What Pants to Wear with Denim Shirt: The Ultimate Guide for Effortless Style in 2023

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what pants to wear with denim shirt

1. The Best Pants to Pair with a Denim Shirt for a Casual Look

Choosing the Right Style

When it comes to pairing pants with a denim shirt for a casual look, there are several styles that work well together. One popular option is to go for a relaxed and comfortable vibe by opting for a pair of straight leg jeans. These jeans have a classic fit that complements the laid-back nature of a denim shirt. You can choose from various washes, such as light or dark, depending on your personal style preference.

If you’re looking for something slightly more elevated, you can also consider wearing chinos with your denim shirt. Chinos offer a more refined and polished look while still maintaining the casual feel. Opt for neutral colors like beige, navy, or olive green to create a versatile outfit that can be dressed up or down.

Adding Some Variety

If you want to add some variety to your denim shirt and pants combination, consider incorporating other styles of bottoms into your look. For instance, you can try pairing your denim shirt with corduroy pants for a textured and retro-inspired ensemble. Corduroy adds an interesting element to the outfit and works well in both neutral tones and bold colors like burgundy or mustard yellow.

Another option is to go for jogger pants, which offer comfort and style in one package. Joggers typically feature an elastic waistband and tapered legs, creating a relaxed yet trendy silhouette. Choose joggers in materials like cotton or linen for breathability during warmer months or opt for fleece-lined options in colder weather.

2. Colors and Patterns that Go Well with a Denim Shirt: Choosing the Right Pants

Matching Colors

When it comes to choosing the right pants to pair with a denim shirt, considering color coordination is essential. Denim shirts are versatile and can be paired with various colors, but some combinations work particularly well. For a classic look, opt for neutral-colored pants like black, gray, or khaki. These colors create a timeless and effortless outfit that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

If you’re feeling bold and want to experiment with colors, consider pairing your denim shirt with colored pants. Earth tones like olive green or burnt orange can add depth and visual interest to your outfit. Additionally, pastel shades like light blue or blush pink can create a softer and more feminine look when paired with a denim shirt.

Incorporating Patterns

Adding patterns to your pants can also elevate your denim shirt ensemble. Consider wearing plaid or checkered pants for a trendy and eye-catching look. These patterns work well with denim shirts as they create a stylish contrast while still maintaining a casual vibe.

Another option is to incorporate prints like floral or animal print into your pants choice. These bold patterns can add personality and make a statement when paired with a simple denim shirt. Just ensure that the colors in the print complement the shade of your denim shirt to maintain cohesiveness in your overall outfit.

3. Jeans or Trousers? Deciding on the Perfect Bottoms for Your Denim Shirt

Choosing Between Jeans and Trousers

When it comes to deciding between jeans and trousers to pair with your denim shirt, it ultimately depends on the look you want to achieve. Jeans offer a more casual and relaxed vibe, perfect for everyday wear or a laid-back weekend outfit. On the other hand, trousers can elevate your denim shirt ensemble, adding a touch of sophistication and versatility. Consider the occasion and your personal style when making this decision.

Jeans: A Classic Choice

If you’re aiming for a timeless and effortlessly cool look, jeans are the way to go. Opt for a pair of straight-leg or slim-fit jeans in a medium wash to create a balanced outfit. The key is to ensure that the denim shade of your jeans complements the color of your denim shirt without being too matchy-matchy.

Trousers: Elevating Your Denim Shirt Look

For a more polished appearance, trousers are an excellent choice. Choose tailored trousers in neutral colors like black, navy, or gray to create a sophisticated contrast with your denim shirt. Wide-leg trousers can add an element of drama and fashion-forwardness to your outfit, while straight-leg trousers provide a sleek and streamlined silhouette.

Consider experimenting with both jeans and trousers to see which option best suits your personal style and desired aesthetic.

4. Styles of Pants that Complement a Denim Shirt: Straight Leg or Wide Leg?

Straight Leg Pants: Versatile and Timeless

Straight leg pants are a classic choice that pairs well with a denim shirt. They offer versatility as they can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Whether you opt for cropped straight leg pants or full-length ones, they create a clean and tailored look that complements the casual nature of a denim shirt. Pair them with ankle boots or sneakers for a chic and effortless outfit.

Wide Leg Pants: Adding Drama and Flair

If you’re looking to make a fashion statement, wide leg pants are the way to go. They add drama and flair to your denim shirt ensemble, creating a bold and trendy look. Opt for high-waisted wide leg pants in fabrics like linen or cotton for a relaxed yet stylish vibe. Pair them with heeled sandals or platform shoes to elongate your legs and complete the fashionable outfit.

Consider your body type and personal style when choosing between straight leg pants and wide leg pants. Both options can be flattering; it’s just a matter of finding the right fit and silhouette that makes you feel confident.

5. Beyond Jeans: Alternative Options to Rock with Your Denim Shirt

Cargo Pants: A Utilitarian Twist

For an edgy and utilitarian-inspired look, pair your denim shirt with cargo pants. Cargo pants offer plenty of pockets for functionality while adding an interesting texture to your outfit. Opt for slim-fit cargo pants in neutral colors like khaki or olive green to maintain a cohesive aesthetic. Complete the look with combat boots or chunky sneakers for an effortlessly cool ensemble.

Pleated Trousers: Sophistication meets Casual

To elevate your denim shirt outfit, consider pairing it with pleated trousers. Pleated trousers add a touch of sophistication while maintaining a casual vibe when paired with a denim shirt. Choose pleated trousers in lightweight fabrics like linen or silk for added comfort during warmer months. Complete the look with loafers or mules for an elegant yet relaxed appearance.

Don’t limit yourself to just jeans when styling your denim shirt – explore different pant options to create unique and fashion-forward outfits.

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6. Footwear Pairing Guide: Finding the Perfect Shoes for Your Denim Shirt and Pants Combo

Choosing the Right Shoes

When it comes to pairing shoes with a denim shirt and pants combo, there are several factors to consider. First, think about the overall style you want to achieve. If you’re going for a casual and laid-back look, sneakers or loafers can be great options. For a more polished and put-together outfit, consider wearing dress shoes or ankle boots.


Sneakers are versatile and can work well with both light and dark wash denim shirts. Opt for white sneakers for a clean and classic look, or choose colored sneakers to add a pop of color to your outfit. Pair them with slim-fit jeans or chinos for a stylish yet comfortable ensemble.

Dress Shoes:

If you’re aiming for a more formal or business-casual appearance, dress shoes are an excellent choice. Brown leather brogues or oxfords can complement the ruggedness of denim while adding sophistication to your overall outfit. Consider wearing them with dark wash jeans or tailored trousers for a refined look.

Ankle Boots:

Ankle boots are perfect for creating a trendy and fashion-forward outfit with your denim shirt and pants combination. Opt for suede or leather boots in neutral tones like black or brown. They pair well with both skinny jeans and straight-leg pants, making them suitable for various occasions.

Remember that comfort is key when choosing footwear, so make sure to select shoes that you feel confident and comfortable in throughout the day.

7. Contrasting Color or Similar Shade? Choosing the Right Pant Color for Your Denim Shirt

Contrast vs. Coordination

When deciding on the pant color to pair with your denim shirt, you have two main options: contrasting colors or similar shades. Both approaches can create stylish and eye-catching outfits, so it ultimately depends on the look you want to achieve.

Contrasting Colors:

If you want to make a bold statement and add visual interest to your outfit, opt for contrasting colors. For example, pairing a light blue denim shirt with dark navy or black pants creates a striking contrast that draws attention. Similarly, a dark wash denim shirt can be paired with khaki or beige pants for an appealing contrast.

Similar Shades:

On the other hand, coordinating similar shades can create a more cohesive and harmonious look. Pairing different shades of blue, such as a medium wash denim shirt with light blue jeans, creates a monochromatic ensemble that exudes effortless style. Similarly, combining different tones of gray or brown can result in an understated yet polished outfit.

Consider experimenting with both contrasting colors and similar shades to find the combination that suits your personal style and desired aesthetic.

8. Occasions and Settings: Which Types of Pants Work Best with a Denim Shirt?

Casual Outings

Denim shirts are inherently casual pieces of clothing, making them ideal for relaxed occasions and settings. When choosing pants to wear with your denim shirt for casual outings, consider options like jeans or chinos.


Pairing your denim shirt with jeans creates a classic double-denim look that is perfect for laid-back events. Opt for jeans in different washes to create contrast between the top and bottom halves of your outfit. Light wash jeans work well with darker denim shirts, while dark wash jeans complement lighter denim shirts.


For a slightly dressier take on the denim shirt ensemble, chinos are an excellent choice. Opt for slim or straight-leg chinos in neutral colors like khaki, beige, or olive green. These pants add a touch of sophistication to your outfit while maintaining a casual vibe.

Smart-Casual Occasions

If you’re attending a smart-casual event or want to elevate your denim shirt outfit, consider pairing it with tailored trousers or corduroy pants.

Tailored Trousers:

Tailored trousers in fabrics like wool or cotton can instantly elevate the look of your denim shirt. Opt for slim-fit or straight-leg trousers in neutral colors like gray, navy, or black. This combination strikes the perfect balance between casual and formal, making it suitable for various occasions.

Corduroy Pants:

Corduroy pants add texture and depth to your denim shirt ensemble. Choose corduroy pants in earthy tones like brown, burgundy, or olive green. The ribbed texture of corduroy adds visual interest to your outfit while still maintaining a relaxed and stylish aesthetic.

Consider the dress code and formality level of the occasion when selecting the type of pants to pair with your denim shirt.

9. Creating a Stylish Outfit: Coordinating Your Choice of Pants with a Denim Shirt

Color Coordination

When coordinating your choice of pants with a denim shirt, color coordination plays a crucial role in creating a stylish outfit. By selecting complementary colors and shades, you can achieve a cohesive and visually appealing look.

Monochromatic Look:

One way to create an effortlessly stylish outfit is by opting for a monochromatic look. Pairing different shades of blue, such as a light wash denim shirt with dark blue jeans, creates a cohesive ensemble that exudes sophistication. Similarly, combining different tones of gray or brown can result in a sleek and polished outfit.

Complementary Colors:

For a more vibrant and eye-catching outfit, consider pairing your denim shirt with pants in complementary colors. For example, a light blue denim shirt can be paired with khaki or beige pants for a fresh and summery look. Similarly, a dark wash denim shirt pairs well with olive green or burgundy pants for an unexpected yet stylish combination.

Remember to consider the overall color scheme of your outfit, including accessories and footwear, to ensure a well-coordinated look.

10. Fashion Inspiration: Celebrities Who Nailed the Denim Shirt and Pants Combo

Celebrity Style Icons

Looking to celebrities for fashion inspiration is always a great idea when it comes to nailing the denim shirt and pants combo. Many style icons have effortlessly pulled off this versatile ensemble, showcasing various ways to wear it.

Ryan Gosling:

Ryan Gosling is known for his impeccable sense of style, and he has been spotted rocking the denim shirt and pants combo on multiple occasions. He often pairs a light wash denim shirt with slim-fit black jeans for a sleek and modern look. This combination is perfect for casual outings or even semi-formal events.

Gigi Hadid:

Gigi Hadid is no stranger to fashion-forward outfits, and she has successfully incorporated the denim shirt into her wardrobe. She often opts for oversized denim shirts paired with high-waisted skinny jeans or leather pants. This creates a chic and edgy look that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.

David Beckham:

David Beckham’s style is synonymous with effortless coolness, and he knows how to rock the denim shirt and pants combo flawlessly. He often pairs his denim shirts with tailored trousers in neutral colors like gray or navy. This combination exudes a smart-casual vibe that is perfect for various occasions.

By taking inspiration from these style icons, you can find new ways to wear and style your denim shirt and pants combo, adding your own personal touch to create a fashionable outfit.

In conclusion, there are various pants options that can be paired with a denim shirt, including jeans, khakis, and chinos. The choice ultimately depends on personal style and the desired look.

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