Blue shirts are a versatile staple that every man should have in his wardrobe. They can be dressed up or down and paired with various pants, shoes, and accessories for many different looks. Here are some tips on how to wear a blue shirt for any occasion.
For casual daytime activities, a blue shirt pairs well with jeans, chinos, or casual pants in khaki, gray, tan or olive colors. Opt for straight leg or relaxed fits rather than skinny cuts, which will look too formal. White, blue and gray sneakers or casual leather shoes complete a casual look. Accessorize with a simple watch and sunglasses. For a rugged vibe, try cuffing the sleeves and leaving the shirt untucked. Blue chambray shirts with white jeans or khakis create a relaxed weekend look. For cooler weather, add a casual jacket like a jean, corduroy or bomber jacket over the top.
Smart Casual Outfits
Blue shirts can also be worn in smart casual office settings or events. Pair them with well-fitting chinos in navy, tan, gray or olive. Tuck the shirt in and add a coordinating belt and leather loafers or boots. In cooler weather, try layering with a knit sweater, cardigan or blazer. Accessories like a watch, tie or pocket square make the look more polished. Stay away from t-shirts or heavily distressed denim when trying to look smart casual. Roll up the sleeves and unbutton the collar for a more relaxed smart casual style.
Business Professional Looks
Solid or subtly patterned blue dress shirts are ideal for professional settings. Tuck the shirt into tailored slacks or suit pants in colors like black, gray or navy. Complete the look with leather dress shoes and belts, and a blazer or suit jacket if appropriate. Understated ties, cufflinks, dressy watches and briefcases add professional flair. Make sure the shirt fits properly and keep the collar inside the lapels of your blazer. For a power business meeting or event, pairing a blue shirt with a navy or gray suit is always a safe, stylish choice.
Blue dress shirts work well for formal daytime weddings, events and special occasions. Opt for a brighter royal blue tone and pair with formal charcoal or navy suits, dress pants and shined leather shoes. White, silver or blue ties and pocket squares coordinate nicely. French cuff shirts with cufflinks are appropriate for very formal events. Just make sure to stay away from dark black suits, which can look too somber when paired with blue. Add a white folded pocket square to brighten it up.
Matching Blue Ties and Pocket Squares
Wearing a tie that matches your blue shirt is a simple way to look coordinated and polished. Go for solid blue neckties or those with subtle patterns like dots, stripes or checks that pick up the shirt color. Alternatively, choose ties in coordinating colors like silver, gray, purple or yellow. Match the tie with a folded pocket square in the same or complimenting color and material. Just don’t match your shirt and tie too exactly or it can come across as tacky and prom-like.
Layering with Sweaters and Vests
Crew neck and v-neck sweaters layered over a blue shirt add warmth while keeping a smart look. Choose sweaters in navy, gray, tan or white that complement the shirt. Cable knit and cotton sweaters pair well for a casual vibe, while cashmere is more luxe. Similarly, a knit cotton or merino wool vest over a blue shirt gives off refined style. Layer on cardigans and blazers over the sweater or vest when extra warmth is needed.
Certain colors inherently pair well with different shades of blue shirts. Lighter powder blue shirts look great with tan, brown, pink, salmon, light gray, olive and khaki. Royal blue pops nicely against black, gray, navy and charcoal. Medium blue shirts complement whites, tans, pinks, reds and yellows. Don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing different color shirts, ties, sweaters and jackets for unique looks.
Best Shoe Colors
Brown leather shoes are a classic pairing with blue shirts in any shade. Tan, chestnut and cognac brown leather brings out the warmth in the blue tones. For a more modern look, match a blue shirt with white or blue sneakers. Gray and black shoes also work for more formal outfits. Metallic shoes like silver, gold or bronze add flair against blue. Just avoid combining loud neon sneakers with a blue dress shirt.
Watch and Accessory Combinations
The versatility of blue shirts allows you to accessorize with all different metals and colors. Stainless steel, silver and leather watches look sleek with blue. Black and brown leather straps also complement blue. For a pop of color, try a watch with a navy blue, red or orange strap. Cufflinks in silver, gunmetal and mother of pearl work well with formal blue shirts. Regarding jewelry, opt for silver, stainless steel or gunmetal tones over gold. And blue neckties, pocket squares and socks help pull the whole outfit together.
Collar + Sleeve Styles
The most versatile blue shirt styles have point or spread collars and regular or button cuffs. This traditional style works across all the outfits described above. For business and formal wear, always opt for a full button-down dress shirt. Casual button-down collared shirts pair well with jeans and chinos. Rolled up sleeves give off a more relaxed vibe. Polo shirts with a blue collar provide a great smart casual look. And don’t overlook blue denim shirts for off-duty cool style.
Shirt Fits and Styles
The right blue shirt fit makes all the difference. Billowy or boxy fits read sloppy, while shirt that are too tight look unprofessional. Aim for a tailored but comfortable fit through the shoulders, chest and sleeves. Make sure there are no pulling buttons around your torso. For untucked casual shirts, look for straight hems that hit halfway down your zipper. Dress shirts should have shirttails long enough to stay tucked. Regular cut shirts work on most body types, while slim cuts flatter slender guys. Stock up on solids along with ginghams, chambrays and subtle stripes and checks for variety.
With the right pairings, a quality blue shirt can be the foundation for countless stylish looks. Dress it up with slacks and blazers or dress it down with jeans and sneakers. Use accessories like nice watches, leather shoes and coordinating ties to pull together a polished look. Experiment with combining different shades of blue shirts with complementary colors. And pay attention to fit. With versatile blue shirts in your closet, you’ll always have a stylish outfit option for any occasion.