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What colors match tan?

What colors match tan?

Tan is a versatile neutral color that can work with a wide range of colors. When selecting colors to pair with tan, consider the undertones of the particular shade of tan. Warm, golden tans look great with other warm neutrals like brown, cream, khaki, and peach. Cool, greyish tans complement other cool neutrals like grey, blue, and pastel shades. Read on for more tips on combining colors with different shades of tan.

Quick Answer

The best colors to match with tan are other neutrals like cream, grey, khaki, brown, black, and white. Earth tones like olive green, peach, and terracotta also pair well with tan. For a cool tan, add pastels like powder blue, mauve, or pale yellow. For a warm tan, go for deeper shades like burnt orange, army green, or coral.

Complementary Colors for Tan

Colors opposite tan on the color wheel are known as complementary colors. These create high-contrast, striking color combinations. The main complementary colors for tan are shades of purple, violet and lilac. Pale purple is pretty with lighter tans, while darker plums and eggplants complement deeper, brownish tans. Blue-purples like periwinkle also make bold tan color schemes.

Monochromatic Tan Color Palettes

Sticking to a single color family is a foolproof way to match tan. Monochrome tan outfits feature different shades, tones and textures of tan. Pair a tan shirt with tan pants or skirt in a lighter and darker shade. Add tan accessories like belts, shoes and bags. This creates a harmonious, tonal look. Khaki, beige, sand, caramel and brown are tan’s closest color cousins.

Neutrals That Go With Tan

Other neutral colors are easy, versatile tan matches. Black and white almost always look great with tan for high contrast. Soft creams, greys and browns are tan’s subtler counterparts. Khaki is the most popular neutral paired with tan, featuring greenish-brown undertones. Olive green and army green also complement tan nicely. For a retro 70’s vibe, mix tan with burnt orange.

Pastels and Earth Tones

Softer hues like pastels and earth tones blend seamlessly with tan. Pale blue, mauve, mint green, peach and yellow bring out tan’s softness. Earthy terracotta, mustard, sage green, brick red and coral align with tan’s natural look. These colors work for casual, relaxed tan outfits and accessories. Avoid matching bright neons and other saturated colors with tan.

Best and Worst Colors to Wear With Tan

Here’s a quick checklist of the best and worst color matches for tan:

Best Colors for Tan

  • White
  • Black
  • Grey
  • Cream
  • Brown
  • Khaki
  • Olive green
  • Purple
  • Pink
  • Peach
  • Yellow
  • Blue

Worst Colors for Tan

  • Neon colors
  • Bright red
  • Orange
  • Lime green
  • Royal blue

In general, colors close to tan on the color wheel are good matches. Complementary colors also work well. Avoid colors like red, orange and lime green that clash with tan’s neutrality. Consider the tan’s warmth and depth too when selecting coordinating colors.

Matching Different Shades of Tan

The particular shade and undertone of tan makes a difference in which colors coordinate best. Here’s how to match up colors with common tan varieties:

Light Tan

Pair pale, sand-colored tans with other light neutrals like cream, grey and taupe. Soft pink, lavender, mint and baby blue also create calm, airy combinations. White looks crisp and summery.

Medium Tan

The most versatile shade, medium tans work with nearly any neutral, pastel or earth tone. Charcoal grey, olive green, sky blue and salmon pink are especially attractive. Keep accessories and highlights crisp in white.

Dark Tan

Deep, brownish tans aligned with richer, darker colors. Black, espresso brown, plum, navy and forest green make sleek combinations. Burnt orange and brick red add warmth. Keep it minimalist with little pattern or texture.

Warm Tan

Golden brown tans with yellowish undertones match well with other warm neutrals. Pair with khaki, tan, cream, peach, coral and terracotta. Add pops of yellow, burnt orange or red for brightness.

Cool Tan

Greyish-brown tans work best with other cool neutrals like white, grey, khaki and light blue. Soft purples, pinks and minty greens add flair. Avoid warm yellows, oranges or reds.

Tan Color Palettes for Fashion

Use these fashion-inspired color schemes for tan outfits and accessories:

Earth Tones – Rich browns, greens and terra cotta

Monochrome – Different shades of tan

Neutral – Tan, white, black, grey, cream

Business Casual – Tan, navy, light blue, grey

Feminine – Tan, pink, lavender, peach

Edgy – Tan, black, burgundy, army green

Vintage – Tan, mustard, burnt orange, rust red

Boho – Tan, olive green, brick red, coral

Home Decor Color Schemes with Tan

Use tan as a base and add coordinating accent colors through decor and textiles:

Coastal – Tan, sea blue, white, driftwood brown

Rustic – Tan, red barn wood, cream, green

Modern Farmhouse – Tan, black, white, grey

Desert – Tan, terracotta, turquoise, coral

Industrial – Tan, black, grey, burnt orange

Eclectic – Tan, jewel tones like emerald and sapphire

Minimalist – Tan, white, light wood, grey


Tan is endlessly versatile, looking fantastic with any neutral shade. Cooler tan varieties work with crisp white, dove grey, navy and pale pink. Warmer tans match well with cream, khaki, olive and peach. Avoid bright, saturated colors that clash. Focus on muted tones and earthy hues to complement tan’s natural elegance in your wardrobe and home decor.

Tan Shade Best Matching Colors
Light Tan Cream, grey, taupe, mint, lavender
Medium Tan Olive, charcoal, sky blue, peach
Dark Tan Black, espresso, plum, navy, forest green
Warm Tan Khaki, peach, terracotta, burnt orange
Cool Tan White, light blue, mauve, pale pink