8 Tips On How To Wear A Black Shirt With Khakis

While some fashion trends seem appealing in principle, they can be challenging to execute in practice. And if so, which one is this? Can you, more specifically, match a black shirt with khakis?

In smart-casual and business-casual environments, khakis go well with black shirts. Black Henleys, polos, and T-shirts look great with casual-looking khakis. Think of wearing black OCBD shirts and dress shirts with more formal-looking khakis. As always, there’s more to it, even if that’s the short answer.

8 Tips For Wearing Black Shirts With Khakis

Before choosing your outfit, consider each of these pieces of advice. Whatever your destination, they ought to support you. Following are some suggestions:

1.     Wear Black Shoes

When wearing khakis with a black shirt, black shoes look great. The shirt and shoes will work well together to color-block the khaki pants in between them. Sneakers, boat shoes, or suede dress shoes would go nicely with casual black shirts.

The type of black shoes you choose genuinely relies on how formal your black shirt is (i.e., T-shirts, polos, and Henleys). On the other hand, black OCBD shirts and dress shirts can be worn with black leather dress shoes (such as Oxfords, Derbys, monk straps, and loafers).

Men wearing long pants in the street.

2.     Keep Your Attire Business Casual

Wearing a black shirt with khakis is only appropriate in innovative- or business-casual environments. It shouldn’t ever be worn in a formal atmosphere. The khakis wouldn’t work in a traditional atmosphere, even if you wore the dressiest black dress shirt. If a two-piece suit were optional, you would still be expected to wear a blazer and dress pants combination.

Stick to business casual or bright casual instead. In smart-casual environments, a T-shirt and jeans are insufficient attire. For instance, they go to a mid-range restaurant, go on dates, attend garden parties, etc.

Although they can be perplexing, business casual dress codes can be understood as a fusion of casual and professional clothes. A suit would be overkill in certain situations, yet jeans would not be appropriate.

3.     Consider Dark-Colored Socks

Khaki ought to be regarded as a pale brown color. It is closest to the color spectrum. Brown socks are typically the most outstanding choice because they should match the pants you wear, not the shoes. It’s also OK to wear statement socks that starkly contrast your other outfit pieces.

However, in this case, brown would be the finest color choice if you want your socks to match the rest of your clothing perfectly. A good, subtle change from the light brown pants (i.e., khakis) to the black shoes would be made with a pair of dark brown socks.

4.     Put On A Black Belt

Even though khaki and black are neutral hues, combining the two results in stunning and stark contrast. With the additional colors you decide to incorporate into the mix, you’ll want to use caution. Wearing a black belt is typically advised.

Team of golfers wearing khaki pants.

One reason is that it’s advisable to wear dark-colored shoes (as per the previous advice; we’ll get there soon). It’s typically better to keep your belt and shoes as similar as feasible.

A black belt would complement the black shirt without standing out too much, which is another reason. Although a brown belt would fit, it will clash with the black shoes and possibly the black shirt.

5.     Attempt To Maintain The Formality

Try to match the formality of your particular black shirt and khakis. In other words, attempt to match less formal black shirts with less formal-looking pairs of khakis and more traditional black shirts with more formal-looking pairs of khakis.

While khakis can never be deemed “formal,” it is evident that some styles will look more casual than others. A shiny wool black dress shirt could seem odd paired with a pair of saggy, untucked khakis.

6.     Ignore the Tie

Generally speaking, skipping the tie when sporting a black shirt and khakis is preferable. Without a colored connection, the stark contrast between the black and khaki stands out more effectively. If you wear a tie, stick with muted colors and dark hues.

Despite what some people may think, a black dress shirt with the top button undone and khakis tucked in would look nicer without a tie. There will undoubtedly be many folks who still want to wear one.

To lessen the contrast with the black shirt, if you decide to wear one, try to keep it as dark as you can and add just a bit of color.

7.     Tie Up Black Shirts

Even if the shirt is casual, most black shirts generally look better when tucked into a pair of khakis, which may sound unusual. T-shirts, polo shirts, and Henleys are also included. They appear much more put together when tucked into the khakis, for whatever reason.

That can result from the attractive 2-block impression that the black and khaki color contrast creates (top and bottom). In either case, it’s worthwhile to experiment with. Remember that wearing a belt is essential while tucking in a shirt to avoid the unpleasant look of bare belt loops.

A young man standing behind the wall in a black and khaki ensemble.

8.     Formal Brown Shoes

Usually composed of leather, formal brown shoes are intended to be worn with traditional dress. They typically have a darker shade of brown, and they glisten. They are primarily lace-up footwear and come in various designs, including Oxfords and loafers.

You can wear brown shoes every day, and they will keep you looking lovely for years. These can be paired with a pair of shorts or a chino. As part of the broguing process, brogues come in various variations. The latest must-have footwear for F/W is Chelsea Boots, which match the rest of the season’s footwear well.


The advice we have for you ends there. It’s a unique mix, but it can be done successfully if you follow a few simple guidelines. Khaki pants offer a rigid enough appearance for a more formal ensemble while also being able to be worn as part of an effortless, carefree style.

Knowing what hues and fashion trends work well together is crucial whether you’re getting ready for a job interview or want to look your best on a casual day at the office. A black dress shirt and khakis provide a thoughtful, put-together outfit that avoids being overly formal. Also, pairing this timeless combination with other items in your wardrobe is simple.

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About Jerome Glover

Hi! My name is Jerome and I am a writer/editor for GentlemenCenter. I have a passion for helping men improve themselves, and I hope my writing will be able to help you in anything you may need!

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