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Clothing trends come and go, but a pair of navy blue dress pants is forever. Whether you wear them with a button-up shirt or a sweater, they are a wardrobe staple that you can build myriad sophisticated looks from. This style guide details how to get the most from a pair of navy blue trousers. If you have a navy blue suit, go ahead and wear the pants independent from it. We’ll show you how.

1. Start with a brown shoe.

The number one thing you need to style navy blue dress pants is a brown dress shoe. This photo shows the elegance of classic brown oxfords. 

[Image via luxuryville/Tumblr.]

For a more casual look, try a brown dress shoe with brogueing. 

[Image via Pinterest.]

Brown suede shoes are a refined look with navy blue trousers, especially when matched with a brown suede belt. They’re a great investment – brown suede shoes go with everything. 

[Image via Boardroom Socks.]

2. Choose from a variety of shirts: white, light blue, or print.

The classic white shirt with navy blue dress pants is a high contrast option that creates a powerful look without being as stark and formal as black and white. It’s the most formal choice.


[Image via Estilisman.]

 An equally sophisticated but lower contrast option is the light blue shirt with navy blue trousers. It’s an excellent option for times when you want to look sharp, but you don’t want to stand out. 

 [Photo via Lookastic.]

Navy blue dress pants pair well with patterned shirts, too. For a more casual look, wear a plaid or checkered shirt like this one.

[Image via Ivan Christianno/Pinterest.]

Stripes are nice, too. 

[Image via Pinterest.]

Or splash out with a repeating pattern like this one. The navy blue dress pants tone down the flamboyance of the shirt. 

[Image via Lookastic.]

For a clean, urbane look, you can pair navy blue dress pants with a tailored, masculine sweater instead of a shirt. Crewneck, v-neck, turtleneck, and mock neck all work. It’s especially sophisticated when worn under a sport coat.

[Image via Urban Men Outfits.]

3. Finish with a brown belt.

The final, critical element of your outfit is a high quality brown suede or leather belt (the texture of the belt should match the texture of the shoes). 

[Image via Pinterest.] 

Navy blue dress pants are a chameleon piece of clothing – dress them up, dress them down. They’re the basis for infinite looks, from formal to business casual to night-out fashion-forward. The pants themselves vary from classic wool to stretch athleisure, so it’s worth investing in a few pairs in different materials to suit the weather, the occasion, and your mood. 

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Chaya Kurtz

Chaya Kurtz

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