Some colors are just tricky – there’s no denying it. Purple just happens to be one of them, but it’s still absolutely possible to coordinate it and coordinate it in style.
So, here are some great shirt colors you can wear with purple pants:
- Light Blue
- Olive Green
- Light Pink
That’s a pretty handy list, but it’s not enough.
There’s a good chance that one or two of those colors would be ideal for your specific circumstances, while the others would just be OK.
We’re about to go through a few factors that’ll help you decide which ones those are. After that, we’ll run through pics and descriptions of each of the combinations themselves.
How To Color Coordinate Purple Pants With Shirts
Consider all of these factors before putting your outfit together.
1. Consider The Dress Code
First things first – purple pants should never be worn in formal or business-casual settings. They’ll always look too casual for those events.
They should only be worn in casual or smart-casual settings.
While that may sound restrictive, there are a whole lot of settings and occasions that could potentially refer to.
Your shirt color should be influenced by how much you’re looking to dress up or dress down those purple pants.
If you’re dressing for a more “smart-casual” setting, a neutral shirt color would definitely be the easiest option.
These would be white, grey, or black.
If you were dressing down and wanted a more vibrant color combo, you could consider a shirt color such as blue, green, or pink.
But when wearing purple pants, it’s important to choose the right shade of one of these colors or things could go wrong.
Let’s discuss that now.
2. Stick To Neutral Or Muted Colors
Neutral shirt colors (white, grey, or black) would be the easiest and dressiest option when wearing purple pants.
But if you do choose a shirt color such as blue, pink, or green, go for a muted shade.
Muted colors are the opposite of vivid ones and have a dulled, desaturated look to them.
These make for perfect shirt colors when wearing an in-your-face and dominating pants color such as purple.
So, instead of lime green, go for olive or sage green.
Instead of vivid cerulean blue, go for muted sky blue.
And so on.
The more muted the color, the better.
What you don’t want is a combination of two bold and dominating colors fighting for attention.
While going for a neutral color would be a simple way to avoid this, muted shades of more vibrant colors are also perfectly possible to pull off.
3. The Color Wheel Can Help
So, muted shades of non-neutral colors can work well, but how do you know which colors to go for?
The color wheel can help here.
As you can see from the image, purple falls within the “cool” half along with the blues and greens.
“Cool” colors tend to sync well with other cool colors, which is why a muted shade of blue or green (as mentioned earlier) would be a good way to go.
If you do want to go for a “warm” color such as red, orange, or yellow, be sure to choose a very muted shade.
High-contrast combinations such as these can sometimes come across as over-the-top and “too much color”.
A light and muted pink would work as a reasonable middle ground.
5 Purple Pants And Shirt Combinations
Here are those combinations in more detail. You’ll see how the entire aesthetic can change depending on the color of the shirt.
Some look dressier, while others look very casual.
To keep things simple, go for pants in a muted shade of purple such as muted mauve or plum purple.
Purple Pants With A White Shirt
Purple pants can easily be worn with a white shirt in casual and smart-casual settings. The contrast between the colorful pants and the neutral shirt is subtle but easily noticeable.
This is, by far, the easiest purple pants and shirt option you could go for.
A white shirt brings entirely the opposite vibe to purple pants. It isn’t bold or in-your-face.
It’s subtle, understated, and fits seamlessly into the background of any outfit without the risk of a color clash.
If you were looking for an unproblematic shirt color, this would be it.
It’s even more useful when you’re wearing pants in a more vivid shade of purple.
Purple Pants With A Grey Shirt
Purple pants can be worn with a grey shirt in a variety of different casual settings, but it’s best to reserve the combination for casual and smart-casual events.
Once again, a neutral shirt color such as grey is pretty easy to pull off without having to give it too much thought.
It’s worth considering what shade of grey to go for, however.
Light, medium, and dark shades of grey can work, but will all produce different effects and looks when wearing purple pants.
Consider how much contrast you want between the two items. In general, the more contrast you have between the items in terms of light and dark, the more eye-catching and attention-grabbing it’ll be.
- Light purple pants with a light grey shirt
- Dark purple pants with a dark grey shirt
- Light purple pants with a dark grey shirt
- Dark purple pants with a light grey shirt
It just depends on how subtle or how eye-catching you want the combination to look.
Either way, grey is neutral enough for any of the shades to work.
Purple Pants With A Black Shirt
Purple pants can be worn with a black shirt in smart-casual settings, working especially well for dressy evening social events.
Black has the benefit of being neutral and coordinating effortlessly with purple.
But it also has the benefit of having a sophisticated and elegant edge to it.
While you could comfortably wear a black shirt with purple pants throughout the day, the dark aesthetic tends to look especially good in the evenings.
Of course, the style of shirt you go for will make a difference in how dressy it looks.
If you’re dressing up, go for a black dress shirt. If you’re dressing down, consider a black OCBD or linen shirt instead.
Purple Pants With A Light Blue Shirt
A light blue shirt can confidently be worn with purple pants in casual settings, with the cool undertones of the two colors syncing well.
It won’t ever look as “smart” as a more neutral option (i.e white, black, or grey), but the professional aesthetic of a light blue shirt makes it a pretty formidable alternative.
Here, you’re mixing a “cool” color with another “cool” color.
Referring back to the color wheel, blues, greens, and purples are the most prominent colors within the “cool” spectrum.
Mixing cool colors with other cool colors can work well, but it does need to be done the right way to avoid an excessively vivid outfit.
Here, go for a muted shade of light blue and a muted shade of purple to make it work.
Purple Pants With An Olive Green Shirt
Olive green shirts can be worn with purple pants in a gloriously casual and eye-catching outfit.
What’s great about olive green is that it’s subtle and muted.
In fact, olive green is often considered neutral in the world of men’s style. That’s how muted it really is.
Once again, however, the cool and laid-back undertones of green will be obvious and will always pair well with those of the purple pants.
As you can see, you’ve got options – but not a whole lot.
Purple pants are striking and should serve as the focus of the outfit. Adding other in-your-face colors into the outfit often goes wrong.
If you do want to go for a colorful shirt, stick to muted shades of “cool” shades such as muted sky blue or olive green.
If you’re getting more outlandish with it, consider a light and muted shade of pink.