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Can you wear green on brown?

Can you wear green on brown?

Whether you can wear green on brown is a common fashion dilemma that many people face. The two colors are often considered clashing, which leads to the assumption that they don’t pair well together in an outfit. However, the notion that you can’t mix green and brown is actually a myth – with the right shades and the right styling, green and brown can look quite sophisticated and stylish together. Here’s an in-depth look at how to successfully wear green on brown.

Evaluating the Shades of Green and Brown

The first step to successfully wearing green on brown is choosing the right shades of each color. Not every hue of green and brown will complement each other. Here are some key considerations:

-Aim for muted, dusty and olive greens rather than bright kelly greens when pairing with brown. Soft muted greens are more analogous to the earthy tone of brown and won’t look harsh.

-Choose a brown with yellow or red undertones rather than a cool taupe brown. Green and brown work best when the brown shade has some warmth to it.

-Dark greens like forest green, olive green and emerald green pair best with mid-tone browns like beige, caramel and cocoa. Lighter browns can overwhelm lighter greens.

-Jade green, mint green and sage green complement lighter browns like tan and camel. The lighter green brightens up the brown.

-Greens with blue undertones clash with brown. Stick to greens with yellow undertones.

Outfit Ideas for Wearing Green on Brown

Once you’ve picked complementary shades of green and brown, the key is styling them in a way that flatters both colors. Here are some chic outfit ideas:

Olive Green Sweater with Khaki Trousers

An olive green sweater paired with khaki trousers or chinos is an effortless way to mix green and brown. The muted olive green sweater provides subtle color without being overpowering, and the khaki bottoms ground the look in a natural, earthy tone. This combination works well for casual office looks.

Emerald Green Dress with Brown Leather Belt

Make a bold statement by pairing an emerald green dress with a wide brown leather belt. The rich green dress makes the outfit pop while the brown belt cinches the waist and adds a luxurious accent. Leather shoes would complement this look nicely. It’s ideal for cocktails or date night.

Mint Green Blouse with Cognac Skirt

For a soft feminine vibe, pair a mint green blouse with a caramel or cognac brown midi skirt. The pastel green blouse has retro appeal against the rustic skirt. Finish it off with neutral heels or booties. This mint and brown pairing works for both work and weekend.

Hunter Green Coat with Tan Purse

A sleek hunter green overcoat layered over a neutral outfit always looks elegant and sophisticated. Carry a tan leather purse as an accessory to tie in an earthy brown tone. The rich green and tan brown contrast beautifully for a luxurious winter look.

Tips for Styling Green with Brown

Here are some top tips to keep in mind when styling green with brown:

-Anchor your green and brown outfit with neutrals like black, white, gray or denim. The neutrals will balance the color combination.

-Layer green and brown thoughtfully. Wear brown on bottom paired with green on top or vice versa. An all green and brown outfit can be overwhelming.

-Add metallic shoes or jewelry in bronze, gold or copper to complement the earthiness of green and brown.

-Don’t over-accessorize. Pick statement jewelry pieces in neutral metals or tortoiseshell to let the colors speak for themselves.

-Use textures to add interest but avoid loud patterns. Stick to simple stripes or solids to keep the focus on the colors.

How to Avoid Clashing

The colors can start to clash if you choose the wrong shades or overwhelm your look with too much green and brown. Use these tips to avoid a clashing effect:

-Avoid pairing a very light green with a very dark brown. The contrast is too harsh.

-Don’t wear bright kelly greens with brown. The intensity of the shade will fight with the brown.

-Skip mixing forest green with light tans or beiges. The colors will compete with each other.

-Don’t overdo the green and brown by wearing them head-to-toe. Add in neutrals like white or black to break it up.

-Don’t combine blue-toned greens with warm browns. The undertones don’t match.

-Avoid loud green and brown prints together. Solid colors or simple stripes work better.


Green and brown can work beautifully together in an outfit when you follow some basic guidelines. Choose shades of green and brown that have analogous undertones and pair a deeper green with a lighter brown or vice versa. Style the colors with plenty of neutrals and avoid overpowering prints or loud colors. Add the right accessories like bronze jewelry or leather shoes to tie the green and brown together. With the right styling, you can definitely wear green on brown in a sophisticated, earthy way. The key is finding the particular shades and balances that complement each other.