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How To Wear A White Shirt With Black Trousers

Some clothing items are a staple in any wardrobe, no matter the season. White shirts and black pants are prime examples, but are they guaranteed to work together? More specifically, can you wear a white shirt with black trousers?

A white shirt can easily be worn with black trousers. The combination looks more casual without a tie, with the shirt untucked, and some loafers or even a pair of white sneakers. They can be more formal when paired with a tie, a leather belt, and oxford or derby shoes.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In this post, you’ll learn 6 tips essential to pulling off a white shirt with black trousers every time.

To sum things up, I’ll then go over some of the topics’ frequently asked questions.

Let’s get to it.

6 Tips For Wearing A White Shirt With Black Trousers

Before putting your outfit together, consider all of the following tips. The combination of a white shirt and black trousers is timeless and very versatile. Having said this, it can still go wrong just as easily as it can go right.

Check the Occasion

The color combination of a white shirt with black trousers can be appropriate for various occasions ranging from casual outings to formal, business settings like interviews or meetings.

white shirt black pants and black tie
Image From Deposit Photos

Knowing the type of occasion you’re attending will help you style the combo appropriately so you can fit right in.

Choose the Right Fabric

The first step in styling a white shirt with black trousers is figuring out what type of fabric works best for the occasion.

Typically, the fabric is more casual if the white shirt or the black trousers look less shiny, less wrinkle-resistant, and more rugged. 

On the other hand, the fabric is more formal if the white shirt or the black trousers appear shinier, smoother, and more wrinkle-resistant.

white shirt and black trousers
A formal white dress shirt with French cuffs
Image From Deposit Photos

For example, black jeans or denim trousers look more casual than wool gabardine or whipcord black trousers.

A casual-looking white shirt and black jeans combo
Image From Deposit Photos

Insert Image – white shirt black jeans and brown shoes (deposit photos)

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Also, a white oxford or linen shirt would look more casual than a 100% cotton or white rayon shirt.

Tucked Vs Untucked

Tucking your white shirt into your black trousers may seem like a simple action, but it can completely transform the style and vibe of the outfit.

If you’re headed to a “traditional” formal event, a tucked-in white shirt and black trousers will make you look more presentable and sophisticated.

Similarly, at a business-type event, such as a meeting or an interview, you should always tuck your white shirt into your black trousers for a more professional appearance.

Alternatively, if you’re aiming for a casual look, untucking your white shirt with black trousers will make you seem more laid-back and approachable.

casual white shirt and black pants
Image From Deposit Photos

For evening social events, consider the formality of the occasion.

Untucked white shirt and black trousers combinations are great for dance parties or clubs, especially with slim-fitted bottoms and white sneakers.

The tucked white shirt and black trousers combination is excellent for galas and dinners, especially with a matching leather belt and shoes.

Buttoning and Ties

When it comes to a white shirt with black pants combination, buttoning up the shirt and the sleeves will instantly make the outfit more formal and professional.

If you button the shirt and roll up your sleeves, you’ll look stylishly serious but at ease.

If you roll up the sleeves and unbutton a couple of buttons on the shirt, your outfit will look casual.

If you want to introduce a tie to your outfit, you should do so if the setting is formal. For a white shirt with black trousers, your tie must be black to avoid color-clashing. 

Consider the Belt Color

Wearing a belt with your white shirt and black trousers is optional. However, it can be a fantastic way to add an extra touch of formality and professionalism to your apparel.

A black leather belt is an easy, guaranteed-to-look-good match.

You can wear a brown belt, but your shoes must also be brown for a more cohesive and stylish appearance.

Pick the Right Shoes

Your choice of shoes to wear with a white shirt and black trousers can make or break the entire outfit.

There are multiple factors to keep in mind here, but the main aspects that affect shoe options for this combination are the formality of the outfit and the color matching.

If you’re heading to a “traditional” formal setting or a business-formal setting, Oxford shoes or derby shoes will make you look more sophisticated and professional. 

black oxford shoes (deposit photos)
It’s hard to get more formal than black Oxfords

Image From Deposit Photos

Blucher shoes, Chelsea boots, and monk shoes can also look formal.

Black leather Chelsea boots

Image From Deposit Photos

If you’re aiming for a more casual look, loafers, wingtip shoes, and boat shoes can make you appear more laid-back. 

black horsebit loafers alone (shutterstock)-min
Bit loafers

Image From Shutterstock

As for shoe color, you have 3 options: black, white, and brown.

Black is your wild card. It’s guaranteed to never clash with a white shirt and black trousers, and it can work in both casual and formal settings.

White should be reserved for casual events and outings, as well as casual styles of shoes like sneakers.

Brown looks excellent at formal and semi-formal events, but you must pair it with a matching belt.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions to help round things up on the white shirt and black trousers combination.

Can You Wear A White Shirt, Black Trousers, And Brown Shoes?

Generally, black shoes look best when wearing a white shirt with black trousers. Brown shoes can work with this combination, but they require pairing with a matching brown belt to avoid producing too much contrast.

The contrast between the shirt and the trousers is already high, and adding more colors can be very risky. Other than black and white, brown is the only color of shoes that can be considered.

Can You Wear A White Shirt And Black Trousers To An Interview?

You can wear a white shirt and black trousers to an interview. This combination is considered one of the most appropriate outfits for a business-professional setting.

If you decide to wear a white shirt and black trousers to an interview, pair them with oxford shoes or derby shoes. Consider wearing a black tie for a more professional, conservative look.

Can You Wear A White Shirt With Black Trousers And A Gray Blazer?

A gray blazer is a trendy choice for wearing over a white shirt and black trousers. Darker shades of gray look more formal and sophisticated, while lighter gray shades give a more casual and laid-back vibe.

If you decide to wear a white shirt with black trousers and a grey blazer, make sure the shoes and the rest of the accessories (tie, belt, pocket square, and so on) are black.

This will prevent too much color contrast and result in a seamless look.

Conclusion

There you have it.

A white shirt with black trousers is a foolproof combination. Considering the formality, the fabric, the colors, and the accessories will help you wear it in every setting.

Enjoy.