A pair of navy shorts can look pretty effortlessly stylish during the warm summer months. Color-coordinating your other items, however, is often overlooked.
So, here are the best shirt colors to wear with navy shorts:
- Light Blue
As always, there’s more to it. The color you choose should depend on a couple of important factors. After going through exactly what these are, we’ll run through some examples of combinations you can try out yourself.
Let’s get to it.
How To Color Coordinate Shirts With Navy Shorts
Here are a couple of tips to see you through, each and every time. While navy shorts are incredibly versatile, there’s a good chance that certain shirt colors are a better choice for the specific setting you’re dressing for.
1. Neutrals For “Smart-Casual”
When dressing for a smart-casual event, neutral shirt colors such as black, white, and grey are often more appropriate to wear with navy shorts.
It’s worth mentioning that shorts should never really be considered anything more than smart-casual.
They wouldn’t be appropriate for dressier dress codes such as business-professional or business-casual.
Shorts are casual summer/spring attire and shouldn’t be considered anything more formal than that.
However, even within the spectrum of “casual”, there are events that are dressier than others.
This is often labeled “smart-casual”. While these settings are still considered casual, there’s a real risk of underdressing.
Think garden parties, attending sporting events, dinners at mid-level restaurants, etc.
These are the types of settings where a polo, Henley, linen, or Oxford shirt would usually be more appropriate than a simple T-shirt.
When you want to dress those navy shorts up, strongly consider a simple, subtle, and neutral-colored shirt.
Your best options are black, grey, and white.
2. Warm Or Cool Colors For “Casual”
“Warm” and “cool” colors are easy to picture on the color wheel. They aren’t neutral and shirts in these colors will always look more vibrant, eye-catching, and casual than neutral-colored ones.
As you can see, there’s a wide variety of colors to choose from.
Warm colors are reds, oranges, and yellows.
Cool colors are blues, greens, and purples.
Given how dark and muted navy blue is, any of these colors could potentially work. In fact, navy blue is often considered neutral for the sake of men’s style given how easy it is to coordinate with other colors.
However, it’s important to note that going for a shade of any of these warm/cool colors will look more casual than going for a simple, neutral-colored shirt like in the previous example.
For example, navy shorts worn with a crimson red shirt (whether that’s a tee, polo, or OCBD) will look more casual than a grey or white shirt would.
The same would go for olive green, plum purple, or any of the other potential warm or cool-colored shirts you could wear with a navy pair of shorts.
To sum this up, go for neutrals if you feel as though there’s a risk of underdressing. If you’re wearing navy shorts to a truly casual setting, feel free to experiment with any shirt color you can think of.
Navy Shorts And Shirt Combinations To Try
Here are some great combinations you can try out for yourself. As you can see, the neutral options tend to look smarter and dressier than the more vibrant shirt colors.
It also shows you just how wide the range of potential shirt colors you can choose from really is.
Navy shorts give you the benefit of choice, but sometimes, the choice can be overwhelming. Consider sticking to these classics whenever you’re in doubt.
Navy Shorts With A White Shirt
Color Scheme: Neutral
Navy shorts can easily be worn with a white shirt in a variety of different casual settings, including dressier smart-casual ones.
While the combination may seem too simple, it’s very hard to go wrong with. Given how neutral both the white shirt and the navy shorts are, coordination is effortless.
It’ll always work.
The style of white shirt you choose is also important.
When dressing for a smart-casual event, strongly consider avoiding white T-shirts given how casual they look.
Instead, go for a white polo, linen, or Oxford (OCBD) shirt.
Choosing these dressier shirt styles is an easy way to make a navy shorts and white shirt combination look instantly more smart than casual.
Navy Shorts With A Black Or Grey Shirt
Color Scheme: Neutral
Navy shorts can be worn with shirts in dark and neutral colors such as black or grey. Choosing one of these colors is a simple way to up the formality of your outfit.
Black and grey will always look dressier than bolder and more vibrant shirt colors.
They’re especially good when dressing for evening summer social events, although you could confidently wear them in daytime settings as well.
Much like the white shirt, these options are ideal if you feel as though there’s a risk of underdressing.
In these cases, keeping your color scheme subtle and neutral is often the best way to go.
Navy Shorts With A Light Blue Or Green Shirt
Color Scheme: Cool
You can wear navy shorts with a light blue or green shirt in casual settings.
While navy blue is sometimes considered neutral, it’s clearly got noticeable “cool” undertones.
Pairing the navy shorts with a shirt in a similarly “cool” color (eg. blues, greens, purples) is a great way to produce a sense of harmony and balance between the two items.
While you’ve got plenty of options to choose from, shirts in lighter shades of blue, as well as green, often work especially well with navy shorts.
Once again, if you’re looking to dress up a little, consider a dressier shirt style such as a polo or an OCBD.
However, if you really feel as though there’s a risk of underdressing, go for a neutral shirt color (such as those in the previous examples) instead.
Navy Shorts With A Red Shirt
Color Scheme: Warm
Navy shorts can be worn with a red shirt when you’re looking for a high-contrast and vibrant combination that catches the eye.
Red is a bold and attention-grabbing color that works especially well during the summer and spring months.
Red works very well with navy and is a good example of a “warm” color being paired with a “cool” color.
While the combination will definitely look more attention-grabbing than the “cool” colored combinations in the previous example, there are ways of keeping things subtle.
The easiest way to do this would be to choose a dark and muted shade of red to wear with the navy shorts.
Maroon and burgundy are common favorites.
If, however, you wanted a more in-your-face shade of red to go with the navy shorts, consider scarlet red.
Navy Shorts With A Pink Shirt
Color Scheme: Warm
A pink shirt can be worn with navy shorts in casual settings. Given how vibrant and warm pink is, the combination does tend to turn heads.
As you can see, it won’t ever be as smart-looking as a neutral-colored shirt but is a good option if you’re looking to make a subtle statement.
Pink will always work well with navy blue. Much like the red shirt, it’s a good example of a warm-colored shirt being paired with a cool-colored pair of pants.
While this idea isn’t specific to pink shirts, you could consider matching your socks to the shirt to really add a nice sense of balance.
For example, a pink pair of socks worn with a pink shirt and navy shorts. All-white minimalist sneakers would always work a treat here as well.
As you can see, navy shorts can be worn with a wide variety of shirt colors including neutral, warm, and cool colors.
Which one you choose will depend on the dress code of the setting you’re attending.
Neutral colors work best when you’re looking to dress up a little, while warm and cool colors can be worn in any setting you can think of.
Either way, navy shorts are neutral enough to give you the benefit of not having to worry about color coordination too much.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.