Dark, well-fitted blue jeans are any guy’s best friend when it comes to sharp and versatile style. With this most beloved style of men’s jeans, you can dress up and hit the more relaxed end of business casual, or dress down and be the swankiest guy at the dive bar.
Honestly, it’s harder to name something that doesn’t go well with dark jeans. Don’t believe us? Check out these 10 pairing ideas for dark jeans. Some are traditional, while some are fashion-forward. Some are for the fall and winter; others are summer play clothes. What they all have in common is their stunningly good relationships with the friendliest item in male fashion: dark denim.
1. Bomber Jacket
The bomber jacket and dark jeans combo is simply oozing with easy, masculine confidence. It’s not trying too hard because it doesn’t have to. A bomber jacket adds just the right amount of weight to your top half, while keeping a slim but rugged profile below the waist. For maximum fizz, throw on a pair of boots with this combo (black Chelsea boots work great) and thank us later.
2. Patterned Button-Down
A crisp button-down is another classic combo with dark jeans. Almost any color shirt will work, and the calm versatility of dark denim makes it easy to pull off some patterns that might otherwise be too much. This is, without a doubt, a moneymaker combo if your office allows jeans. It’s dressy enough to look put-together, but casual enough to remind everyone that you totally could go off and fund your own startup if you really, really wanted to.
So, you wanna show everyone you’re a Serious Guy? That you regularly consider issues of international importance and have read many thought-provoking works of literature? We don’t know if the Steve Jobs magic rubbed off on this combination or what, but get on the turtleneck and dark jeans train without delay because this outfit was designed to make your Serious Guy dreams come true.
4. Hawaiian Shirt
We just met the Serious Guy, so let’s turn our attention to the Fun Guy. He’s over here by the bar, telling everyone a hilarious story and becoming everybody’s new best friend. And he’s wearing a Hawaiian shirt and dark jeans, the universal sign of a Fun Guy! The secret of rocking this is to steer clear of the many cheap Hawaiian shirts and invest in a high-quality one made of great materials. They can actually be quite beautiful when made well. Grab some white low-top sneakers to complete the look.
5. Pocket Tee
It’s clean, it’s casual, it’s honest — what’s not to love about the combination of a pocket tee and dark jeans? No, it’s typically not a head-turner, but turning heads isn’t always what you want. Sometimes, you just want to go about your day knowing you look good, and that’s when this outfit shines. This is also a clutch option if there’s another part of your look that really stands out — like a distinctive pair of shoes — and you want to avoid visual overload.
6. Flannel Shirt
Yeah, yeah. Hipster, Seattle grunge, etc. The flannel has survived snickers from many a hater, and its enduring appeal has far outlived most of the trends it was supposedly part of. You know why? Because flannel rules, especially when you wear it over a pair of dark jeans. When the weather turns chilly, a flannel will keep you warm without the weight of a full-sized jacket, and it cuts a muscular silhouette that makes it look absolutely magical over a pair of slim, dark jeans.
7. Cardigan Sweater
What is it about a cardigan sweater that can seemingly make any guy into a catalog model? We’re not sure how it works, but try it in the mirror while staring pensively into the distance and you’ll see that we’re right. Anyway, cardigans look great with dark jeans because they’re dressy without being overly formal, easy to layer over other stuff and they give your outfit a little heft and warmth. A cardigan with dark jeans and a button-down makes for a sharp, dressy casual look, but it’s also a great sweater for when you want to look good while simply lounging around the house (or working from home).
8. Blazer or Sport Coat
These semi-formal jackets are men’s sartorial staples for a reason. Men’s blazers and sport coats sit right on the border between dressy and casual, which makes them ideal for dressing up a pair of dark jeans. Their wide array of styles and colors means it’s easy to find whatever style you’re going for, whether that’s preppy (navy blazer), professorial (tweed sport coat) or defiantly old-school (plaid). For best results, seek out neutral colors like blues, grays and tans. They work well over lots of different shades of jeans and shirt colors.
9. Pea Coat
If winter weather exists where you live, and you don’t already make the pea coat and dark jeans a staple combo of the season, we strongly urge you to find out what you’ve been missing. When combined with a trusty pair of boots, a well-chosen sweater and maybe a scarf, this outfit is an eminently practical way to keep the weather out without looking like that bundled-up kid from A Christmas Story. Pea coats are also dressy enough that they’ll usually look good over business casual or semi-formal clothes, although you might prefer a longer overcoat if you wear full suits a lot.
The henley shirt sounds crazy on paper — a polo without a collar that started out as a type of underwear. In practice, however, you’ll be amazed at how well it works on many guys! Henleys have become a casual staple for a lot of 21st-century men, especially when worn alongside our old friend — dark denim. Although the henley is a little too casual for most offices, it looks damn fine with some dark jeans when you want to bump up the style on your casual fits.