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What To Wear With A Denim Shirt Men?

Last update: 2024-05-05

A denim shirt is a versatile staple that every man should have in his wardrobe. Denim shirts can be dressed up or down, making them perfect for both casual and smart casual attire. When styling a denim shirt, it's important to get the right balance between casual and polished. Here are some tips on how to wear a denim shirt for men and what to pair it with for different occasions.

Wearing a Denim Shirt Casually

A denim shirt has a relaxed, casual vibe that's perfect for weekends and laidback activities. Here are some casual outfits to wear with a men's denim shirt:

With Jeans

  • Pair a denim shirt with jeans in a contrasting wash for an easy, fuss-free weekend look. Go for a dark denim shirt with light blue or faded jeans. Or try a light washed denim shirt with indigo or black jeans.
  • Roll up the sleeves and leave the shirt unbuttoned over a plain t-shirt or tank underneath. Add white sneakers or boots to complete the casual outfit.
  • For cooler weather, layer an open denim shirt over a hoodie or sweater. Top it off with a jacket like a leather bomber or denim trucker jacket.

With Chinos or Trousers

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  • Chinos in tan, olive green, grey or khaki pair well with a denim shirt. Go for a contrasting color chino and denim wash.
  • Cuff the sleeves of the denim shirt to keep it looking sharp. Wear canvas slip-on shoes or minimal white sneakers on your feet.
  • Trousers in colors like navy, black, gray, tan, or olive also complement a denim shirt. Opt for trousers in a different material, like cotton twill or wool, to avoid looking too much like a denim suit.
  • Finish the look with suede Chelsea boots or leather derby shoes.

With Shorts

  • For a warm weather option, wear a denim shirt unbuttoned over a tee and shorts. Go for casual shorts like flat-front chino shorts or jean shorts.
  • Roll up the shirt sleeves and leave the shirt unbuttoned to keep the look relaxed. Wear casual slip-on or lace-up sneakers on your feet.
  • A denim shirt with tailored shorts in khaki, navy or gray creates a smart casual vibe. Pair it with leather loafers or boat shoes.

Styling a Denim Shirt for Going Out

A denim shirt can also work for events and nights out when styled properly. Dress it up with these combinations:

With Black Jeans

  • A denim shirt paired with black jeans makes for a sharp evening look. A dark wash denim shirt works best for this.
  • Leave the shirt tucked in and buttoned up for a cleaner look. Add black leather boots to finish off the outfit.
  • For cooler weather, layer a tailored blazer or leather jacket on top of the denim and black jeans combo.

With Dress Trousers

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  • Pair your denim shirt with dress trousers like chinos, wool pants or dressy joggers. Stick to solid, dark colors like navy, black, charcoal or olive.
  • Finish it off with Chelsea boots or monk strap shoes for a stylish, put together look.
  • Layer a blazer or sports coat over your denim shirt and trousers to instantly dress it up.

Unbuttoned Over a Button-Down

  • Wear your denim shirt open over a collared dress shirt or button-down Oxford shirt. Opt for a contrasting dress shirt color like white, light blue or gingham.
  • Add slim-fit trousers and dress shoes like Oxfords or loafers.
  • Finish with accessories like a watch, leather bracelet or necklace for a stylish night out or date look.

What to Wear With a Denim Shirt for Work

While denim shirts aren't the most formal choice, they can work for smart casual and business casual dress codes. Here are some ways to incorporate a denim shirt into work attire:

With Chinos

  • A denim shirt paired with chinos or dress pants in tan, navy, olive or gray creates a business casual vibe.
  • Keep the denim shirt tucked in and buttoned up for a polished look. Wear it with simple leather dress shoes.
  • Layer a knit vest, cardigan or blazer over the denim and chino combo to make it office-appropriate.

With Trousers

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  • Wool trousers in navy or gray pair well with a denim shirt for smart casual office wear.
  • Finish it off with suede or leather dress shoes and a simple leather belt.
  • Keep accessories minimal. A watch is a safe choice. Avoid wearing ties with a denim shirt to the office.

Partially Unbuttoned

  • For a more casual office look, wear the denim shirt unbuttoned over a collared dress shirt. Keep it buttoned up from mid-chest and above.
  • Tuck both shirts into trousers for a polished vibe. Complete the outfit with leather office shoes.
  • This allows you to incorporate a denim shirt into business casual dress codes that don't allow full-on jeans.


What color pants go with a denim shirt?

Some pant colors that pair well with a denim shirt include tan, khaki, olive, navy, gray, black, and shades of brown. Avoid wearing a denim shirt with jeans in a similar wash as it can look too much like a denim suit.

What shoes to wear with a denim shirt?

For casual looks, wear sneakers, boots, canvas shoes, or slip-on shoes with a denim shirt. For smarter outfits, opt for leather shoes like Chelsea boots, derbies, loafers, or dress shoes. The shoes you choose depend on the overall style you're going for.

Can you wear a denim shirt to work?

A denim shirt can work for business casual and smart casual workplaces, depending on how you style it. Stick to dark washes and pair it with dress pants or chinos. Finish with leather dress shoes and layer tailored pieces like blazers or cardigans on top. Keep it buttoned up and tucked in for a polished look.

What do you wear with a denim shirt on a date?

For a date night, pair your denim shirt with black jeans or dress pants and shoes like Chelsea boots. Wear it open over a button-down for a stylish layered look. Or dress it up with tailored wool trousers and loafers. Just avoid overly distressed denim shirts and casual sneakers for a date.

What shirts go with a denim shirt?

Plain t-shirts, collarless shirts, casual button-downs, and flannel shirts pair well with a casual denim shirt. For smarter looks, wear your denim shirt open over a crisp collared dress shirt. Solid color tees and dress shirts in white, gray, light blue, gingham, or stripes complement a denim shirt.


A denim shirt is one of those staple items every man should own. Knowing how to wear a denim shirt for different occasions is key to getting the most mileage out of this versatile piece. Stick to dark washes for going out and work outfits. Light denim shirts work well for laidback casual wear. Pair your denim shirt with contrasting pants and shoes based on the overall look you want to achieve. With some simple styling tricks, you can easily go from a daytime casual look to nighttime sophistication using the same denim shirt.

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