It seems simple enough. After all, a pair of white pants is about as neutral as you can get. But it’s true that certain shirt colors do tend to look better with them than others.
Here are some great shirt colors you can easily wear with white pants:
But there’s more to it.
First, we’ll go through a few tips for choosing the best shirt color for your specific pair of white pants. Then, we’ll run through those shirt colors in more detail (with pics to boot).
How To Choose A Shirt Color For Your White Pants
Here are the factors to consider.
1. Consider The Dress Code
When wearing white pants to a dressier setting, go for a neutral shirt color such as grey, black, white, or navy. In a more casual setting, consider a more bold and vibrant shirt color such as maroon, pink, or yellow.
It’s worth noting that white pants should really never be worn in formal or business-professional settings.
They should really only be worn in smart-casual environments where there’s less of a risk of underdressing.
While it’s true that white is a neutral color, white pants are eye-catching, striking, and uncommon.
Because of that, they’re generally considered casual and inappropriate in many settings.
However, even with the realm of “smart-casual” settings, you’ve got those that are dressier and those that are more casual.
When dressing up, go for a neutral shirt color. When dressing down, consider a more striking and vibrant non-neutral shirt color.
Ultimately, any of them will coordinate effortlessly with the white pants.
2. Consider How Much Contrast You Want
While it may sound obvious, white is as light as you can get.
Pairing white pants with a light-colored shirt (eg. light grey or light blue) will lead to a subtle and low-contrast aesthetic.
On the other hand, pairing them with a dark-colored shirt (eg. black, navy, or dark grey) would lead to a striking high-contrast appearance.
The same would go for non-neutral colors.
Dark shirt colors include olive green, maroon, burgundy, and mustard yellow. Light shirt colors include blush pink, mint green, and beige.
Consider whether you want a subtle low-contrast combination or a more in-your-face high-contrast one instead.
3. Consider The Season
Certain colors tend to look better in specific seasons. While this is true, it’s often overblown and can become frustrating if you overthink it.
It’s worth giving some thought, but wouldn’t be as important as the dress code when it comes to choosing a shirt color for your white pants.
Neutral colors such as white, beige, tan, grey, black, and navy aren’t as seasonal and can easily be worn year-round.
During the warmer spring and summer months, consider wearing a “warm” shirt color such as pink, yellow, or red. They’re vibrant, vivid, and energetic.
During the cooler fall and winter months, consider colors such as olive green, sage green, or plum purple. These “cool” colors are especially effective here.
Brown looks exceptional during the fall months as well.
Once again, the beauty of choosing white pants is that they’ll work with any of these neutral and non-neutral colors.
7 Shirt Colors You Can Wear With White Pants
Here are the combinations described in a little more detail.
Remember, consider the dress code, the contrast, and the season when making your decision.
White Pants With A Black Shirt
White pants can be worn with a black shirt to produce an effective greyscale, monochrome aesthetic. The combination is very high-contrast, but the neutrality of the items does give it a dressy aesthetic.
The high level of contrast between the two items is the most striking feature here. A black and white color scheme is very effective and will always “work”.
But whether or not you want to go for such a high-contrast and in-your-face look comes down to personal preferences.
Consider the style of black shirt and white pants you go for.
While a 100% cotton black dress shirt and pair of white dress pants would look great if you were looking to dress up, it isn’t necessary when dressing down.
Consider a black linen or OCBD shirt with a pair of white chinos, linen pants, or jeans.
Black shoes (eg. loafers) tend to look great when wearing a black shirt with white pants.
It’s a great way to add some structure to the outfit by sandwiching the white pants between a black shirt and a pair of black shoes.
But if you’d prefer to break up the greyscale look, consider a pair of tan brown shoes instead.
White Pants With A Olive Shirt
An olive green shirt would look great with a pair of white pants, especially during the fall and winter months.
Olive is a dark, muted, and near-enough neutral shade of green that’s incredibly easy to combine with other colors.
It’s a common favorite because it’s hard to go wrong with olive. While its seasonality is noticeable, it can pretty confidently be worn year-round.
Olive and white produce a calm and laid-back combination that works in a variety of different settings.
However, if you were wearing white pants to a dressier smart-casual setting, it may be a better option to go for a softer and more neutral shirt color such as light grey or light blue.
On a final note, brown shoes look great when wearing an olive shirt with white pants, simply because the earthy and natural aesthetic you get when combining green and brown is glorious.
White Pants With A Blue Shirt
White pants can be worn with blue shirts in a range of smart-casual settings.
Consider a light blue shirt for a more subtle and low-contrast aesthetic, with dark blue shirts (eg. navy) producing a more striking high-contrast appearance.
A blue shirt can look very different depending on its shade.
Light blue shirts are considered dressier and more “professional” than dark blue shirts and will also lead to less contrast with white pants.
It really depends on your preferences, but white pants would look great with shirts in any shade of blue.
White Pants With A Yellow Shirt
White pants can confidently be worn with yellow shirts, with the combination looking especially good during the warmer spring and summer months.
Yellow, much like red and orange, is a “warm” color. It’s energetic, vivid, and eye-catching.
Once again, you could choose to go for a pale shade of yellow if you wanted to.
However, dark and muted shades of yellow such as mustard tend to look great with white pants.
The contrast is noticeable and casual-looking, but in the right setting, it can look fantastic.
It’s a good opportunity to discuss blazers and sport coats.
Wearing a blazer is a great way to add a touch of sophistication to practically any outfit. It’s also a great way to add another color to the mix.
However, when wearing a bold-colored shirt such as yellow, it’s usually best to wear a blazer in a subtle and neutral color.
In this example, you could wear a yellow shirt with white pants and a light to medium grey blazer. A navy blazer would also be a very reasonable and effective option.
White Pants With A Maroon Shirt
White pants can be worn with a maroon shirt in casual and smart-casual settings. The vibrant hue of maroon often looks very effective during the warmer months of the year.
Maroon, much like burgundy and crimson, is a dark and muted shade of red.
If you were looking for a shirt in a shade of red that looks sophisticated yet bold and vibrant, you’d do well by choosing one of those three shades.
It’s tough to go wrong with a maroon shirt and white pants, but note that it will always look more casual than going for a more neutral shirt color.
Once again, consider rounding off the outfit with a neutral-colored blazer here (eg. grey or navy).
Alternatively, just wear the shirt alone with one or two buttons undone to really embrace the laid-back and casual aesthetic.
White Pants With A Grey Shirt
A grey shirt often looks great with white pants. The combination looks effortlessly dressy regardless of what shade the grey shirt may be.
Grey and white are both neutral colors.
Wearing a grey shirt with white pants produces a very solid neutral foundation for your outfit over which you can add in other non-neutral colors without any risk of a color clash.
For example, you could wear a grey shirt with white pants and a raspberry red blazer or a mustard yellow cardigan.
If you’d prefer to keep the outfit entirely neutral, you could simply wear the grey shirt with white pants alone.
Alternatively, you could add another neutral or near-neutral color for good measure.
A common favorite is to wear a light grey shirt with a dark grey blazer or vice versa. Ultimately, having a neutral foundation for your outfit gives you a lot of versatility.
White Pants With A Pink Shirt
A pink shirt would be a great option when wearing white pants. The warm undertones of the pink shirt do lend themselves well to the warmer months of the year, although in reality, it looks fantastic year-round.
Pink is another vibrant and vivid shirt color you could choose to wear with white pants in more casual settings.
Having said that, light shades of pink (eg. blush or dusty pink) are sometimes worn in the more “business-casual” or professional environments.
Dark shades of pink (eg. salmon), on the other hand, do usually have a more social and fun look to them.
Either way, combining pink with white is incredibly effective and will always be worth considering.
The main take-home point here would be that white pants can really be worn with any shirt color you can think of.
Your decision should be based on the setting you’re dressing for, as well as the season.
Consider whether you want to go for a neutral or non-neutral color, as well as how much contrast you want between the two items.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.