Combining grey and black often produces a pretty sophisticated end result. But can you wear a grey blazer with black pants?
A grey blazer can be worn with black pants in business-casual and smart-casual settings. Dark grey blazers look better in dressier environments, while the contrast achieved between a light grey blazer and black pants lends itself well to more casual events.
That’s the short answer, but there’s more to it.
First, we’ll go through a few outfits you can try, ranging from dressy to not-so-dressy.
After that, we’ll run through some specific tips for wearing this combination in the best way possible.
Let’s get to it.
3 Grey Blazer And Black Pants Outfits
There’s a good chance that one of these outfits would be better suited to the specific setting you’re dressing for.
Items – Dark Grey Blazer, Black Dress Pants/Chinos, White Dress Shirt, Dark Brown Derby Shoes, Navy Tie
When you’re wearing it in dressier business-casual settings, consider a dark grey blazer as opposed to a light one.
Charcoal is a great option.
A dark and near-neutral tie color such as navy would also work well. It’s dressy but adds just a hint of color to an otherwise neutral ensemble.
White dress shirts look fantastic here. The neutral grey, white, and black combination will coordinate effortlessly.
Finish up with shoes that are dressy enough for the part. Oxfords can sometimes be a little much when you aren’t wearing a suit.
Derby shoes often look a lot more effective with blazer and pants combos.
Items – Grey Blazer, Black Chinos/Dress Pants, Light Blue OCBD Or Black Turtleneck, Suede Navy Blue Derby Shoes
Here, you’re wearing a grey blazer and black pants combination in a less dressy environment but you still want to make sure you don’t underdress.
A dress shirt and dress pants combo wouldn’t be necessary, but a pair of jeans probably wouldn’t be enough.
Here, a light or medium grey blazer would look fantastic with a black pair of chinos.
Shirt styles that look great in these “smart-casual” environments include Oxford Cloth (OCBD), linen, and chambray shirts.
During the colder months, consider a turtleneck. Black turtleneck sweaters look great here because they blend seamlessly into the black pants.
Round things off with a pair of suede Derby shoes.
While you could go for a more traditional and neutral color such as black or brown, consider a slightly more eye-catching color such as navy if you feel it would be appropriate.
During the winter and fall months, a pair of Chelsea or chukka boots would be a great alternative here.
Items – Light Grey Blazer, Black Jeans, White T-Shirt, All-White Sneakers
A light grey blazer looks great in more casual settings where there’s less risk of underdressing but you still want to dress sharp.
In fact, popping on a simple blazer can make even the most casual of outfits look quite sophisticated.
A T-shirt and jeans outfit is a good example.
Wear a white crew neck T-shirt under a light grey blazer and finish up with a pair of black jeans or chinos.
While the outfit is casual, you’ll still look a notch more sophisticated than most people in the room by adding in a more “formal” item in a way that makes sense.
For this to work, choose a blazer that’s relatively casual-looking. It should have a relaxed fit and be made from a rugged/wrinkly fabric or weave such as tweed, linen, serge, or flannel.
5 Tips For Wearing A Grey Blazer And Black Pants
Here are some great tips for wearing it the right way, no matter what you might be dressing for.
Make Sure It’s Appropriate
A grey blazer and black pants outfit should only be worn in business-casual and smart-casual settings.
It should never be considered truly “formal”.
For a formal event, wear a 2-piece suit, because a blazer combo won’t cut it.
The same would go for corporate business-professional environments where a 2-piece suit would also be necessary.
Instead, reserve this pairing for business-casual or smart-casual settings. It’s ideal here.
While that may sound a little restrictive at first, these dress codes are actually applicable to a whole load of occasions and events.
In fact, a grey blazer may well become one of the most worn items in your wardrobe.
Consider The Fabrics And Weaves
Certain fabrics and weaves look more casual, while others look more formal. That goes for both the grey blazer and the black pants.
A good rule of thumb to follow would be this:
“Formal” fabrics/weaves tend to look shinier and less wrinkly. In contrast, “casual” fabrics/weaves tend to look less shiny and more wrinkly.
Just remembering that basic principle should see you through in most instances. It saves you having to remember the names of fabrics.
At the end of the day, a lot of the clothes you’re going to be wearing are going to be odd blends of various fabrics in any case.
However, here are a few examples.
In dressy settings, consider a worsted wool grey blazer. It has a noticeable sheen and is wrinkle-resistant.
In more casual settings, consider more rugged blazer fabrics/weaves such as tweed, linen, serge, flannel, and even chino cloth.
When it comes to casual options for the black pants, consider jeans, chinos, and linen pants.
Consider The Contrast
A light grey blazer worn with black pants will look very different from a dark grey blazer worn with black pants.
The first option would be “high-contrast” given the difference between the two items. High-contrast combinations are eye-catching and often look more casual.
That’s one reason why a light grey blazer would be a better option when wearing black pants in more casual settings.
A dark grey blazer worn with black pants would produce a “low-contrast” combination. It’s more subtle and dressy.
Consider what look you’d prefer, taking the dress code and setting into consideration.
Neutral Shirt Colors
A grey blazer and black pants combination would look good with a white, blue, or black shirt.
Sticking to neutral colors would be the easiest option here, especially where there’s a risk of underdressing.
If you’re attending a business-casual setting, a white or light blue shirt would usually be the most appropriate option.
In more “smart-casual” environments, consider darker or more vibrant colors. At the end of the day, grey and black are neutral enough to combine with any color.
But to keep things looking elegant, keep things dark and muted.
Burgundy, navy, and black shirts would work well, especially in evening social settings.
Match The Shoes To The Dress Code
Brown or black shoes would look great when wearing a grey blazer and black pants. In more casual settings, consider a pair of all-white low-top sneakers instead.
During the colder months of the year, try swapping those brown and black shoes for chukka or Chelsea boots.
While Chelsea boots would be the dressier option, it’s still perfectly acceptable to wear a pair of brown/black chukka boots in smart-casual settings.
Here are the common styles of dress shoes listed in order of reducing formality:
- Monk Straps
As mentioned earlier, Oxford shoes often look a little too formal to wear with a blazer and pants combination.
Consider one of the more “casual” dress shoe styles instead. Derby shoes work exceptionally well here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s finish up with a couple of FAQs.
Can You Wear A Grey Blazer And Black Pants To A Wedding?
A grey blazer and black pants combination should only be worn to weddings with a smart-casual dress code. For a formal wedding, always wear a 2-piece suit instead.
While a blazer combination can be worn to weddings with a more laid-back and casual dress code, it’s important to be certain before attending.
Being the most underdressed person at a wedding is no fun.
If you feel as though there’s even a slight risk of underdressing, wear a 2-piece suit instead.
Can You Wear A Grey Blazer And Black Pants To An Interview?
You can wear a grey blazer and black pants to an interview with a business-casual dress code. Having said that, a 2-piece suit would usually be a better option here.
When attending an interview, it’s always a good idea to overdress enough to be noticeable.
Not too excessive, but just enough.
If you’d be required to wear a 2-piece suit when you start working there, definitely wear a suit to the interview. In fact, wear your best suit.
If, on the other hand, it was a “business-casual” workplace where a blazer and pants combination would usually be OK, it may still be a good idea to wear a 2-piece suit to the interview.
Ultimately, you want to overdress a little to make it clear that you’ve made an effort.
It’s a combination that can be worn in many different settings, but avoid wearing it in truly formal ones.
In the right environment, it’s a neutral combination that’s incredibly easy to coordinate.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.