Jeans have a timeless and effortlessly casual appeal to them, but can sometimes be difficult to color coordinate. The question is, what color shirt should you wear with light blue jeans.
Light blue jeans can be worn with casual shirts in other shades of blue for a monochromatic look, or neutral colors (eg. white, black, grey) for a simple and muted look. For more contrast, consider shirts in “warm” colors such as red, orange, and yellow.
That’s the gist. But as always, there’s more to it.
After going through the main principles you should stick to when color-matching light blue jeans with shirts, I’ll go through some fantastic combinations you could go for yourself.
Let’s get to it.
Color Matching Light Blue Jeans With Shirts: Guidelines
These “rules”, “principles” or “guidelines” aren’t set in stone. Use them to guide your decisions after taking your personal preferences into account as well.
1. Stick To Casual And Smart-Casual Shirts
Jeans are casual – there’s no getting around that fact. One of the easiest ways to make a pair of jeans look awkward and out of place is by trying to dress them up.
Instead, embrace the unmistakably casual aesthetic by choosing an appropriately casual shirt.
Don’t get me wrong – you aren’t restricted to T-shirts.
It’s just about better to avoid dress shirts – that’s all.
You’ve got plenty of casual and smart-casual shirts to choose from. These include, but aren’t restricted to:
- Polo shirts
- Henley shirts
- OCBD shirts
- Flannel shirts
While the examples of color combinations listed further down below will refer to specific styles of shirt, you could easily replace them with any of the casual shirt styles above.
All the examples do is give you ideas for color matching. Feel free to choose whatever style of casual shirt you want.
2. Avoid Shirts Too Similar To Skin Tone
This is a pretty straightforward one but something to bear in mind whenever you’re color matching any clothes.
Try to avoid choosing shirts that are too similar to your skin tone as it can make people look pretty washed out.
This is especially true when wearing light-colored pants (such as light blue jeans).
3. Consider The Color Wheel
The color wheel can be useful when color matching light blue jeans with shirts because it gives you an idea of how other colors relate to light blue.
It also lets you sort colors in terms of color temperature – “warm” vs “cool”.
Here’s what you need to know.
- The color wheel shows how colors relate to each other.
- Blue is a “cool” color.
- Other cool colors include purples and greens. Overall, cool colors have a pretty simple, calm, and soothing feel to them.
- “Warm” colors include reds, oranges, and yellows. They’re more vibrant and bold than cool colors. Overall, they’re also more summer/spring-appropriate.
At the end of the day, light blue is light and subtle enough to pair quite easily with most other colors.
However, knowing how much contrast you’re likely to achieve with other colors should help you put together a well-coordinated outfit.
Pair cool colors with other cool colors if you want less contrast and cool colors with warm colors if you want more contrast.
“Neutral” colors include white, black, and grey. They don’t appear anywhere on the color wheel but can easily be paired with any other color.
While color theorists may overcomplicate it way beyond that, knowing those basic principles should be all you need to know.
5 Light Blue Jeans And Shirt Combinations
You’ll notice how the first two examples are the easiest to put together and also the most subtle/muted options.
Example: Light Blue Jeans With Blue Flannel/Denim Shirt
Going for a monochromatic color scheme is great because it’s simple. All you’re doing is choosing items in shades of the same color – that’s it.
Note that you aren’t choosing the same shades of the same color.
Instead, you’re choosing a shirt in a shade of blue that’s noticeably different from the shade of the light blue jeans.
Given that light blue jeans are – well, light – the easiest option would be to just go for a shirt in a darker shade of blue.
As I mentioned earlier, you’ve got plenty of styles of casual and smart-casual shirts to choose from.
But in the image above, you’ve got light blue jeans laying aside a blue flannel shirt and a denim shirt. Either option would be great.
Both shades of blue are noticeably different (darker) than the light blue jeans and the outfit looks balanced and well-coordinated as a result.
Note that both styles of shirt are also casual enough to sync well with the casual light blue jeans.
Light Blue Jeans With Neutral Shirt
Example: Light Blue Jeans With White, Grey, Or Black T-Shirt
Neutrals are just as easy. You’ve got white, grey, and black, any of which would fit seamlessly into a blue jeans outfit.
The reason for this is that neutrals can pair with anything.
The great thing about light blue jeans is that they’re light and subtle enough to be pretty “neutral” in themselves.
It isn’t hard to combine light blue jeans with items in bolder and more striking colors.
Wearing a truly neutral shirt (i.e white, grey, or black) with light blue jeans is neutral enough as a combination to give you the freedom to wear splashes of color elsewhere without the risk of a color clash.
For example, you could wear light blue jeans, a white/black/grey T-shirt, and a maroon cardigan or sports coat over it.
The cardigan or sports coat would be the pop of color you could include in your outfit, with the white/black/grey T-shirt and light blue jeans forming the neutral foundation to your outfit beneath it.
Light Blue Jeans With Warm-Colored Shirt
Example: Light Blue Jeans With Red T-Shirt
With light blue being a cool, calm, and collected color, a great way to add some contrast would be to pair it with a more vibrant warm color up top.
Referring back to the color wheel, you can see that the “warm” colors we have at our disposal are reds, oranges, and yellows.
With light blue jeans being so light and subtle, you could quite easily go for bright and pastel shades of these warm colors and get away with it.
Alternatively, you could go for muted shades of those colors if you’d prefer a more subtle aesthetic.
Either way, mixing the “cool” light blue with a warm color will produce a nice contrast – ideal if you’re looking for a combination that stands out.
The image above is of light blue jeans and a red T-shirt, but you could easily swap it for a variety of shades of pink, orange, or yellow if you’d prefer.
Light Blue Jeans With Cool-Colored Shirt
Example: Light Blue Jeans With Mint Green Polo Shirt
Light blue jeans can be worn with other cool colors such as greens and purples if you’d prefer a more laid-back and relaxed color combination.
Cool colors are very easy to pair with other cool colors.
Much like with the warm colors above, you’ve got the option of going for a cool color in a bright and pastel shade, or a simple and muted one instead.
In the image above you’ve got light blue jeans with a mint green polo shirt.
Polo shirts look great paired with jeans – a sharp smart-casual ensemble.
But what’s great about mint green is that it’s subtle and muted enough to wear with plenty of other colors.
Light Blue Jeans With Complementary Shirt
Example: Light Blue Jeans With Orange Polo Shirt
Finally, if you really wanted a jeans and shirt combination that stood out from a crowd, consider going for “complementary” colors.
These are colors that lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel. As a result, it leads to a lot of contrast.
So much contrast, that it can look a little excessive if it’s overdone.
But light blue jeans are light and subtle enough to let you go a little bolder with the shade of the complementary shirt color you choose.
As you can see from the color wheel, blue and orange lie directly opposite each other and could be described as “complementary” as a result.
The image above of light blue jeans with a bright orange polo shirt. While the orange is pretty striking and attention-grabbing, the subtlety of the light blue jeans ensures that the outfit doesn’t look excessive as a whole
Hopefully, that was a pretty in-depth guide to color-matching shirts and light blue jeans.
Once you’ve got the basic guidelines and principles down, it’s really just a case of using your personal preferences to hone in on a look that works for you and the setting you’re dressing for.