Knowing how to choose the right color pants to complement the rest of your wardrobe is a key component to looking sharp.
A lot of guys make the mistake of neglecting color altogether, meaning that even when they nail the fit, style and cut of their pants, they still end up looking less-than-optimal overall.
That’s because figuring out which colors work the best can be surprisingly (and annoyingly) challenging. Guys don’t usually talk about fashion or style with their buddies, so when you’re looking for information as specific as the most stylish men’s pants colors, it can be hard to know where to turn.
That’s where this post comes in.
Below I’ve rounded up the most stylish men’s pants colors that guys need to know about, and grouped them into three categories: the must-have colors that every guy should have in his wardrobe, the good-to-have colors that can help you stand out from the crowd, and the fashion-forward colors for guys who don’t just want to stand out, but make a statement.
The Most Stylish Men’s Pants Colors
Look Sharp & Stand Out with The Ultimate Men’s Pants Color Guide
Must-Have Pants Colors
Let’s Start with The Absolute Best Colors for Men’s Pants
Navy Blue Pants
Navy may just be the most classic menswear color of all time.
One of the main reasons that navy pants are so essential is because they’re so versatile: they not only look good on any man (regardless of size, shape or skin color), but they also pair well with (almost) any other color.
That’s huge, because it means that no matter what you’re wearing above your waist, you can feel confident that throwing on a pair of navy pants will help you look sharp from the belt down.
Light Blue Pants
Light blue is a color that a lot of guys don’t think of for pants, which is a shame, because – like navy and other shades of blue – it works well on just about everyone.
But unlike navy, light blue gives off a significantly more relaxed and laid back vibe, making it perfect for the summer months, or warmer climates where it’s hot all year round.
If you do want to try experimenting with light blue pants, I suggest starting with light blue jeans.
Because they’re more casual and relaxed, light blue jeans are a little easier to pull off, and a little more forgiving if you make a mistake and pair them with something that’s not quite right.
Brown pants are a must-have because most guys have a lot of blue in their wardrobes, particularly in the form of shirts, sweaters and jackets, and no color pairs better with blue than brown.
blathered on wrote about in my post about the blue suit and brown shoes combo, combining blue and brown is one of the most masculine and stylish color combinations for guys, which makes brown pants an absolute must.
Another absolute must, every guy needs a good pair of khakis.
One important thing to remember about beige is that it tends to be considered a less formal color.
That means that any pants in the beige/khaki color family will give off a considerably more casual vibe.
But because most of us spend the majority of our time in casual environments, the right pair of khakis can easily become the pants you pull out of your closet most often.
Colors don’t get more versatile than grey, which is why it’s so essential to pretty much every piece of a man’s wardrobe, pants included.
What I love about grey pants is that they’re understated and classic, pair well with literally every other color, and allow other pieces of your wardrobe to pop.
I’ll be the first to admit that white pants are a little trickier to pull off than the colors listed above, but that doesn’t make them any less essential.
White pants are both more versatile and more stylish than a lot of guys give them credit for. And figuring out where/how to wear white pants is relatively easy.
As you might imagine, white pants are perfect to wear in the summer, when you’re more likely to wear both lighter clothes and lighter colors.
As a rule of thumb, in a situation where you might normally wear khaki pants, try swapping them out for white pants instead. It’s a simple swap, but one that will help you stand out.
Last on the list of must-have men’s pants colors is the color that you (probably) already have in your wardrobe.
A lot of guys own black pants, but only because they came with the black suit they bought.
Channel your inner Justin Theroux and throw on a pair of jet black pants, a fitted crisp white tee, a pair of aviators and some kick-ass black boots, and you’ll feel strong, cool and masculine as hell.
Good-to-Have Pants Colors
Intermediate Colors to Consider Adding to Your Wardrobe
What makes burgundy so great is that it oozes sophistication, without feeling too stuffy.
(It is the color of fine wine, after all.)
Pair burgundy pants with a navy blue sweater and a grey shirt for a look that’s simultaneously sophisticated and casual.
Forest Green Pants
Colors don’t get much more masculine than forest green.
But because of it’s dark hue, this shade of green also has a certain refinement.
Forest green pants feel more elevated than other, lighter shades of green (one of which is included below), so while this look is definitely casual, it feels a little more “dressed up” than if the pants were a lighter shade.
Dark Purple Pants
Dark purple is different from burgundy because it has less red in it and more blue, putting it somewhere in between navy and burgundy on the color spectrum.
And like those two colors, it’s dark, masculine and versatile, while still being unique.
There are very few rooms in the world where you can find more than one man wearing dark purple pants, so if you want to stand out without being too loud about it, dark purple is perfect.
Army Green Pants
A lighter shade than forest green, army green (also often called olive green) is more muted.
It evokes the color of military uniforms (hence the name), making it an easy way to add some masculine energy to whatever else you’re wearing.
This color always makes me think of Band of Brother and the classic World War II army uniform, which was both bad-ass and stylish as hell.
Fashion-Forward Pants Colors
Advanced Colors For the Bold
Few colors stand out as much as yellow, and few are more fun.
Pair it with dark colors like navy or black, or go the other way and pair yellow pants with a crisp white shirt.
Just don’t pair it with a yellow jacket (especially if you’re tall)…
…yellow can be fun, but going full Big Bird is never a good look.
A second ago I said that few colors stand out as much as yellow, but this might be one of them.
Red pants make a statement no matter what else you’re wearing.
Your best bet is to keep the other pieces in your outfit muted (like the light blue denim shirt pictured here) and let the red speak for itself.
A lot of guys shy away from pink, for reasons that are understandable, but misplaced.
When done right, pink can be a powerful color.
What’s the key to doing it right?
Simple: avoid neon. Instead, opt for a shade that’s more muted, like a soft pastel color, which feels more relaxed and laid back.
What are the best men’s pants colors?
The best, must-have men’s pants colors are navy blue, light blue, brown, beige/khaki, grey, white and black.
The good-to-have-but-not-totally-necessary colors are burgundy, forest green, dark purple, army green, yellow, red and pink.
Take Your Look to the Next Level
Knowing which men’s pants colors are the most essential will definitely help you look better from below the belt—but your pants are really just one part of the larger menswear puzzle.
If you want to know how to put all of the pieces together, and look your best from head to toe, check out my post about How to Dress Better for Guys, which breaks down a comprehensive strategy you can use to look sharp and stand out.
Don’t Let the Other Guys Out-Dress You
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More Style Advice from Irreverent Gent:
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- Public Rec Pants Review
- Western Rise Pants Review
- Banana Republic Aiden Shorts Review
- How to Wear a Suit: A (Ridiculously Comprehensive) Guide to Suiting Up in Style
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Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a men’s style specialist, an Amazon bestselling author, an unrepentant introvert, a (patient, if long-suffering) Toronto sports fan and the husband of a wonderful (and fortunately much more patient) wife.