Can You Wear a Gray Sweater With Black Pants?

Casual gray and black done right: cozy, warm and utterly comfortable.

Photo: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Gray and black: They're both basic neutrals that go great together for any occasion. But who wants to wear this color combo in a way that looks boring or safe? There's no style in that. Whether you're going to work, on a date or out to a hot new club, you can wear a gray sweater and black pants in a way that looks modern, fun and like you belong strutting on the runway.

Casual

Spending the afternoon shopping or having lunch with your closest girlfriends? A gray sweater and black pants will never fail you in any kind of casual setting. Try an over-sized, loose gray (thin or sheer if it's warm) sweater with a jagged hemline (for a tough, rocker look) over some black leggings and motorcycle boots. Over-sized black sunglasses and a messy ponytail complete the look. Don't go crazy with accessories here. If you're going to the gym or trying for super casual, black sweatpants and a cropped, off-the-shoulder sweater in a light cotton fabric do the trick.

Semi-Casual

Does your workplace have a semi-strict dress code of classy casual or business casual? The black pants/gray sweater duo is the perfect go-to outfit when you're lacking time (and energy) in the morning. Go for a fitted, cashmere turtleneck in dove gray, with very black (no faded washes) cigarette pants and some pointy-toed pumps appropriate for the office. Sweep your hair up in a professional ponytail, accessorize with some dangling (but not over-the-top) earrings, and you're ready to get things done (and impress the cutie in the office next door).

Dressy

If you're on your way to cocktail hour or a penthouse party, there's no rule that says you have to wear a dress. Pants can be just as sexy as a skirt or mini dress, so try your gray sweater and black pants here. Think light and elegant, not ski-lodge heavy. Even in colder weather, if you feel like showing a little skin, a gray tube top in a gray cashmere-wool blend paired with wide-leg black chiffon trousers and a black patent belt is perfectly appropriate. Don a chunky, eye-catching accessory -- like a necklace -- with plenty of bling or brightly colored jewels (real or faux) so you don't look too basic (because you're anything but).

Don't Be Afraid To ...

... Inject some color into your black and gray ensemble! Or add some versatility like Kim Kardashian when she donned a light gray V-neck sweater over a ruffled white oxford shirt with some black skinny leather pants and patent stiletto pumps. The look is demurely feminine on top, edgy on bottom and sexy all over. Or try a silk blouse in any bright color (robin egg blue, plum violet, citrus yellow) underneath a detailed gray cardigan and some faded black denim for a bold, pretty look.

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