What to Wear with Brown Pants

Oct 23, 2009Updated 8 months ago
What to Wear with Brown Pants

Choosing what to wear with brown pants can sometimes be a frustrating endeavor because the standard color of brown (milk chocolate) goes better with light colors instead of dark, but most women’s wardrobes are filled with black and other safe colors. Some might say “bright colors don’t fit my persona.” In this case, it might be time for a change by adding a little flavor to an outfit. Compromise with pastel colors, which are less intense hues.

What Not to Wear with Brown Pants

Before going into what to wear, it’s helpful to point out what not to wear with brown pants. It can get a bit tricky. Some fashion experts consider it a fashion faux pas to wear brown with black, but this depends on the type of brown shade. Speaking of the standard brown, it generally does not look good with black unless it is part of a pattern or attached to the piece of clothing, shoe or accessory.

  • Avoid wearing dark colors with brown unless it is teal or a darker shade of brown like mahogany or coffee
  • Avoid wearing gray
  • Avoid wearing bright red, yellow or orange since it can look too fall and seasonal.
  • Avoid wearing black shoes unless the color is included in a brown patterned top
  • Avoid wearing a forest green top as it can bring to mind a tree.

Colors and Patterns that Work Well with Brown

  • Colors to wear on top: white, beige, tan, cream, sage, mint green, teal, turquoise, light blues, periwinkle, baby pink, peach, apricot, pale yellow, mustard yellow, golden yellow, pale red, raspberry, baby purple, and brown hues
  • Patterns to wear on top: for patterned shirts and blouses, brown does not have to be included in the pattern in order for it to match brown pants. For instance, a white sleeveless blouse with a floral design of pale pink, burgundy and beige works well. But if unsure, stick with patterns that have brown hues in them.
  • Accessory colors: gold, bronze, ivory (avoid silver)
  • Shoes: brown, gold, cream, beige, tan

If it’s troublesome to remember what colors match brown, start out with a monochromatic color scheme that uses variants of brown. Think caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, wood, dark chocolate, cocoa, almonds, walnuts, cashews and hazelnuts. Another smart way to efficiently color coordinate outfits is by going to the paint section of hardware stores and picking up free home interior paint brochures that offer a paint palette of matching color schemes.