A red shirt can be vivid and vibrant or dark and muted depending on the shade and hue you go for. They tend to work well in casual outfits, but coordinating them can sometimes be tricky. So, can you wear a red shirt with jeans?
Red shirts can easily be worn with jeans in casual and smart-casual settings. Dark red shirts (eg. burgundy and maroon) and dark jeans (eg. black and dark blue) would be more appropriate in dressier settings. Lighter colors lend themselves well to more casual environments.
Here are some fantastic jeans colors that go with a red shirt:
- Light Blue
- Dark Blue
While all of that will serve you well, you’ll most likely need more.
After going through a few tips for getting this combination right, we’ll run through each of those colors in more detail (with pics) to help you choose.
Let’s get to it.
How To Coordinate Red Shirts With Jeans (3 Tips)
Consider all of these tips before putting your outfit together.
1. The Dress Code Should Influence The Color
While a red shirt and jeans outfit should only be worn in casual and smart-casual settings, it’s no secret that certain smart-casual environments are dressier than others.
Casual is a spectrum that ranges from very casual to not-so-casual at all.
This should influence the color of the jeans you choose to wear with your red shirt.
While it’s possible to find denim jeans in a variety of brighter and bolder colors, the most typical and traditional colors are the ones listed above.
Put simply, when wearing a red shirt to a relatively dressy smart-casual setting, go for a dark jeans color such as black, dark grey, or dark blue.
When dressing down, consider wearing a red shirt with jeans of a lighter color such as light blue or light grey.
The dress code should also influence the color of the shirt you wear.
In much the same way, darker shades of red are generally better suited to dressier settings. Burgundy, crimson, and maroon all have a sharper appearance to them as a result.
In contrast, lighter shades of red such as scarlet have a more striking and casual appearance to them. This is especially true when you pair a light red shirt with jeans in a similarly light color such as light blue or light grey.
2. Consider How Much Contrast You Want
This refers to the difference in brightness and saturation between the red shirt and the jeans.
A “high-contrast” combination is one where the shirt and jeans are very different from each other in brightness.
For example, a light red shirt worn with a black pair of jeans, or a dark red shirt worn with a light grey pair of jeans.
A “low-contrast” combo is one where the shirt and jeans are of similar levels of brightness.
For example, a light red shirt worn with a light blue/grey pair of jeans, or a dark red shirt worn with a black or dark grey pair of jeans.
Neither option is “correct”, but note that a high-contrast combination will usually be more attention-grabbing and casual than a more subtle and understated low-contrast one.
So, consider whether you’re going for a subtle aesthetic or a bolder and more in-your-face contrast.
In general, when attending a dressier setting, it’s usually best to go for a dark red shirt and a dark-colored pair of jeans.
3. The Fit And Fabric Matters
Of course, it isn’t just the colors that matter when it comes to how dressy or casual a red shirt and pair of jeans look.
The fit and the fabric also matter.
More relaxed fits will look more casual.
An example would be an oversized red shirt worn with a wide-leg/bootcut pair of jeans. The baggy and relaxed silhouette will have a more laid-back look to it.
In contrast, slim-fitting red shirts and jeans will have a dressier look to them due to the tapered silhouette.
The shirt fabric also makes a difference. More rugged and wrinkly fabrics such as linen and Oxford cloth will look more casual, while shinier, wrinkle-resistant fabrics look dressier.
As a side note, if a red shirt looks as though it would be more appropriate to wear with a suit, it’s probably too formal to wear with a pair of jeans.
Once again, let the dress code guide you.
5 Red Shirt And Jeans Combinations To Try
Here are those combinations described in more detail. Hopefully, it should help you choose the perfect option for your specific red shirt.
You’ll notice how the darker colors tend to look dressier, while the lighter colors (and high-contrast combinations) tend to look more casual.
Red Shirt With Black Jeans
A red shirt can be worn with black jeans in casual and smart-casual settings, with dark shades of red (eg. maroon, crimson) being especially appropriate in dressier environments.
If you were looking to dress up your red shirt and jeans outfit, there’s no easier way to do it than by sticking to darker colors.
It’s hard to go wrong with black jeans here, as they’re the darkest jeans color you’ll get your hands on.
Tapered, slim-fit black jeans with minimal distressing can look pretty dressy indeed – sometimes indistinguishable from a pair of dress pants/chinos (from a distance).
Ultimately, black is a very neutral color that’ll pair well with any shade of red you can think of. It’ll coordinate effortlessly.
You won’t need to give it much thought at all.
Red Shirt With Light Blue Jeans
A red shirt can easily be worn with light blue jeans in casual settings. Go for a light red shirt (eg. scarlet) if you’d prefer a low-contrast combination. For a more eye-catching and high-contrast combination, consider a burgundy or maroon shirt instead.
Light blue jeans, in many ways, epitomize the casual aesthetic. It’s the first color people think of when they hear the term “jeans”.
They’re an iconic staple of casual wear around the world.
They’re also pretty neutral and will pair well with any red shirt you can think of.
But it’s important to ensure the combination is not too casual for the setting you’re attending.
Remember, if you feel as though there’s a risk of underdressing (i.e the setting is “smart-casual”), consider a black, dark blue, or dark grey pair of jeans instead.
Red Shirt With Dark Blue Jeans
A red shirt can be worn with dark blue jeans in casual or smart-casual environments. The dark overall aesthetic lends itself well to dressy settings, especially when the jeans are tapered and have minimal distressing.
Dark blue may not look quite as “formal” as black or dark grey, but it can still look pretty sharp.
This is especially true when you pair dark blue jeans (eg. indigo jeans) with a shirt in a dark and muted shade of red.
To up the formality level a notch, consider tucking the dark red button-up shirt into the dark blue jeans and round things up with a pair of dark brown dress shoes.
Dark brown suede shoes tend to work very well with dark blue denim.
If you wanted to take things up a notch further, consider popping a relaxed, unstructured, and casual-looking blazer over the red shirt.
A light grey blazer such as this one would be perfect. It’s neutral enough to coordinate easily with the red shirt.
Red Shirt With Grey Jeans
Both light and dark grey jeans look great worn with a red shirt. Dark grey jeans have a dressier appearance to them, while light grey jeans look more casual.
Once again, consider how much contrast you want. If you’d prefer more contrast, go for a light red shirt with a dark grey pair of jeans, or a dark red shirt with a light grey pair of jeans.
If you’d prefer a more subtle combination, consider a low-contrast alternative.
For example, a dark red shirt worn with dark grey jeans, or a light red shirt worn with light red jeans.
Remember, darker overall aesthetics tend to look dressier.
Grey is extremely neutral, much like black. So, you don’t need to give coordination much thought.
Think more about the dress code, as well as the contrast, when making your decisions.
Red Shirt With White Jeans
White jeans can be worn well with red shirts but will always lead to a striking high-contrast aesthetic. In general, it’s best to reserve this combination for casual settings.
Try to avoid it if you feel as though there’s a risk of underdressing. It’ll look great – at the end of the day, white is neutral enough to coordinate with any red shirt.
But it’s so light that you’ll achieve a high level of contrast between the red shirt and the white jeans no matter how light the shade of your red shirt might be.
If you were actively looking for an attention-grabbing and eye-catching combo, however, this would be it.
It works especially well during the warmer months of the summer and spring. The warm and vivid undertones of red look great here.
In addition, white, as well as “shades of white” such as beige and cream, often look just as fantastic when the sun is out.
To sum that up, if you were looking for a summer-friendly, striking, and casual red shirt and jeans outfit, strongly consider this one.
It’s a combination that works well in a variety of different casual settings, with some ways of wearing it looking dressier than others.
After taking the dress code into consideration, consider the shade of your red shirt, as the color and fit of your jeans when making your decision.