Navy blue pants are a versatile staple that can be dressed up or down for many occasions. However, choosing the right shirt to pair with navy pants can seem tricky. The key is finding shades, patterns, and fabrics that complement the dark blue hue. With some simple guidelines, you’ll be able to create sophisticated, put-together looks with your navy bottoms.
Quick Tips for Pairing Shirts with Navy Pants
- Stick to crisp, neutral colors like white, light blue, pink, tan, gray, and pale yellow
- Look for subtle patterns like gingham, micro-check, or fine stripes
- Aim for button-down collared shirts, polos, or knit tops rather than graphic tees
- Tuck shirts in for a polished look or leave untucked for casual cool
- Try different fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, or knits for texture
- Layer with sweaters, blazers, or vests for interest
- Accessories like ties, belt, and shoes should coordinate
Best Shirt Colors to Pair with Navy Pants
Certain hues naturally complement the darker navy blue shade. Whether dressing for work or weekend, keep these top shirt color options in mind:
A crisp white button-down shirt is a timeless choice with navy pants. The contrast creates a smart, nautical vibe that works year-round. White knit tops and polos have a more casual feel for off-duty days.
Different shades of blue effortlessly match together. Light blue shirts enhance the navy pants without being too matchy. Try a baby blue Oxford, robin’s egg linen blend, or muted chambray button-down.
From blush to magenta, pink shirts bring a fun pop of color to balance the navy’s cool tone. Whether it’s a solid pink oxford, striped button-down, or faded pink tee, it’s sure to punch up any outfit.
On the monochrome scale, gray shirts complement navy bottoms seamlessly. Go for a heathered cotton crew neck, windowpane dress shirt, or pinstriped button-down in lighter grays.
Tan & Khaki
Earthy tan and khaki shirts work well with navy’s darker hue. Try a khaki utility shirt for casual wear or slim chino pants with a tan polo for retro flair.
A pop of warm yellow helps soften navy’s bold edge. Pastel yellow Oxfords and citron knits make cheerful pairings. For a look with more contrast, opt for mustard or goldenrod shades.
Best Patterned & Printed Shirts with Navy Pants
When worn with navy bottoms, patterned shirts add visual interest and dimension. Stay away from loud tropical prints or neon graphics. Subtle and muted patterns in coordinating color palettes work best for a sophisticated vibe. Here are top picks:
With its classic checked pattern, gingham instantly elevates any outfit. Look for gingham in lighter blues, grays, pinks, tans, or whites to match the navy pants.
Micro Check or Glen Plaid
Mini checkerboard or glen plaid patterns read as textures with navy pants but still supply enough contrast. Choose lighter gray, blue, tan, or brown micro check shirts.
Thin striped shirts pair effortlessly with solids. Opt for fine pinstripes or narrow vertical stripes in light blue, white, pink, gray, or tan.
For a modern edge, pair a navy bottom with an on-trend graphic print shirt. Look for graphic prints in coordinating shades like blue, white, or gray.
Small, subtle polka dots supply fun texture without overwhelming when paired with the darker navy hue. Try a micro dot or fine dot pattern in white, blue, black, or pink.
For casual cool, you can’t go wrong with a plaid shirt and navy pants. But steer clear of loud, multicolor madras patterns. Stick to muted gray, tan, and blue plaids instead.
Best Shirt Fabrics to Pair with Navy Pants
Fabric choice plays an important role in any outfit. With navy bottoms, you’ll want to balance the look with lighterweight, breathable fabrics up top. Here are some top options:
A crisp cotton button-down, Oxford cloth, or poplin are perfect matches. Cotton is cool, breathable, and comes in a range of solid colors and patterns.
Due to its light drape and open weave, linen is ideal for offsetting thicker navy fabric. Try pairing with a linen button-down or blend.
From polos to pullovers, knit tops supply texture contrast and feel more laidback. Go for cotton, modal, or silk knits.
Similar to denim, chambray offers a rugged yet refined look. Opt for a lighter chambray in blue, pink, gray, or white.
Nothing beats silk’s luxurious sheen and drape. Choose a solid silk shirt or faint pattern for a rich vibe.
A flannel button-down shirt exudes peak casual cool paired with navy pants. Go for classic buffalo check or muted tones.
Stretch jersey fabric shirts work for casualwear too. Try heathered jersey polos, tees, and long-sleeve tops.
How to Wear Different Shirt Styles with Navy Pants
Once you’ve got the colors, patterns, and fabrics squared away, consider the shirt’s style. Here’s how to rock different shirt silhouettes:
- A button-down collar dress shirt easily transitions from office to evenings out
- Wear it tucked or untucked, under a sweater, or layer a vest or blazer on top
- Roll up the sleeves for a more casual business-casual look
- A polo shirt has a sportier feel paired with navy pants or shorts
- Works with casual fabrics like pique or jersey cotton
- Makes a great choice for casual Friday, golfing, boating, etc.
- Solid color or graphic tees dress down the navy pants
- White and gray tees work for more casual occasions
- Layer with an open button-down or cardigan for an upgraded look
- A cotton crewneck, v-neck, or cardigan sweater augments navy pants
- Adds warmth and interest for seasonal layering
- Works with solid light sweaters or classic patterns like argyle
How to Wear Navy Pants for Different Occasions
Now that we’ve covered all the shirt options, here’s how to sport the navy pants and shirt pairings for any occasion:
Office & Work Wear
- Light blue button-down dress shirt tucked into navy trousers
- White or pink Oxford shirt under a navy blazer with dress pants
- Gray knit polo with casual navy chinos
- Tan gingham check shirt paired with navy cropped pants
Business Casual Outfits
- Navy trousers with a white open collar dress shirt, untucked
- Khaki and navy striped polo with navy shorts
- Pink Oxford shirt dressed down with the sleeves rolled
- White or blue button-down under a gray merino crewneck sweater
Smart Casual Attire
- Dark wash denim with a white button-down, untucked
- Navy trousers with a gray knit pullover sweater
- Chambray shirt half-tucked into navy cropped chinos
- Muted plaid flannel shirt layered with a navy jacket
Casual Weekend Wear
- Solid white, gray, or blue tee with navy jeans
- Navy shorts with a pink striped knit shirt untucked
- Gray graphic print tee paired with navy joggers
- Chambray utility shirt with navy relaxed straight pants
Date Night Outfits
- Slim navy pants with light pink dress shirt, French tucked
- Navy trousers with a white button-down, black blazer, and brown belt/shoes
- Dark navy jeans with a blue striped dress shirt, sleeves rolled
- Chinos with light blue polo shirt, navy sport coat, and loafers
Navy pants and blue jeans are clearly extremely versatile bottoms that can be dressed up or down seamlessly. Choosing shirts in lighter, neutral hues with subtle patterns and breathable fabrics will perfectly complement the navy hue. The key is opting for shades and tones that relate back to the pants color. With the guidelines above, you’ll be able to effortlessly build stylish head-to-toe outfits for any occasion and look pulled together no matter the dress code.