What Color Dress Shirt Can I Wear With Brown Pants?

Eva Longoria wears brown pants and a cream blouse to a film festival.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Along with bluejeans, which most stylish ladies wear nearly every day, brown pants are a staple in a casual and career wardrobe. If you're wondering what color dress shirt to pair with brown, you've got lots of options: Happily, brown is a neutral. It comes in a range of shades -- tan, brick, honey -- and looks great with blouses, button-ups and other classy tops.

Blue

Light blue to deep royal blue look great with your brown pants. For a corporate, classic look, tuck in a blue collared shirt or even a blue pinstriped one. For more movement, don a silk blouse that's solid blue or has a blue pattern. Show off your personality with a fun blue floral, or by adding some ruffles into the mix.

Red

Red hues complement brown ones in a gorgeous, autumnal way. Don't be afraid to go bold on top with a red silk button-up blouse. Experiment with textures -- red wool is chic for winter; try a cotton blouse for warm weather -- and hues for myriad looks. If you'd rather not be this bold in the office, save your study in scarlet for after-work occasions.

Multicolor

Nothing dresses up a basic brown pant like a multicolor shirt. This is a great way to avoid looking frumpy -- heaven forbid -- as some browns would have you do. Go with a small floral pattern or a cute stripe, subtle plaid or even a color-blocked blouse. Change up your palette by season, with saturated winter hues and pastel warm-weather ones, and have fun. Nobody says you have to be stuffy in a dress shirt and pants.

Cream/White

A cream dress shirt says sophisticated and fashionable, and looks phenomenal with brown pants. For an even more structured look, a white blouse works, too, and both leave you with total accessory freedom. If you're wary of an all-neutral outfit, worry not! Just make sure the color close to your face doesn't wash you out.

Black

Black and brown? Yes --- it works. "Project Runway"'s Tim Gunn agrees -- but with a caveat. "It's very important that it be the correct brown, because not any brown will do," Gunn has said in "Marie Claire." "I find that a deep-chocolate brown is the most successful choice to wear with black." So while you could definitely pull off a black dress shirt with tan or nude pants, if you want to go dark brown, make sure to get chocolatey.

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