When putting together an outfit, it’s important to coordinate the colors and styles of each piece. The color of your shirt is one of the most visible parts of an outfit, so choosing the right shade to complement your pants and shoes is key. Khaki pants and black shoes are versatile items that can work with many different shirt colors. Focusing on the right shirt color for the occasion can pull your whole look together.
Consider Contrast and Complementary Colors
One approach when picking a shirt color is to use contrast – pairing opposite shades on the color wheel. For example, khaki is a warm, earthy tone in the yellow/brown family. A cool-toned color like purple, blue, or pink can stand out against the khakis for visual interest. On the other hand, complementary colors (those next to each other on the wheel) can also work nicely, such as khaki with shades of green, orange, red or burgundy.
Neutral khaki pants also give you flexibility to choose more vibrant hues if you want to make a bold statement. Pale yellow, salmon, mint green or sky blue shirts can all provide a nice pop of color. Just be sure to balance bright shades with the neutral pants and shoes so the overall effect isn’t too loud.
Stick With Neutral Tones
Another route is coordinating your shirt with the neutral khaki pants by selecting other earthy, muted tones. Light grey, tan, cream and pale olive green are great options for a subtle, polished look. Pastels like lavender, buttercream or blush can also work nicely with khakis for a more spring or summer vibe.
An off-white or heathered oatmeal shirt is another smart choice that will blend with khakis effortlessly. White has a crisp, classic appearance that pairs well with the camel hue of most khakis. Just be wary of white looking too harsh or flashy against light khakis. Oatmeal or heathered shirts diffuse the white for a softer look.
Consider Your Skin Tone
When finding the most flattering shirt color, consider your skin’s undertones. Those with warm undertones (golden, peachy, yellow) will look great in warm earth tones, citrus colors and fire engine red. People with cool undertones (pink, rose, bluish) shine in pastels, jewel tones, magenta and blue-based reds. Olive skin benefits from greens, teals, purples, eggplant and forest shades.
The right shirt color can enhance your complexion, while the wrong hue can make you look dull or sickly. Hold fabrics near your face to test colors before committing to a shirt. Your eye color can also be a factor – hazel and green eyes tend to look great with jewel tones and earthy hues, while blue and gray eyes shine with pinks, corals and purples.
Match the Setting
Consider the occasion when picking a shirt color for khakis and black shoes. For a casual daytime look, go for button-down shirts or polos in light, neutral shades like pale blue, heathered grey or white – these are easy to dress up or down as needed. Bolder reds, oranges and brights work for festive summer barbecues and parties.
Deeper, darker hues like maroon, forest green, navy and burgundy make sense for formal events and cooler weather. Aim for dress shirts in these colors for a sophisticated vibe. Just ensure your blacks don’t blend together too much. Patterns like subtle checks, stripes and plaids can also add visual interest in formal settings.
Shade Combinations to Try
Here are some recommended shirt color options to pair with khaki pants and black shoes for different situations:
|Casual daytime||Light blue, heathered grey, white, pale yellow, mint green|
|Summer parties||Coral, salmon, turquoise, lilac, lime green|
|Work/business||Navy, light pink, lavender, brown, beige|
|Formal events||Burgundy, forest green, royal purple, eggplant, teal|
|Cool weather||Olive, mustard, rust, burnt orange, maroon|
Guidelines for Specific Shirt Styles
The cut and style of the shirt also influence what hues work best:
Button-down shirts: Pastels, earth tones, subtle patterns like gingham or microchecks
Polo shirts: Solid brights, greens, blues, white, heathered grey
Oxford shirts: Light blue, sky blue, pink, mint, lavender
Casual T-shirts: Black, grey, navy, olive, burnt orange
Dress shirts: White, light blue, lilac, peach, mint
Sweaters: Burgundy, tan, forest green, cobalt blue, mustard
Henley shirts: Heathered grey, navy, olive green, rust
General Tips for Complementary Colors
No matter what shirt style you select, keep these tips in mind:
– Monochromatic looks can drain color from the face, so add contrast.
– Pair warm shirts with warm pants and cool shirts with cool pants. Mixing undertones can look mismatched.
– Limit patterns – solids and subtle prints are best for polished looks.
– Avoid matching shirt and pant colors exactly unless you’re doing a full suit.
– Pick colors that flatter your skin tone and eye color for a put together vibe.
– Darker shirts tend to be more formal, while light colors are casual.
– Bolder colors and prints draw attention – reserve them for accent pieces versus all over.
Khaki pants offer versatility in coordinating colors, so take advantage by choosing shirt hues that work for the situation. Contrasting or complementing the khaki tone with your shirt color allows you to build stylish, thoughtful outfits. Consider undertones, patterns, occasion and your features when selecting shades. With so many options, you can always find a shirt color that complements your pants and shoes perfectly. Trust your instincts – if you feel confident and put together in a color, it’s likely the right choice for you.