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 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 or the occasion is, there’s a match made to suit you.

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

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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 are hundreds of rules on how they should fit around your gut, what length they should be, and what colours you should wear when paired 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. However it is achievable, it just requires the right combination of colours and textures.

White Shirt And Jeans

The blue jeans – white shirt combination is a classic in the realms of both smart and casual. For that reason, it’ll never ever go out of fashion. If you’re having one of those days where you simply don’t know what to wear, wearing a white shirt with a pair of jeans will surely put an end to your style crisis induced panicking.

The Idle Man White shirt jeans
White Shirt and Jeans
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Man

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White Shirt And Black Jeans

The same rules apply to the white shirt and black jeans combo. Sometimes the easiest and simplest solutions are also the most reliable and we often forget that they’re always in front of our eyes. Your favourite black jeans and slim fit white shirt are an example of that.

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Simple and easy, the perfect jean shirt combination
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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Checked Shirt And Jeans

Now, checked shirts can often to be associated with more casual outfits, and you might see the super informal lumberjack look sported from time to time. However, if you pick the right colours and pattern, a checked shirt can actually bring an interesting dimension to a formal look.

If you want to look less casual, pick a darker colour like navy or a muted green, and avoid anything too bright with too many colour combinations. This will give your outfit a less intense and more simplified look. Pick a print that’s not too busy to ensure the finished look is as polished as possible. If you still feel fairly casual, layer your outfit. Chuck on a smart jacket or jumper over the shirt and you’ll instantly feel ready for a smarter occasion.

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Layering a checked shirt can make a look feel more formal
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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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 a 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 compliment the jean colour. Neutral colours work best and always make sure your footwear, including trainers, are neat and clean.

The Idle Man Blue Jeans Suede Bomber Converse
Blue Jeans, a Suede Bomber and Converse can look smart when put together well
PHOTO CREDIT: The Idle Mam

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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 about if 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. There might be some temptation to throw on a tie, but resist! Just because a tie is indeed formal, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to work with the rest of the outfit. Try and 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 to tuck it into your jeans, which will give you more options when it comes to dressing it up.

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

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Denim Shirt And Black Jeans

If you’re not quite feeling a full on double denim look then you can opt for a pair of black jeans. You want to have the comfort of jeans, without necessarily looking like you’re wearing them so keeping them black will help give a formal, muted look. You can also go for grey, as it’ll compliment the blue tone of the denim, but don’t go too light as it will start to look too relaxed and like the cliché double-denim style.

Denim Shirt Black Jeans Mens Street Style
An open shirt and jeans is an instant casual vibe
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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Navy Shirt And Black Jeans

The risk of pairing a navy shirt with blue jeans is that the final result could come across as quite flat and monotone. That said, there are easy ways to go around such issue. Avoid matching your navy blue shirt with an overly dark pair of denim. With navy being a deep shade of blue, it’ll inevitably absorb most of the light and so will your jeans.

If flashing images of Justin Timberlake in double-denim still causes you nightmares, you can always wear a navy shirt with your black jeans. Forget everything anyone has ever said about wearing navy and black together because it’s absolutely possible and it looks stylish as hell. It’s about time we take down this Berlin Wall of ancient fashion rules. The dark colours allow the outfit to flow nicely from head to toe, it looks neat and well put together.

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Added pattern on the shirt, if kept minimal, will work well
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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Shirt and Skinny Jeans

Skinnies should generally be kept for informal occasions, so they’re best avoided when you need to look smart. On the other hand if you go for anything too relaxed is going to look, well, too relaxed. 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 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 want to look nice.

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Skinny jeans can look smart if they’re paired with the right pieces
PHOTO CREDIT: Dr Denim

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Casual

So you want to go for a casual look. Jeans compliment 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.

Jeans’ versatility 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 attire.

Casual Double Denim

It’s time to take a closer at the (sometimes dreaded) casual double-denim look. It’s not for everyone, but if done correctly can create an interesting and alternative look. This is great for times when you want to stand out a little. For the shirts, you can really pick whatever denim you want, but if you want a more uniformed look then choose one that’s lighter than your jeans, as overall a light top half with a darker bottom looks more balanced.

The denim can also have a bit more personality to it than if you were going for a smarter look. Some distressed, ripped or altered areas will make your double denim look stylish and on point.

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Double denim can work well if you get it rightt
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

What Goes With Grey Jeans

Grey jeans are a perfect chance for you to expand your range of denim. They’re an excellent alternative to your usual blue or black jeans and can give a touch of lightness to your outfit without going as far as wearing white jeans. Grey jeans are just as versatile as other denim and when paired with a black shirt, you can create a nice contrast with these complementary colours. Top the whole look off by wearing your shirt open over a basic white T-shirt with a black peacoat or bomber jacket and a pair of leather shoes.

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An open shirt gives you more of a casual vibe
PHOTO CREDIT: Dennmitch

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What to Wear With Light Blue Jeans

When it comes to light blue jeans, it really depends on what top you go for. For a jean that will match most tops, go for a pair that are a straight leg and relaxed fit. Go for a design that’s boldly cuffed or has some kind of wash effect (no matter how small) to add a few elements of interest to your staple jeans. We love to dress a pair of jeans up with the addition of a blazer. Add some chunky boots to the mix and you’ll have yourself a modern look on a vintage classic which is the perfect look for a date.

Pulling off a blazer shirt and jeans look can be difficult as you don’t want to look like a retired geography teacher that’s trying to be cool. Keep the blazer fitted and try not to go for an overly bulky fabric or under layers. Keep the colours neutral and on a similar colour  palette and you’re good to go.

Blue Jeans Mens Street Style
The perfect outfit for date night
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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What Shirt To Wear

Oxford Shirt

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, or throw on a casual jacket to tone it down a notch.

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 and 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. If you’re on the hefty side it’s best to avoid white as it’ll just accentuate your bulk, resulting in an unflattering look. 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.

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Wearing a dress shirt with jeans can look smart
PHOTO CREDIT: Pinterest

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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 of buttoned up to the top for a preppy outfit.
  • If you want something to stand out it, 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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An open shirt will always make you outfit look more casual
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 checked, 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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