9 Classic Shirt and Jeans Combinations for Every Wardrobe

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Picking what shirts to wear with jeans can sometimes be a little tricky. To save you the trouble of trial and error, we’ve put together a full run-down of every style you need to know. You’ll be an expert in no time.

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Shirt and Jeans For Men

Shirts and jeans are two crucial cornerstones to any man’s wardrobe and, when combined properly, offer a failsafe partnership that will stand the test of time. Whether you’re on a first date, heading to the pub, or it’s dress down Friday at work, shirts and jeans offer a put together look that’s perfect for both casual and smart-casual occasions.

It’s easy to think that there are only a few options for you to play around with but you’d be wrong. With the huge range of styles on offer for jeans and shirts, there’s a load of possible outfits for you. No matter what your style, shape or occasion, there’s a match made to suit you.

Smart

A well-ironed shirt is a staple in any formal situation – you can’t complete a tuxedo without it. Shirts are so important that there’s hundreds of rules on how they should fit around your middle, what length they should be, and what colours you should wear when you pair with a tailored suit. However, we’re not talking suits here, and it can be a little harder to achieve a smart look with a pair of jeans. It is achievable, though, it just requires the right combination of colours and textures.

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Black Shirt, White Jeans and Sunglasses
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

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What Jeans To Wear

Wearing the right pair of jeans is important when achieving a formal look. Even if you’ve got a neutral checked shirt, if you pair it with bright blue denim, the outfit is automatically going to appear more casual. When choosing your jeans, try and pick a darker colour so as to ground the outfit and give it a sleeker overall appearance.

Black or navy is an obvious choice. If the outfit is looking a little drab you can always mix up the look by turning up your jeans or going ultra smart with your footwear. A pair of Desert boots can do wonders. If you do want to go for a lighter pair, you need to make sure all the other tones in the outfit complement the jean colour. Neutral colours work best and always make sure your footwear, including trainers, are neat and clean.

What To Wear With Jeans

Double-denim is a term that’s been brought up more and more often in the last few years, as everyone has their own view on whether this trend should be attempted or not due to the ridicule it received. Although the bolder double-denim look is far from formal, you can try a subtle approach and achieve something that’s both on trend and looks classic and put together.

For the shirts, it’s best to pick ones that are well fitted and fully buttoned up. Try to pick a lightweight denim, as anything too heavy is going to look more like a denim jacket and won’t give the clean, fitted look you’re after. It’ll also be easier, if you’re not quite ready to go for blue on blue, to choose a blue denim shirt and black denim jeans. This is still giving you the double denim look but with more subtlety.

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Kanye West pulls of a smart double denim look
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

Shirt and Slim-fit Jeans

Skinny jeans should generally be kept for informal occasions, so they’re best avoided when you need to look smart. We suggest you stick to slim fit, which will give you the perfect combination of comfort, along with a slightly tailored look.

That said, skinny jeans can be paired with a shirt to create different volumes and symmetries in your outfit. You can wear a fitted white shirt with a jumper layered on top with a pair of skinny or slim fit black jeans. This will give you a smart casual look which is perfect for a trip to the pub or local bar where you don’t have to look overly smart but you still want to look nice.

Casual

Jeans complement a casual outfit, so when it comes to combining them with shirts it’s an easy task to achieve a relaxed feel. Additions like caps, denim jackets and jewellery can help elevate your outfit and keep it on a more relaxed level, especially if you’re working with smart looking shirts like dress shirts. The versatility of jeans is pretty evident and you can go for a range of colours and fits to achieve different looks. If you’re in doubt about what to wear with light blue skinnies, pair them with a busy check print. This will keep things interesting and a bit unconventional. However, if you’re after a clean, summery outfit you can pair your light blue jeans with a light and simple checked shirt for a preppier look.

What Shirt To Wear

Oxford Shirt

The Oxford shirt is probably one of the most well-known shirt designs and therefore the most versatile. Although its appearance may first appear a little too formal to create a casual look, it’s easy to tone it down with the right fit and colour. Go for a plain white shirt if you want to keep things simple, then accessorise with a cap.

With jeans, you’re free to experiment with fits and colours. Although, as a general rule, lighter tops go better with darker jeans, so you can try out various colour combinations as long as you stick to this simple rule. Oxford shirts do always look better with a good fitting slim pair of jeans – too baggy or too skinny may look slightly odd.

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An oxford shirt can be styled down with good accessories
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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Dress Shirt

Now we have to tackle the most formal looking shirt and make it work with jeans. It’s not the easiest task, but it is do-able and can create an interesting, trim look. As the dress shirt is usually quite a fitted design, it’s good to go for what suits your body best. Go for something darker like a navy, black or grey instead, and make sure that your sleeves and overall length are long enough.

As the dress shirt is so slim, you could pair it with skinnier fit jeans – this will create a tailored look with the jeans mimicking the shape of tailored trousers. Try experimenting with different tones. Go for grey if you want a darker look or light blue if you’re going for a more laid-back vibe. For a unique contrast, try out a pair of distressed or ripped jeans with your sharper looking dress shirt.

Shirts to Wear with Jeans

  • For a smart casual look, pair a classic white Oxford shirt with a pair of slim fit jeans. Remember to keep the outfit smart by wearing either a dark navy or blue pair of jeans with a classic white shirt.
  • For an easy, relaxed style team a checked shirt with a pair of skinny or tapered jeans. Wear the shirt open over a plain T-shirt – either buttoned up to the top for a preppy outfit or undone for a relaxed one.
  • If you want something to stand out, try a double denim look for a striking, alternative finish. This can be worn casual or smart – you’ve just got to pair the right colours and shapes.
  • Always keep the jeans fairly slim as this helps bring the shirt into the equation in a good way. A pair that’s too baggy will look out of place and scruffy.
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Men’s Shirt And Jeans Style
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

On That Note

So, now you know the various ways you can dress up (or down) your jeans. Next time you’re reaching out for a T-shirt you might change your mind and grab a shirt instead. Whether it’s a patterned, Oxford or a denim shirt, you’ll definitely find a way to style it and make it your own. All you need to think about now are what shoes to wear with it and you’ll have the perfect shirt jeans and shoes for all occasions.

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