Color coordination can make or break an outfit. Matching shirts with pants is no exception. So, what color shirt should you wear with green pants?
Green pants can be worn with neutral-colored shirts in black, grey, or white for a muted and business-casual aesthetic. They can also be worn with green shirts for a monochromatic look. For a more eye-catching and contrasting look, consider wearing green pants with shirts in “warm” colors such as pink or maroon.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s more to it. After going through the main factors to consider when matching green pants with shirts, I’ll give you some great examples to try out for yourself.
Let’s get to it.
Color Matching Green Pants With Shirts: Guidelines
Consider all three of these guidelines or “rules” before you put together your outfit.
1. Consider Formality
Ultimately, a pair of green pants, no matter how dark or muted they may be, will never come across as “formal”.
Green would always be considered too bold of a choice when you’re looking to dress more conservatively or formally.
When dressing for formal occasions, stick to classic blacks, greys, and navy blue.
However, a pair of green pants could work great in casual, smart-casual, and even business-casual settings.
When you’re looking to dress casually, practically any shade of green would do.
However, if you’re looking to dress a little smarter (eg. business-casual), the darker and more muted your green pants, the better.
Of course, the style of green pants and shirt will also play a huge role when it comes to formality.
At the end of the day, dress pants, chinos, dress shirts, and OCBD shirts will always come across as more formal than jeans, cargo pants, polos, and T-shirts.
2. Aim For Some Contrast (Light/Dark)
If you’re wearing pants in a light shade of green, consider wearing a darker-colored shirt.
If, on the other hand, you’re wearing pants in a dark shade of green, consider a lighter-colored shirt.
It isn’t essential, as you’ll see from my examples further down below.
But aiming for some contrast between your top half (shirt) and your bottom half (pants) when it comes to light and dark is always a great effect.
It produces a nice sense of balance.
3. Consider The Color Wheel
The color wheel – it gets a bad rep sometimes but it can really be helpful when trying to put together a well-coordinated outfit. It’s just important to not overthink it.
This is what you need to know:
- It’s an illustration that shows the relationship between colors.
- It can be split into two halves – warm and cool colors.
- Warm colors (eg. reds, yellows, and oranges) are vibrant, bold, and in-your-face.
- Cool colors (eg. blues, greens, and purples) have a more soothing and relaxed feel to them. They’re also more winter/fall-appropriate.
But why does it matter?
Well, knowing that green is considered a “cool” color can be helpful when we’re looking to pair it with other colors on the color wheel.
We can choose to pair those green pants with shirts in another “cool” color or go for a “warm” color instead in order to achieve more contrast.
This will all come into place nicely as we go through the combination examples below.
5 Green Pants And Shirt Combinations
You’ll notice that the first two color combinations look more formal than the ones further down.
That’s because the monochromatic/neural color schemes generally look less casual than brighter and bolder colors.
Example: Dark Green Pants With Light Green Shirt
It’s important to note that a “monochromatic” color scheme doesn’t simply go for green pants and a green shirt in exactly the same shirt.
There needs to be some contrast in order for it to look good.
The pants in the picture above are muted dark green jeans and the shirt is a mint green polo.
Two different shades of green – the shirt is a much lighter shade.
The contrast between light and dark produces a nice sense of balance.
While jeans can never be considered formal, a monochromatic color scheme will generally look pretty formal.
If you wanted a more formal alternative combination in the same color scheme, consider a pair of dark green dress pants or chinos, together with a mint green dress shirt.
Green Pants With Neutral Shirt
Example: Green Pants With White Or Grey Shirt
The true neutrals are white, black, and grey.
You’ll notice that these colors don’t feature anywhere on the color wheel and should be considered entirely separate from it.
These neutrals can be paired with any color you can think of – that’s the beauty of it.
They can form a great foundation for your outfit over which you can add items in other colors without the risk of a color clash.
Because of this, a pair of green pants in any shade can be worn with a neutral-colored shirt without the fear of a clash.
Green pants with a white, black, or grey shirt would work a treat. They’ll also come across as pretty formal as well.
Those green pants may not be suitable for actual “formal” events (where a 2-piece suit would be required), but when paired with a neutral shirt, they could make for a great business-casual outfit.
It’s worth noting that there are other colors that are considered “neutrals” in men’s style which aren’t truly neutral. However, because they’re so easy to pair with other colors, they’re considered to be.
These include navy blue and khaki.
Green Pants With Warm-Colored Shirt
Example: Green Pants With Pink Shirt
Now we’re making use of the color wheel.
As I mentioned earlier, green is a “cool” color and has a natural, soothing, and relaxed feeling to it.
The colors on the opposite half of the color wheel are the “warm” colors. Unlike green, they have a bolder and more vibrant feel to them.
They include reds, oranges, and yellows. A pink shirt would fall firmly within this spectrum of warm hues.
The image above is of a pair of green trousers and a pink shirt. We’re pairing a cool color with a warm color and as a result, we achieve quite a lot of contrast.
The thing about contrasting warm with cool colors is that it can have a pretty striking look. Contrast, in general, is eye-catching.
In addition, mixing warm with cool colors will also have a more casual look to it than mixing cool colors with other cool colors or mixing cool colors with neutral colors.
So, a combination such as the one above would look great in smart-casual settings but may be a little too casual for a business-casual setting.
It shouldn’t ever be worn in a formal setting.
Green Pants With Cool-Colored Shirt
Example: Green Pants With Blue Shirt
Mixing cool colors (i.e green pants) with other cool colors won’t look quite as casual as mixing them with warm colors, but still looks more casual than monochromatic/neutral combinations.
But coordinating cool colors with other cool colors is pretty easy to do and works especially well in the winter and fall.
Looking at the color wheel, the other “cool” colors lie close to green and include blues and purples.
The image above is of a pair of green pants with a blue dress shirt. Cool paired with cool.
It’s a great smart-casual option and may even be sharp enough to pass for business-casual.
Green Pants With Complimentary Shirt
Example: Green Pants With A Maroon Shirt
When it comes to color matching, “complementary” colors are actually those that lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel.
Take a look at the picture of the color wheel earlier on in this article. Find green and draw a vertical line directly across from it to the opposite side.
As you can see, it usually lands on a red – the shade of red depending on the shade of green you’re starting from.
Green and red are complementary colors. They work well together but produce about as much contrast as you can achieve.
As a result, they’ll always produce a striking, bold, and casual appearance.
In the example above I’ve gone for a pair of green pants with a maroon shirt. The colors are contrasting, but dark and muted enough to not come across as too in-your-face.
There you have it. Hopefully, everything you could ever want to know about pairing green pants with shirts.
A lot of it will depend on your personal preferences, as well as the formality of the setting you’re dressing for.
However, the guidelines in this article should ensure you pick the right combo for your specific circumstances, each and every time.