Keyword(s): shirt and pants
In the beginning, Man wore whatever he could find lying around his bedroom. For him, a simple pair of worn jeans and some old t-shirts were all that was required to make it through from one day to the next.
It's the 21st century now, and things have most certainly changed. No longer is the man supposed to dress like he emerged from a cave; in fact, studies show that men take better care of their appearance and hygiene now more than ever before.
We've come a long way since the dawn of Man. But there's one feat that constantly seems to pose a challenge to us: how to match our shirt and pants. It's a problem that has eluded us for ages, and we just can't quite get it right.
Yes, it all sounds rather simple at first, but the more you think you've mastered it, the more you look in the mirror at your mismatched outfit and mutter, "I look atrocious".
Don't worry, my good sir. You are not alone.
The good news is that there are ways that you can fix this horrible dilemma - and it's actually much easier than you might think.
Matching Your Shirt and Pants: The Secrets, Revealed
This article explains everything you could ever want to know about correctly wearing your pants and shirts, so that you can look good for the crowd no matter the occasion.
The Basics of Matching Colors
At its very basic, matching your clothes can be watered down to simply matching colors. You'll have to master this before you can achieve any other feat with your clothes.
To start out, you should match like-colored shirts and pants. For example, if you have an green shirt, you can match it by wearing green pants.
Please keep in mind that this needs to be the exact color. If your shirt is olive green, then your pants should be as well. Matching two different colors, even if they're in the same general color group, is a guaranteed failure.
Contrast is Key
Now that you've graduated from grade school, it's time to kick your matching know-how up a notch. One of the greatest things about knowing how to match like colors is knowing how to make them contrast with each other.
Of course, this is more than likely to blow your mind at the start. After all, we are talking about the importance of matching, and wearing two different colors isn't matching at all...is it?
It is, but only if you do it right.
Contrasting colors means more than just picking two different shades and throwing them on. When you contrast, you have to keep in mind a simple rule: opposites attract.
If you're wearing a light top (and we do mean light, not bright), you'll want to contrast it by wearing darker pants. For example, if you're wearing a white shirt, your best bet it to wear a pair of brown pants.
On the other hand, if you want to wear a darker top (such as a dark blue shirt), you could opt for a lighter pair of pants (like a pair of khaki colored pants).
The right set of two-toned colors is bound to set you off on the right path and have you looking impressive - and it doesn't even take much effort to do it.
Check Your Patterns
Okay, here's where things can get to be just a little more complicated. That being said, we're sure you can handle it.
Majority of the shirts and pants that are sold have some sort of pattern or design that goes along with it. That means you not only have to match the colors, but the patterns have to work as well.
Let's have a look at plaid garments. Plaid garments have a way of being busy all on their own. A good busy, sure, but busy nonetheless. Wearing too much of it will only serve to make you look like a checker board.
If you're wearing a plaid top, make sure to match it by wearing something much more simple for your pants. A solid color will most certainly do the trick, and as a bonus, you'll draw the people's eyes right to your shirt.
The same applies if you're wearing plaid pants. A simple, solid shirt is all you need to attract the eyes to your, erm, bottom (if you're comfortable with that sort of thing).
Another very popular pattern is the striped pattern. Unlike the checked pattern, you won't look like a complete fool if you wear striped pants and shirts - provided you wear them properly.
Make sure that the stripes you're wearing go in the same direction. If your shirt has vertical stripes, so should your pants. If you're wearing a top with diagonal strips, then your pants should be going in the same exact direction.
Also, make sure that your top and bottom stripes are the same color and width. This will make it seem as if they were bought together, and help you pull of the look successfully.
And for the sake of all things holy, please don't wear horizontal stripes. You'll instantly look like someone from a 1920's chain gang. Avoid this at all costs.
The Fabrics Matter
As you well know, different tops and bottoms are made out of different types of fabrics. You'll want to make sure you match these properly as well.
The main types of fabrics out there are denim, wool, cotton, khaiki, and linen. This may sound like a lot to remember, but it's important that you know which fabrics can play nice with others, and which ones don't.
For starters, you have khakis (some people call them chinos, but they're essentially the same). khakis are a "safe fabric" because you can match them with pretty much anything and it will still work out.
Any denim, wool, or cotton top will work perfectly fine with a nice pair of khaki pants. If you're worried about mixing the wrong fabrics and want to play it safe, then the khaki combo is your best bet.
Prefer to wear like fabrics? Consider trying linen on for size. Linen fabrics are easy to use and they work well when your shirts and pants both have that sort of material. Just make sure the color contrast is still present in your look.
If those who are fine with playing things a little more risky, consider wearing corduroy or even fleece with your outfit. some mysterious or even edgy denim will make you look super stylish.
In the case of sweaters, you have to make sure you match your look with the long sleeves in mind.
Too often, men place their emphasis on what's below (no dirty humor intended) and they forget that the sweater is actually the star of the show. Even if you don't mean for it to be, it will almost certainly be the first garment they notice.
That being the case, you need to make sure you play the part.
Technically, this idea can be applied to all types of outerwear, but to make things easy for everyone, we'll just stick to sweaters here.
At first, it may seem tricky to do this, but the overall concept is quite simple. Let's start with the brighter sweaters.
The Bright Sweaters
If you wear bright clothing, it's clear that you want to stand out from the crowd and what to be noticed. Your sweater demands the same thing. In this case, you need to show it off by wearing pants that "hide in the background", so to speak.
By this we mean don't wear bright pants with a bright sweater; they'll just be clashing with each other, and you'll end up looking like an overdecorated Christmas tree.
Instead, keep your pants low-key. Something simple and neutral, like khaki pants, would do the trick. That way, you'll still look impressive and show off the sweater.
The Bold Sweaters
For those who love to wear bold, darker sweaters, there's a solution for you, too. Bold often complements mysterious rather well when it comes to personality; people are often attracted to those who have both.
Show of these attributes by matching a bold sweater with a mysterious pair of pants. Deep colors like black or indigo quickly tell onlookers that you're a man to keep an eye on - and they most certainly will.
Match It to Your Skin Tone
It's important to remember that certain skin tones bring out an outfit better than others. No, your clothes aren't being racist: some clothing just "pops" better when it's added to a particular skin tone, and you can use this to your advantage.
For those who have fair skin, you would do well to match it with lighter colors. These colors would help to complement your complexion and make you look even better.
Try sticking with light blue, light grey, or even a mild pink, and couple it with a blue or black bottom to give of a light-hearted and poppy look.
Those that have darker skin tone should go with a more deeper color. We recommend khaki, brown, grey, and navy blue as some examples to try, as they'll emphasize your complexion and make you look quite dashing.
Make sure your pants are of a darker hue as well, and that they are a healthy contrast to the color of the shirt you chose.
White and Black Go with (Almost) Everything
If all else fails, there is no fallback quite like the classic black and white.
From a scientific standpoint, one is the presence of all color, and the other is the absence of all color. To us, that just means they can go with anything.
There really is virtually no limit to what you can do with black and white. Even the strangest patterns and cuts can somehow work when you place them with an all black or all white garment to match.
Have a pair of burgundy pants you've been dying to wear but can't seem to make work? Throw on a white or black top and your good to go.
Have a really neat t-shirt design that doesn't match anything in your wardrobe? It can if you're wearing back or white pants.
Heck, you can even go so far as to wear a white top and black bottom, or a black top and white bottom, and it will still work.
There's really only one exception to this rule: don't wear white on white, or black on black.
Ironically, wearing an all-white or all-black outfit rarely works out well. For all their abilities to mix with any color, it turns out their worst enemy is themselves.
Wearing a black top and bottom automatically makes you look like you're going to a funeral, and wearing a white pants and shirt make it seem as if you're going to church to get baptized - and we're quite certain that's not what you want.
In the end, fashion is something that should be taken seriously. The wrong wear could easily make you look ridiculous, but when you take the time out to match up your outfit properly, you show to the world that you're someone to notice.
We don't see anything wrong with that.
We Are Fashion
You now know everything there is to know about correctly matching your shirt and pants; at this rate, you could very well end up being a god of fashion. Why not let us help you own the title?
Since 2010, Jared Lang has been committed to helping every man succeed at looking and feeling his personal best. With his impressive collection of sophisticated modern menswear, you're guaranteed to love how you look.
We offer one of the widest selections that men's fashion has to offer for a modest price. Check out our shirts, polos, jackets and vests, blazers, shoes, and much more. We even offer a great selection in our big and tall section.
If you happen to have any comments or concerns about our line of clothing, we'd be more than happy to help. Simply reach out to us and we'll be sure to answer any questions you may have.
Here's to your new look.