What Color Pants Go with a Gray Shirt? (Visual Guide)

Good news! A gray shirt is one of the most versatile pieces of clothing in a modern man’s wardrobe. Different versions of a gray top make annual lists of essential clothing for men. 

So, what color pants go with a gray shirt?

Whatever shade of gray shirt color you choose, neutral pants will pair nicely. Try a dove-gray shirt with black pants or a charcoal gray sports coat with light khaki pants.

With all of this variety, deciding what color pants go with a gray shirt may feel overwhelming. By keeping a few important tips in mind, you will establish a go-to strategy for your gray shirt.

Understanding different shades of gray in clothing

We’re not going to go into all the shades of gray. But there is a spectrum of shades each contemporary dresser should explore. Each different variety of gray communicates its message.

Read on to learn about how to choose the correct gray for each occasion.

1. Dove gray

Dove gray is named after the famous bird.

It evokes a delicate, light gray color. While traditionally considered a feminine shade of gray, dove gray emerged as a trendy option for men as fashion boundaries blurred during the 2000s.

The iconic designer Christian Dior’s signature color remains dove gray. Dove gray clothing succeeds best on those with lean frames, as this color highlights every imperfection.

Because the color is so delicate, a silk shirt in dove gray is quite handsome. Dove gray shines against any complexion, especially darker and olive skin tones.

2. Greige

Anybody living in our contemporary world knows the vast influence of this new shade, greige. For those who don’t know, greige is the combination of gray and beige, and it seems to do it all.

Greige rose to prominence not only in fashion but also in home interiors. This shade delivers both formal and casual moods effortlessly, depending on the fabric and type of clothing.

A greige suit or sportcoat offers a transitional jacket for formal events. This versatile shade looks appropriate for summer or fall and casual or formal situations.

Choose greige for a button-down shirt under navy blue, black, white, or any other neutral color. Fashion insiders claim that the iconic and legendary Giorgio Armani invented greige.

3. Charcoal gray

The darkest shade on this list, charcoal gray presents the most formal variety of gray. In fact, the charcoal gray color resembles a nearly black hue in some situations.

Charcoal lends sophistication to overcoats, suits, and even casual sweatshirts. If you have a light complexion, charcoal gray presents a color that will make you truly stand out.

Charcoal gray appears most often on heavy fabrics like flannel or wool.

This shade matches cold weather or evening events, like an elegant dinner party or black-tie wedding. Charcoal gray may also be labeled slate gray, Oxford gray, or gunmetal gray.

What color pants go with a gray shirt?

A gray shirt carries you through any weather and occasion with ease. Consider the environment and mood of your day to determine the best color pants to go with your favorite gray shirt.

Here are 6 color pants that pair well with a gray shirt:

1. Black pants

You can never go wrong with pairing black pants with any shade of gray shirt. And the best part is, everyone has a pair of black pants unless you’re living under a rock. 

Black, white, and brown round out the neutral category of colors. Neutrals do not offer color on their own, but rather they give a spectrum of shades that change with the light.

Whatever shade of gray you choose, neutral pants, like black trousers will pair nicely. Both colors are monochrome in nature and work really well together.

2. Navy blue pants

A low-contrast outfit choice, like navy blue pants paired with a darker shade of gray, like a charcoal gray shirt, can seem careless instead of an intentional fashion choice.

However, when done correctly, navy blue pants go extremely well with a gray shirt. The key is to choose a high-contrast pairing, like a dove-gray shirt with navy blue pants, for example.

3. White pants

Like black, white is a neutral color. While most men do not wear white pants often, it is a solid choice to pair with a gray shirt. In fact, white pants can work with any shade of gray.

A pair of nicely tailored trousers combined with a gray shirt will provide you with charm and confidence on date night or an aura of calmness if attending an evening play or concert.

4. Khaki and beige pants

Khaki and beige pants work with almost every shade of gray. Take a light gray T-shirt to the beach or another outdoor gathering, paired with a relaxed pair of khakis or beige trousers.

In fact, light gray tees and breezy button-ups look best during the day and will keep you cool at a barbecue or enjoying a walk on a sunny day, making it the ideal summertime outfit.

5. Pseudo-neutrals and pastels

With today’s evolving fashion, even more, colors are considered neutrals, or pseudo-neutrals. Think about denim. Technically our jeans are blue, which is not neutral.

However, because we wear this shade all the time, it is effectively recognized as neutral now. Similar colors, like olive green or burgundy, are all considered pseudo-neutrals.

Pair a greige sweater with olive green pants or blue jeans for a lovely fall outfit. Avoid pairing greige with gray or beige to avoid a look that looks like it’s trying too hard to match.

Similar to pseudo-neutrals, pastels perform a very versatile function in today’s fashion. Try pairing very pale yellows, pinks, and greens with any shade of gray for a sharp outfit.

As fashion rules loosen, more men are wearing pastels than ever before.

A pair of light yellow shorts lightens a gray shirt for a casual and fun weekend outfit. Consider pale blue pants with a dark gray shirt for a sophisticated and unexpected fashion pairing.

6. Neons and prints

If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing neon and prints with gray.

Nothing tones down a wild pair of neon and printed pants like a soft, dove gray shirt. Neon collections continue to walk down the runway, showing this trend is here to stay.

More and more people are starting to take notice of whimsical clothing for men, with pineapple-print shorts and floral pants dominating NBA draft days and red carpets alike.

Gray grounds any outfit it’s paired with, letting you experiment with your bottom half. All shades of gray complement bright colors. Darker shades of gray lend more sophistication to the outfit.


Now you know what pants pair well with a gray shirt. Choosing a gray shirt is a wise investment as it transitions effortlessly from day to night, indoor to outdoor, and formal to casual.

When considering what color pants go with a gray shirt, don’t forget to identify the specific shade of gray first. When in doubt, reach for a high-contrast combination for a classic style.

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