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How To Wear A White Shirt With Light Blue Jeans

March 1, 2023
How To Wear A White Shirt With Light Blue Jeans

It’s hard to find a casual combination as versatile as this one. But there are definitely ways of making this simple pairing stand out from the crowd. So, how exactly should you wear a white shirt with light blue jeans? 

In smart-casual settings, wear a casual white button-up (eg. an OCBD or linen shirt) with a pair of slim, tapered, non-distressed light blue jeans. In more casual environments, you could consider white T-shirts, polos, and Henleys, as well as wide-leg, skinny, or distressed pairs of light blue jeans. 

That little slice of information should serve you well, but there’s plenty more to it. 

After going through some great outfit examples you can try out for yourself, we’ll run through some essential tips for perfecting the combo no matter what you’re dressing for. 

Let’s get to it. 

white button up and light blue jeans
Image From Deposit Photos

3 White Shirt And Light Blue Jeans Outfit Examples

We’ll go from a “dressy” way of wearing it to a couple of ways that are more casual. 

I put “dressy” in inverted commas because no matter how dressy you get with a white shirt and light blue jeans combo, it’ll never be anything more than casual. 

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t less casual ways and more casual ways of wearing it. 


White casual shirt with medium blue jeans, blue blazer and brown chukka boots
Images From Deposit Photos

Items: White Casual Button-Up Shirt, Light Blue Jeans, Casual Navy Blazer, Suede Chukka Boots 

Here, we’ve gone for a white button-up shirt. It’s hard to deny that it’s the dressiest option here. 

However, put some thought into the style of the white shirt you choose. White dress shirts will come across as too formal to wear with the ultra-casual pair of light blue jeans. 

More rough and rugged shirt fabrics/weaves such as the chambray in the image would work so much better. 

In addition, when dressing your white shirt and light blue jeans combination up, choose a pair of slim, tapered light blue jeans with little to no distressing. 

The casual, unstructured navy blazer is a great layering option because it’s dressy enough to up the sophistication level while not being too formal to wear with a pair of light blue jeans. 

Plus, it forms a nice monochromatic combination with the jeans. 

Finally, the suede chukka boots aren’t exactly formal – but that’s the point. They’re dressy enough. 

A pair of dark brown calf Derby shoes would look OK, but would probably look too “professional” to wear with light blue jeans. 

The napped texture of suede shoes and boots, on the other hand, would work a lot better with the rugged texture of jeans. 

 jeans smart casual
Image From Deposit Photos

More Casual

White casual shirt with denim jacket, light blue jeans and leather penny loafers
Images From Deposit Photos

Items: White Casual Button-Up Shirt, Dark Blue Denim Jacket, Light Blue Jeans, Brown Penny Loafers 

Here, we’ve gone for the same white button-up, but we’re combining it with more casual items. 

Instead of the navy blazer, we’ve gone for a dark blue denim jacket. 

The “Canadian tuxedo” or (denim-on-denim combo) works best when the jacket and the jeans are very different colors or shades. 

It’s why we’ve gone for a dark blue denim jacket here instead of a light blue one. 

So, going for a white button-up is definitely a dressy option, but we’re dressing it down with the outer layer. 

Alternatives would include chore coats, trucker jackets, suede jackets, leather jackets, gilets, shackets, and so on. 

Most Casual

White tshirt with grey cardigan, light blue jeans and white sneakers
Images From Deposit Photos

Items: White T-Shirt, Grey Shawl Collar Cardigan, Light Blue Jeans, All-White Sneakers 

Yes, this is still technically a “white shirt with light blue jeans” combination. 

The reason why it immediately comes across as a whole lot more casual than the previous two examples is that we’ve gone for a white tee instead of a button-up. 

A white T-shirt and light blue jeans combo might seem basic to some. If so, consider a white polo or Henley instead. 

Alternatively, consider a white T-shirt with a more interesting silhouette. Oversized white tees can look great when you’re going for more of a streetwear aesthetic. 

But a simple way to make any white T-shirt and light blue jeans combination more interesting is by layering. 

Here, we’ve gone for a sharp shawl collar cardigan in grey. It’s neutral, sleek, and perfect during the colder months of the year. 

If you’d prefer something lighter and more casual, consider an overshirt, a shacket, or a chore coat. 

Flannel shirts can look great as outer layers. They usually come in colorful tartan or plaid patterns and can add some visual excitement to even the most basic light blue jeans and white T-shirt combination. 

5 Tips For Wearing A White Shirt With Light Blue Jeans

Here are some tips for elevating this combination and taking it several steps further than most others would.

blue jeans brown shoes and white shirt
Image From Deposit Photos

Make Sure It’s Appropriate For The Setting 

The first step is making sure it’s actually appropriate for the event or setting you’re attending. 

Ultimately, even the dressiest white button-up shirt would look out of place if you wear it with light blue jeans to the wrong setting. 

Avoid the white shirt and light blue jeans combination in any setting other than truly casual. 

Yes, I’d include the smart-casual dress code in the list of dress codes where you shouldn’t wear it. 

While a white button-up shirt and a pair of dark blue or black jeans would usually be OK in most laid-back smart-casual settings, light blue jeans usually wouldn’t cut it. 

It’s hard to deny just how casual a pair of light blue jeans really is. 

While this is (sort of) oversimplifying things, consider a pair of light blue jeans to be of a similar formality level to cargo pants. 

Thinking of it like that should help you decide whether or not light blue jeans would be appropriate to wear to the specific setting you’re going to. 

Consider The Contrast Between The Shirt And Jeans

“Light blue” can actually mean a bunch of different colors, depending on who you ask. 

Technically, “light blue” refers to a huge range of possible shades of blue; some lighter and others darker. 

In fact, what one person may call “light blue”, another might call “medium blue”. 

medium blue jeans
Image From Deposit Photos

The reason why this matters is that the darker the shade of your “light blue” jeans, the more contrast you’ll achieve between the white shirt and the jeans. 

The higher the level of contrast, the more eye-catching the combination will generally come across. 

A white shirt worn with very light blue jeans will look more subtle than a white shirt worn with “light blue jeans” on the darker end of that spectrum, for example. 

Both options will work. It really just depends on your personal preferences. 

Would you prefer a more subtle, low-contrast combination or a more eye-catching high-contrast one? 

Casual White Shirt Styles Only 

When wearing light blue jeans, stick to casual white shirt styles such as casual button-ups, Henley shirts, polos, and T-shirts. 

Avoid white dress shirts when wearing light blue jeans – they’ll almost always come across as too formal for it to work. 

White dress shirts will have typical dress shirt features such as a stiff collar, a long, rounded hem, and often a smooth, wrinkle-resistant texture. 

Casual button-ups, on the other hand, usually have typically casual features. They’ll usually have relaxed collars and a shorter hem. 

Hems that won’t look awkward when the shirt is worn untucked. 

In addition, these casual white button-ups will usually be made from a more rugged or wrinkly fabric/weave. 

Oxford cloth (OCBDs), linen shirts, and chambray shirts are popular options. 

Of course, when you’re really dressing down, don’t feel the need to wear a button-up at all. 

white polo shirt
Consider a white polo with light blue jeans in more casual settings

Image From Deposit Photos

Choose The Right Shoe Color For The Setting 

When wearing a white shirt with light blue jeans, suede brown shoes often look great, as do white leather low-top sneakers. Black shoes tend to look too formal to wear with this undeniably casual combination. 

If you did want to wear brown shoes made from a shinier grain of leather than suede or nubuck, consider going for a lighter shade of brown to make it work. 

Dark brown dress shoes can look OK with light blue jeans, but they’re borderline too formal or professional for the look to make sense. 

Tan or walnut brown shoes, on the other hand, would work quite well. They also add some warmth and contrast to the outfit as well. 

light brown cap toe oxford shoes
Image From Deposit Photos

When you’re really dressing down, however, a minimalist pair of all-white leather low-top dress sneakers can look great with this combination. 

Subtle, simple, and hard to go wrong with. 

During the warmer months of the year, consider cuffing the jeans once or twice, popping on a pair of no-show socks, and going for a more cropped, ankle-exposing look. 

Skinny And Ripped Light Blue Jeans Will Look More Casual

White shirts can look great with skinny, ripped, and distressed pairs of light blue jeans. However, the combination will always look more casual than going for a pair of non-distressed, slim, and tapered pair of light blue jeans. 

In general, more eye-catching cuts and fits such as bootcuts, wide-leg, and skinny jeans will look more casual than more subtle slim fits. 

In addition, “vintage” features such as rips, frays, stone washing, and acid washing will also make light blue jeans look more casual. 

So, when wearing a relatively dressy white button-up shirt (eg. an OCBD), consider going for a slim, tapered, non-distressed pair of light blue jeans. 

The two items will usually sync up better than wearing a dressy(ish) white button-up with a pair of skinny/wide-leg distressed light blue jeans.