As a dressy yet laid-back alternative to black attire, dark grey items are incredibly popular. However, color-matching them can sometimes cause problems. So, what color pants should you wear with a dark grey blazer?
A dark grey blazer can be worn with black or navy pants in formal settings, and light grey or khaki pants in business-casual settings. For more casual events, consider a dark grey blazer with burgundy, maroon, or forest green pants.
That’s the short answer, but there’s a whole lot more to it.
After going through some key tips on how to color-match dark grey blazers in the most effective way possible, we’ll run through some combinations you can try out yourself.
Let’s get to it.
How To Color-Coordinate Pants With Dark Grey Blazers
While it isn’t complicated, there are certain tips that’ll ensure you never set a foot wrong. They’re the key to getting the best outcome, each and every time.
1. Ask Yourself How Much Contrast You Want
When choosing a pair of pants to go with your dark grey blazer, consider how much contrast you want between the two items.
Here, the main question is how light you want to go with your pants. The lighter the color of the pants, the more contrast you’ll achieve with the dark grey blazer.
While there’s no “wrong” answer here, there will definitely be situations where less contrast would be what you want.
A low contrast combination would be a dark grey blazer with a dark pair of pants (eg. black or navy blue).
A high contrast combination would be a dark grey blazer with a light grey or off-white pair of pants.
The more contrast you’ve got, the more eye-catching and attention-grabbing the combination will come across.
If you’d prefer a more subtle combo, go for a low-contrast look instead.
High contrast combos will also generally look more casual, so the dress code is definitely worth considering as well. Let’s dig into that a little deeper.
2. Consider The Dress Code
In more formal settings, you’ll want to choose a dark and neutral pair of pants to go with your dark grey blazer (eg. black or navy blue). In business-casual settings, you could also consider a light and neutral pair of pants (eg. beige or khaki).
In smart-casual settings, you have more options. You could, of course, stick to neutral-colored pants – this would be the easiest option.
But you’ve also got the option of going for brighter and bolder colors if you wanted to.
However, if you do go for a red, blue, or green pair of pants, for example, strongly consider sticking to dark and muted shades of these colors.
Think burgundy or forest green instead of scarlet red or lime green.
3. Consider Your Shirt Color
Your shirt color may influence the color of pants you choose to wear with your dark grey blazer.
This is especially true in smart-casual settings where you’ve got the freedom to go for a non-neutral pair of pants if you wanted to.
In these cases, if you’re wearing a light, neutral, and traditional shirt color (eg. white or light blue), you can afford to go a little bolder with your pants if you wanted to.
For example, a dark grey blazer, a white dress shirt, and forest green pants.
If, however, your shirt color is pretty non-traditional, to begin with, you’ll want to be more conservative with the color of your pants to avoid overdoing it.
An example of overdoing it would be a dark grey blazer, a burgundy shirt, and forest green pants.
Sure, it could work. But there’s also a risk of it just being too much.
A good rule of thumb would be to stick to one pop of color in your outfit only.
Stick to neutrals for the rest of them.
Dark Grey Blazer And Pants Combinations
As you’ll soon see, a dark grey blazer is neutral enough to pair with a wide range of pants colors.
However, there’s a good chance one or two of these combinations would be most appropriate to wear in the setting you’re dressing for.
With each combination, you’ll find out the dress code(s) the combo would be best suited for as well.
Dark Grey Blazer With Light Grey Pants
Dress Code: Business-Casual, Smart-Casual
A dark grey blazer can be worn with light grey pants in business-casual and smart-casual settings. The high-contrast look usually wouldn’t be appropriate for formal events.
The combination could be considered “monochromatic” because it uses shades of the same color – in this case – grey.
However, the shades are so different (light vs dark) that this isn’t obvious at first glance.
While a dark grey blazer + light grey pants combo isn’t as common or popular as a light grey blazer + dark grey pants combo, it’s still a phenomenally eye-catching choice.
The look is especially suited to business-casual settings where you’ll want to stick to neutrals but have the freedom to go for high-contrast combos if you wanted to.
The ensemble wouldn’t be as formal as a 2-piece suit (which is generally discouraged in business-casual settings), but would also be dressy enough to get by.
Dark Grey Blazer With Black Pants
Dress Code: Formal, Business-Casual
A dark grey blazer can be worn with black pants in formal and business-casual settings.
It wouldn’t be as formal as a dark grey 2-piece suit, however, so shouldn’t be worn in settings where a suit would be expected.
It’s important to ensure that the black pants are a noticeably different color from the dark grey blazer.
If they’re too similar, it may appear as though you’re trying to pass it off as a poorly-matched suit.
If you’re able to do this, the combination can be a great option.
Sticking to dark neutrals is an easy way to up the sophistication and formality level of any blazer and pants combination.
To keep things simple, traditional, and dressy, stick to a light and neutral shirt color such as white (the easiest) or light blue.
Dark Grey Blazer With Navy Pants
Dress Code: Formal, Business-Casual
A dark grey blazer and navy pants combination works well in formal and business-casual settings where a suit wouldn’t be expected.
Navy is dark and muted enough to be considered neutral, for the most part.
It won’t look quite as dressy as a dark grey blazer worn with black pants, but this may actually be appealing to a lot of people.
Navy is a little more exciting than black and dark grey, while still being dark and muted enough to qualify as dressy.
Sticking to dark neutrals like this, as well as the previous example, gives you the option of experimenting with splashes of color if you wanted to.
For example, you could go for a bolder tie color without fear of a color clash. Burnt orange, gold, aquamarine blue – the options are endless.
You could experiment with your pocket square color in much the same way.
Dark Grey Blazer With Khaki Pants
Dress Code: Business-Casual, Smart-Casual
A dark grey blazer and khakis combination makes for a pretty classic business-casual ensemble. Pair it with a pair of brown Derby shoes and consider going tieless.
Khaki is a pretty light shade of brown.
Essentially, you’re left with a pretty high-contrast combination – a dark grey blazer and a light brown pair of pants.
If you’d prefer less contrast in your outfit, consider a medium grey (eg. slate grey) blazer instead. Some may argue this is the more commonly seen combination in any case.
But if you do like the elegance and sophistication a dark grey blazer can bring, it may be a more appealing accompaniment to khaki pants for you.
While the outfit does yell business-casual, it’s perfectly acceptable in smart-casual settings as well.
However, the high-contrast look usually wouldn’t fare well in settings more formal than business-casual.
In these cases, stick to dark neutrals instead (i.e black or navy blue pants with your dark grey blazer).
Dark Grey Blazer With Maroon Or Forest Green Pants
Dress Code: Smart-Casual
A dark grey blazer can be worn with maroon or forest green pants in smart-casual settings where there isn’t a risk of underdressing.
You’ve got other colors to work with, but maroon/burgundy and forest green work especially well.
While you’ve gone for vibrant pants colors – red and green – you’re choosing dark and muted shades of these colors.
These have a dressier and more subtle appearance to them than brighter and bolder shades.
In addition, darker shades of these colors tend to sync well with the dark tones of the grey blazer.
Remember, however, that these combinations will always look more casual than the more traditional and neutral blazer and pants combinations you saw earlier on in this list.
If you feel as though there may be a risk of underdressing, stick to neutrals instead.
A dark grey blazer is versatile and effortlessly dressy. However, the color of the pants you choose to wear with one is more important than you might think.
Consider the dress code, your personal preferences, and the color of the shirt you’re wearing when making your decision.