDs, linen shirts, and chambray shirts work well here. The textures are more rough and rugged. They’ll usually have shorter hems and more relaxed collars.
These shirts are smart, but not so formal that they’d look awkward with a pair of light blue jeans.
If you really wanted to lean into the casual aesthetic, don’t feel the need to go for a button-up.
Simply pair the light blue jeans with a similarly casual top – T-shirts, polos, or Henleys. You’ve got plenty of options.
Consider The Style Of The Light Blue Jeans
The style of the light blue jeans you choose to wear with your dark blue shirt should be guided by the setting.
In “dressier” casual settings where you don’t want to dress down too much, it’s always best to go for a slim-fit pair of jeans.
These may or may not be tapered at the calf, but they’ll always be pretty snug around the seat and thighs.
In addition, the hem should break at the shoe and not be too cropped or long.
Fits like these generally look dressier than more eye-catching skinny, wide-leg, and bootcut fits.
In more laid-back casual settings, you could also consider going for distressed pairs of light blue jeans with rips, frays, fading, and so on.
These vintage-looking pairs of light blue jeans generally work best with very casual dark blue shirt styles such as T-shirts, polos, and Henleys.
When wearing a smarter dark blue shirt style such as a button-up, it’s generally best to go for a smarter-looking pair of light blue jeans and avoid those with heavy distressing.
Use Layers To Add Contrast
Layering works well when wearing a dark blue shirt with light blue jeans.
This won’t come as a surprise – layering can elevate pretty much any casual combination you can think of. This one is no exception.
The layering option you choose should be guided by just how casual the setting really is.
In dressier casual settings, consider a simple, unstructured blazer or sport coat. While you could go for a classic navy here, if you wanted to add some contrast to the all-blue outfit you could go for grey instead.
Grey is irresistibly neutral and effortless to coordinate. It’ll also add a subtle sense of contrast to the monochromatic combination.
In truly casual settings, your list of layering options is almost endless.
Trucker jackets, chore coats, gilets, shackets, overshirts, leather jackets, and so on.
Brown Shoes Work Well
Brown shoes work especially well when wearing a dark blue shirt with light blue jeans. Light and medium shades of brown such as tan and walnut are often the best options.
You could go for a darker pair of brown dress shoes. However, they can sometimes look too formal to wear with light blue jeans.
Tan brown shoes, on the other hand, have a casual appearance that is more in keeping with an ultra-casual pair of light blue jeans.
As mentioned earlier, strongly consider a pair of suede shoes here instead of a shinier grain of leather.
Suede will always look more casual and just happens to work incredibly well with the rugged texture of denim.
You could go for a pair of suede brown dress shoes (eg. Derbys, monk straps, loafers) or boots (chukka or Chelsea).
As always, when dressing down, you could always go for a pair of sneakers instead.
While casual settings give you the benefit of being able to choose practically any pair of sneakers you want, it’s hard to go wrong with all-white leather low-tops.
These “dress sneakers” are incredibly versatile and easy to wear in many different settings.
You could definitely wear them with a relatively smart dark blue button-up shirt without the combination looking awkward or out of place.