What To Wear With Grey Pants (Colors and Ideas for Men and Women)

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Last Updated on April 7, 2022 by admin_comfortabledressshoes

What to Wear with Grey Pants

Grey pants come in a range of different shades from lighter shades to darker shades, and while they are not as versatile as black pants can come close. This still makes it a very versatile color. In this post, we examine what to wear with grey pants and there is no quick answer. Let’s have a look at possible combinations.

About Grey

Grey is a neutral color that draws on mixtures of the three primary colors to be formed. It lies between black, which has none of the colors at all, and white which contains complete saturation of all colors. Black and white, like pure greys, are achromatic and therefore pair well. If you look at web colors you will see that perfect greys have equal amounts such as light grey which is #D3D3D3.

There are also off-greys such as platinum (#E5E4E2) where the amounts of the various colors are uneven, and the grey is tinged with the dominant color. The issues of dressing for these greys are for another post and here we will only look at the pure greys that have no tinges of different colors.

Monochromatic Look

A monochromatic look using similar shades makes for an appearance that is always understated and elegant, making it ideal for a formal look. Here we wear a range of colors from white to black.

A grey tuxedo, a fresh white shirt, black bowtie, black socks, and black shoes are perfect for formal events. The jacket collar can be done in a dark grey. At the other end of the formality scale, grey sweatpants, a black t-shirt, and white trainers look the epitome of a casual look that has an understated simplicity.

A formal grey outfit that has a more modern look than that of the traditional black suit. A grey suit can be used for any formal look.

The essence of the monochromatic look if you are going to use multiple shades is to cascade them. By this, I mean a 2-1 or a 1-1-1 combination that meets certain conditions.

The 2-1 combination is to wear either a shirt or shoes of the same shade as the pants and then either darker shoes as a visual anchor or a lighter shirt, reflecting pants and suit as one entity. The thing to be aware of is that having lighter shades at both the top and the bottom of a pair of dark grey pants or darker shades above and below light grey pants is something of a visual eyesore.

1-1-1 means three different shades layered in increasingly lighter or darker tones.

Great Three-Color Combinations

We can’t speak of the color wheel when it comes to grey, but we can follow some time-tested combinations. Add red to the mix for a color combination that just works. Black leather shoes, darker grey trousers, and a red shirt work together to create a fresh look that catches the eye every time. Add a black tie and you have modern elegance bar none.

For women, a dark grey pants outfit with a white belt and pair of red high heels will turn heads. Equally, black trousers, a yellow color shirt, and pale grey color shoes are always striking.

The Grey Closet

Greys should be in every closet as well as complementary colors for a perfect match when you feel like a splash of color.


This is about pants so let’s start with that part of the inventory. There should be white pants, black and three shades of grey. The shades should include dark grey pants, light grey pants, and something that falls in between.

Obviously, your needs and preferences will decide what pants to buy. Perhaps a pair of dark grey chinos, some grey dress pants, and a pair of grey jeans might be appropriate. You know your most common dress needs, so buy accordingly and remember that you can wear dress pants casually, but not jeans formally.


On to shoes. A pair of black oxfords is almost mandatory. These are suitable for fancy evenings but can be worn in more relaxed environments and will suit any shade of grey you want to wear them with. At the other end a pair of white sneakers for casual wear when walking or going to a barbecue. I would be tempted to look at a pair of grey suede shoes as well. The other shoe to consider is a pair of brogued oxfords in two tones or spectator shoes. The second tone creates an eye-catching accent for any otherwise dark outfit.

For sandals, black, red, white, gold, and yellow all provide beautiful variations to add to a neutral color base.


Socks may be the easiest item to add to the closet. Simply black socks would do, but you could always add some two or three-toned grey argyle ones. Women may want to add some white bobby socks as well for the casual look.


Belts are a good way of adding a splash of color interest to break up a monochrome swathe. Three belts should do the trick here – a black belt, a white one, and a mid-grey one. These can complement and contrast all shades of grey.


Shirts are one of the most visible elements in any outfit. As always, a white shirt, from dress shirt to T-shirt is the mainstay of clothing and never more so than here, but it is in shirts we face the greatest range of possibilities. Besides the white shirts, grey is now let loose to display its versatility.

Looking first at the monochrome look, a good idea is to have a shirt to match each grey in the pants that you choose. This provides an immediate variety of elegant, understated looks. Add a black shirt as well. If you wanted to you could leave it there and never have a problem, but color is always good.

Light-colored shirts go with any pants whereas darker-toned shirts are better with darker pants. This is not cast in stone and as always personal senses of style take precedence. For a blue shirt, I would keep a navy blue shirt, a savoy blue shirt, and a powder blue one. In reds, pick a lovely dark burgundy, a fire engine red, and one tending towards salmon. Finally, I recommend some yellow shirts and here I would suggest gold for the darker variation, lemon chiffon at the light end, and round it out with a standard yellow shirt. One final color I would suggest is the green-tinged chartreuse.

These are all single-color shirts, but two colored striped shirts convey a sartorial elegance that always impresses. Any of the shirts already mentioned with a white stripe works well and for the three lighter-hued shirts medium to dark grey strips create a good look.


Now on to neckwear. Bow ties for formal events, ties for business events, and cravats for more casual elements. The cravat which is returning to style offers the chance of adding something out of the ordinary with many attractive patterns that can make a bold statement. As an example, a black and red paisley pattern behind a light grey shirt above dark pants and matching shoes is a look that will always be striking. Thrown on a black blazer and enjoy turning heads.

Ties should be more muted than a cravat. It should be plain or striped and ideally not too broad, though if you are not going for a monochrome look the slightly broader ties can work. A special thought is a fishnet tie in a different color. By the interplay of the shirt color peeking through the holes in the tie netting, a very fetching effect can be achieved.

Bowties can be two-colored with a polka dot pattern, but the single-color bowtie is better. I would simply include a single black bowtie and nothing more.


Jackets should come in three colors. They are grey, black and navy blue. Jackets are better in darker colors so even the grey jacket should be on the dark side of the greyscale. A light leather jacket, though, does work well with dark jeans and a t-shirt for a casual look.


We are nearing the end of the closet of items that go with grey pants and now there are only the accessories to consider. If you need a cummerbund, the best recommendation is red. There is something striking about a red cummerbund. That broad swathe of color gives some oomph to the more muted greys and the black shoes of a semi-formal evening outfit.]

Pocket handkerchiefs, by common consent, are accent items. For this reason, steer clear of grey and black, but select white, cream, and red. Red is for the darker jacket and the lighter colors for light grey blazers.

A purse is, of course, vital and here there is a range of great ideas. A gold clutch with a dark pants suit is always appealing and a red bag to complement lighter hues never fails.

One last item to note is that a pair of blue jeans can go very well with a great many of the items that have been discussed.

Final Thoughts

We have looked at the entire sartorial effect when wearing grey pants. Almost no single clothing item ever exists by itself, and it is impossible to see it as only as to do with grey pants. We have looked at how to build up a variety of possible looks starting from grey pants. These looks highlight the versatility of a neutral color base.

We have looked at how the colors should be put together to avoid a look that becomes visually distracting and slightly convex. We have pointed out that there are two primary ways to layer the look to create something appealing whether it is formal or casual.

Finally, we have drawn together a closet of items from shoes to accessories that can work together in multiple ways to dress you stylishly. We did not mention but do now, that generally there should only be one additional color used outside the grey tones. Do not add more than one of red, blue, or yellow color.

This is particularly true for blue and yellow which because of blue-yellow color blindness means that some people may not see the look that you intended to create.

So, in conclusion, starting with just a pair of grey pants it becomes possible to create a whole range of looks that is so very wide that no other pants color may ever be needed to achieve that great look you want.

Side note: A light shade such as white and lighter greys are considered to make add pounds to the fuller figure and if that is a concern for you, stick to the darker hues. Similarly, a lighter color shade top can add inches to a large bust.