Some shirt colors are so close to white that you can pretty much wear them with anything. A cream shirt would definitely fall under this category, but there are definitely certain pants colors that would look better than others.
Here are some great pants colors you can wear with a cream shirt:
After going through a few essential tips for color-coordinating cream shirts with pants in the best way possible, we’ll run through these combinations in more detail (with pics).
Let’s get to it.
How To Color Coordinate Cream Shirts With Pants
Consider all of these before putting your outfit together.
Cream should be considered a “neutral” color, despite having clear yellow undertones. It’s effortless to pair with other colors without the risk of a color clash.
But while cream shirts are versatile, there are factors that may make certain pants colors the “best” option for you.
1. Low Contrast Vs High Contrast
When color-matching a cream shirt with pants, consider how much contrast you want between the two items.
A low-contrast combination would be one where there’s less difference between the shirt and the pants – for example when it comes to light vs dark.
Cream is a very light color produced by mixing yellow and white. An example of a low-contrast combination would be a cream shirt worn with light grey or beige pants.
A high-contrast combination would be a cream shirt with dark grey, black, or burgundy pants.
Of course, colors like khaki and olive green would fall somewhere in the middle.
In general, the more contrast there is, the more eye-catching and attention-grabbing the combination will come across. Low-contrast combinations will appear more subtle and understated.
2. The Dress Code Matters
Cream shirts should really only be worn in casual or smart-casual settings.
They shouldn’t be worn in business-casual, business-professional, formal, or other settings where they’d simply be considered too casual.
While cream is sometimes considered a “shade of white”, it’s still not close enough to white to be considered appropriate for formal attire.
The yellow undercurrent of cream has noticeably warm tones that do make the shirts look quite casual.
So, reserve cream shirts for casual and smart-casual events.
The “smarter” the casual event, the more likely it is that a neutral-colored pair of pants would be better.
Examples would be black, grey, navy blue, or khaki.
When dressing down, you’ve got plenty more options.
For example, you could wear a cream shirt with maroon, burgundy, sage, or even burnt orange pants.
3. Consider Your Other Items
Finally, consider the other items you’re wearing when choosing a pair of pants to wear with your cream shirts.
Contrast may play a role here as well.
For example, if you’ve gone for light colors up top with a cream shirt and a light grey blazer, you may want to add some contrast by going for a dark color down low.
A cream shirt, light grey blazer, and charcoal pair of pants.
Alternatively, it may be the amount of color in your outfit that you want to take into account.
For example, let’s say you’re wearing a cream shirt with a maroon dinner jacket.
The vibrant and colorful jacket you’re wearing will likely draw a lot of attention. Because of this, it’s best to keep things neutral down low. Consider a black or grey pair of pants.
Let the maroon jacket be the one “pop” of color in your outfit, with the cream shirt and black/grey pants playing a more subtle role in the background.
6 Pants Colors You Can Wear With A Cream Shirt
Here you’ll see some great cream shirt and pants combinations you can try out for yourself.
Cream Shirt With Grey Pants
A cream shirt can be worn with grey pants in a variety of different smart-casual settings.
Choose a pair of dark grey pants for a high-contrast combination or light grey pants if you’d prefer a low-contrast combination.
The beauty of it is that both cream and grey are very neutral colors. They’ll coordinate seamlessly and effortlessly.
Wearing a neutral foundation of items like this means you also have a lot more freedom to experiment with brighter and more vibrant colors on top.
For example, you could go for a sage or maroon blazer. Or, you could go for a bolder-colored pair of suede shoes (if the event is casual enough to allow it).
A popular option is to go for a blazer in a shade of grey that’s different from that of the pants.
For example, a cream shirt, dark grey blazer, and light grey pair of pants. Alternatively, a cream shirt, light grey blazer, and dark grey pair of pants.
Cream Shirt With Khaki Pants
A cream shirt would look great with khaki pants, especially during the warmer spring and summer months.
Khaki is a pale shade of brown with noticeably warm undertones. Cream has an undercurrent of yellow, with a similar (although more subtle) warm undertone.
While you could confidently wear this combination year-round, these understated warm colors look great when warm together during the summer months.
They have a light and airy feel to them.
It’s still important that you only wear them in casual and smart-casual settings.
While khaki is a color that epitomizes business-casual attire, a cream shirt would never be appropriate to wear in this dress code. Stick to white, light blue, and light pink shirts instead.
Cream Shirt With Black Pants
A cream shirt can be worn with black pants to produce a great high-contrast combination.
The image above shows you just how attention-grabbing and eye-catching this sort of contrast really is.
Dark and neutral colors such as black and dark grey do have an effortlessly dressy appearance to them.
They’re a great way to dress up a cream shirt when attending a smart-casual setting that’s on the “smarter” end of the spectrum.
Cream Shirt With Tan Pants
Tan pants can be worn with a cream shirt in many casual and smart-casual settings.
Tan is another pale shade of brown. It’s similar to khaki, but a couple of shades darker.
Cream and tan compliment each other very well, with both colors having clear warm undertones.
Much like khaki pants, tan pants look great when worn with cream shirts in summer and spring.
Cream Shirt With Sage Pants
Sage green pants work very well with cream shirts. The cool undertones of the green pants add a sense of balance to the warm undertones of the cream shirt.
You’ll notice how this combination looks a little more casual than the previous ones.
That’s because in the previous examples we were working with neutral or neutral-ish pants colors.
Sage green is not neutral.
It’s a relatively dark color that falls within the spectrum of “cool” colors if you were to refer to the color wheel.
Wearing a cream shirt with “cool” colored pants (i.e greens, blues, purples) would be a good option when you’re looking to dress a little more casually.
Green works especially well during the fall and winter months.
Cream Shirt With Maroon Pants
Cream shirts can easily be worn with maroon pants in casual settings. It works well during the warmer months of spring and summer.
Maroon, much like burgundy and crimson, is a dark shade of red.
It has a very warm tone to it.
It’s also bold and very vibrant. As you can see from the image above, it’s definitely eye-catching.
Consider a maroon or burgundy pair of pants when you’re looking to make more of a statement with your cream shirt.
It’ll always look more casual than a neutral pair of pants – bear this in mind.
If you are dressing down, it could be the perfect option. It’s dark enough to not become too in-your-face, while still being bold enough to turn some heads.
As you can see, you really aren’t short of pants color options when wearing a cream shirt.
The one you choose should be determined by how much contrast you want, as well as the dress code.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.