There are few colors quite as effortlessly elegant as maroon. Deep, dark, and sophisticated. But color-matching can sometimes be tricky. The question is, what color pants go with a maroon shirt?
A maroon shirt can be worn with black or dark grey pants for a more sophisticated aesthetic. If you’d prefer a high-contrast, yet dressy combination, consider light grey or khaki pants. For a more casual ensemble, medium blue or olive green pants can be worn with a maroon shirt instead.
But you’ll need a whole lot more information than that.
You’re about to learn some essential tips for color coordinating maroon shirts with pants. After that, we’ll run through some combinations you could try out for yourself.
Let’s get to it.
Color Matching Maroon Shirts With Pants: Essential Tips
Maroon shirts are pretty versatile. However, they can sometimes dominate the outfit because of how bold and vibrant they are.
So, it’s essential to choose a pair of pants that leads to a balanced overall outfit.
The dress code should also influence the pants color you choose.
Let’s dig into all of this in a little more detail.
1. Neutrals Are Dressier
Maroon shirts are really only suited to “smart-casual” settings. If you’re dressing for truly formal, business-professional, or business-casual settings, consider a white or blue dress shirt instead.
However, it’s no secret that certain “smart-casual” settings are going to be dressier than others.
When wearing a maroon shirt to dressier settings, neutral-colored pants would be the best option.
Going a step further, dark neutrals would be the dressiest option, with light neutrals a notch more casual.
Dark neutrals include black, charcoal grey, and navy blue.
Here’s an example on Amazon:
Light neutrals include light grey, khaki, and other shades of light brown.
Here’s another example on Amazon:
By pairing a maroon shirt with neutral-colored pants such as these, you’re allowing the maroon shirt to take center stage without piling on even more color into the outfit.
What this leads to is subtlety and subtlety is always best when it comes to dressing up.
In more casual settings, you can get away with non-neutral colored pairs of pants.
For example, pants in shades of blue or green.
However, even in these circumstances, it’s best to go for muted shades of these colors that don’t conflict too much with the dominating maroon shirt.
Olive green would be a good example.
2. Contrast Matters
It’s worth considering how much contrast you want between the deep and dark color of the maroon shirt and the pair of pants you choose.
The contrast is eye-catching and attention-grabbing. This may or may not be what you want.
If you want less contrast between the shirt and the pants, consider a maroon shirt with a dark-colored pair of pants.
For example, black, charcoal grey, or navy.
The dark shirt and the dark pants will sync well together.
If you want more contrast, consider wearing a maroon shirt with a light-colored pair of pants.
For example, light grey or olive green.
There isn’t a right answer here. It mainly depends on your personal preferences.
However, it’s worth noting that combinations with more contrast tend to look more casual, while those with less contrast tend to look less casual.
To tie this tip into the previous one, if you’re dressing up, consider a maroon shirt with a dark and neutral pair of pants.
If you’re dressing down, consider a maroon shirt with a light and neutral or non-neutral pair of pants.
3. The Color Wheel Helps
Using the color wheel can be helpful when color-coordinating your outfits. This is especially true when you’re combining two non-neutral colors.
At the end of the day, a maroon shirt will pair well with any neutral-colored pair of pants (eg. black, white, grey). You don’t even need to think about it.
The same goes for colors that are so muted that they’re often labeled neutrals (even though they technically aren’t). These colors include navy, khaki, and olive green.
Looking at the color wheel you can see how it’s split into “warm” colors and “cool” colors.
Knowing that maroon is a deep shade of red – a “warm” color – can be useful.
Pairing warm colors with other warm colors will lead to less contrast, but can sometimes look pretty overwhelming due to how vibrant the two colors are.
However, pairing warm colors with cool colors leads to a high-contrast, but balanced combination.
If this is appealing, consider a maroon shirt with a “cool” colored pair of pants (eg. blue, green, or even purple).
Maroon Shirt And Pants Combinations To Try
Here are some solid combinations of maroon shirts and pants you could try out for yourself.
Maroon Shirt With Black Or Dark Grey Pants
A maroon shirt can be worn with black or dark grey pants in dressy smart-casual settings. It works especially well for evening social events.
The reason it tends to work better after sunset is that it’s a dark aesthetic overall.
You’re going for a dark red shirt (maroon), as well as a dark pair of pants in either black or dark grey.
While it still looks good in daylight, consider reserving this dark-on-dark combination for dressy and social nighttime events.
The beauty of it is that color coordination is a breeze. Black and dark grey are so neutral that either of them would pair perfectly well with any maroon shirt you’re working with.
Maroon Shirt With Light Grey Or Khaki Pants
Maroon shirts look great with light grey or khaki pants in smart-casual settings. These light and neutral colors lead to a high-contrast and eye-catching aesthetic when worn with maroon.
Light grey and khaki are neutral enough to pair well with any color you can think of.
Given the amount of contrast you’ll get between the light-colored pants and the dark-colored maroon shirt, it won’t look quite as dressy as the previous examples (black and dark grey).
However, sticking to neutral colors such as these for the pants is an easy way to avoid underdressing.
There aren’t many smart-casual settings where a combination of a maroon shirt with a khaki/light grey pair of pants wouldn’t be considered appropriate.
One thing to note about khaki:
While it’s true that khaki is light, muted, and often labeled a neutral color given how easy it is to coordinate, it isn’t exactly as neutral as black, white, or grey.
With khaki pants, you’ll definitely feel some of the warm undertones you wouldn’t get with truly neutral pants.
This makes khakis a better option than light grey when you want a slightly more vibrant color for the pants.
Maroon Shirt With Brown Pants
A maroon shirt can easily be worn with brown pants – both light brown and dark brown – in a wide variety of smart-casual settings.
Much like khaki or light grey, the combination won’t look as dressy as a pair of black or dark grey pants.
But brown is also neutral(ish) enough to wear with a maroon shirt without the risk of underdressing.
Dark brown pants will always look dressier than light brown pants, mainly due to there being less contrast between dark brown and the dark shade of red that is maroon.
Maroon Shirt With Medium Blue Pants
A maroon shirt can be worn with blue pants, but it’s important to choose a shade of blue that isn’t too light in color.
At the end of the day, the contrast you’d get between the dark maroon shirt and a light blue pair of pants can be tough to pull off.
The level of contrast is very high.
Instead, choose a shade of blue that’s medium or dark.
The less contrast you’ve got between the maroon shirt and the blue pants, the easier it’ll be to pull off.
This is a good example of a “warm” colored shirt worn with a pair of “cool” colored pants (maroon + blue).
The contrast can be appealing, but it probably isn’t the best idea if you think there’s a risk of underdressing at an event.
If you want to play it safe, go for a neutral-colored pair of pants instead.
Maroon Shirt With Green Pants
Maroon shirts can be worn with green pants, but it usually helps when the shade of green is subtle and muted. Olive green and sage green pants work especially well with maroon shirts.
If you’d prefer a darker shade of green, consider forest green or hunter green.
You’ll probably notice how we’re gradually getting more and more casual with our combinations.
A maroon shirt worn with a green pair of pants can look great, but it may not be appropriate to wear in dressier settings.
Sure, a maroon shirt should never be considered “formal”, but as we discussed earlier, some “smart-casual” settings are “smarter” than others.
So, if the smart-casual event you’re attending is on the smarter end of the spectrum, consider going for a color other than green.
If you aren’t too worried about that, this combination is bound to turn some heads.
Maroon Shirt With White Pants
A maroon shirt can be worn with a pair of white pants if you want an attention-grabbing and high-contrast combination.
While white is a neutral color, this combination is so high in contrast that it won’t look as dressy as a maroon shirt worn with black or grey would be.
But it still works exceptionally well.
Consider it when you’re looking to make more of a statement.