General Question

cor2100's avatar

Wearing a dark grey shirt and khakis - fashion do or fashion don't?

Asked by cor2100 (30points) April 4th, 2010

Male here. I have a solid dark grey/charcoal dress shirt – for more detail, this color is pretty close:

Would wearing it with khaki pants be really ugly? I’m not trying to be the best dressed guy at the office or anything but if it’s noticeably breaking-the-fashion-rules ugly then I’ll find something else, but I do like how it fits and would love to add it to my work wardrobe if it doesn’t look horrendous.

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36 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

I would shudder if my husband put this combination on. Two different neutral colors—ack.

The shirt and the pants are both fine. But they are not meant for each other.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

It is all about how YOU feel in it and if you like it, then wear it. I cannot say how it would look if I don’t see it, but I would not say it sounds like the greatest match!

bob_'s avatar

Straight colorblind male here: screw it, man. People have certainly worn worse. If you like it, go with it.

cor2100's avatar

@Jeruba You’re right, two different neutral colors would be gross. I usually wear this shirt with jeans but was just wondering if I could pull it off with khakis so I could add something to my work rotation. I definitely don’t want to make people shudder.

I’ll just look for another shirt.

Likeradar's avatar

As @jeruba said, gray and khakis are both considered neutral. I think they go ok together, but it’s a completely boring and uninspired combination.

YARNLADY's avatar

In some organizations that constitutes the uniform they are required to wear.

rebbel's avatar

Just ask yourself: would David Brent/Michael Scott wear it?

Jeruba's avatar

How about a nice deep emerald? That would look great with khakis.

cor2100's avatar

@Jeruba Emerald would be nice, but sadly I don’t have a shirt in that color at the moment. My only clean clothes right now are a white dress shirt, that charcoal gray, and a heather gray polo. Would the heather gray look alright with khakis? You sound like the expert. I HATE wearing plain white shirts but I would if it was the best option.

mollypop51797's avatar

I think that putting together two neutral colors doesn’t work. The combinations of colors will ruin the style of the clothes, but wearing a purer and more contrasting (but formal) color would definitely work. I agree with @Jeruba, Emerals would look great.

davidbetterman's avatar

Not bad if you don’t mind making a fashion statement similar to this guy…

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, if your problem is that you’re stuck for what to wear to work tomorrow, go with what you’ve got. People won’t actually run screaming (the guys probably won’t even notice). The dark gray is the better choice if you don’t want to wear the white. But maybe you need to add a shirt or two to your wardrobe.

cor2100's avatar

I hate kahkis too @davidbetterman but I haven’t gotten around to buying other dress pants. A shopping trip is due.

I have a second question for everyone actually (especially you, @Jeruba !) – Is it considered standard to tuck a shirt into khakis? I work in a business casual environment so the dress code is somewhat relaxed (though no jeans). Will I be looked at funny if I don’t tuck a shirt into khakis? What are the rules there?

If you can’t tell, I am in my mid twenties and I HATE dressing up for work…I feel so stuffy.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@cor2100 If your shirt has long sleeves, definitely tuck it in. If you don’t, it will look a little too sloppy. If it’s short sleeves, you can get away with not tucking it in, but you still might want to.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I think it’s the khakis that bring down the outfit fashionwise rather than the t shirt.

Khakis have to be one of the most emasculating fashion inventions ever. Dress slacks are a better way to go.

Les's avatar

Oh man, that is one of my favorite combinations. Go for it!

Pandora's avatar

@cor2100 I wouldn’t mix those two colors. The Grey is really nice but I would wear that color with a darker grey, or black or even a navy blue. As for your second question, you can wear your shirt out so long as its cut straight, or has a slit on the side, like Hawaiian shirts.
It also depends on where the shirt settles. Shouldn’t be too long going past your hip your rear or too over-sized. Then it just appears sloppy. If its a little tapered to your body than it looks neater. There are a lot of things that make a shirt look professional. The cut, the fabric, and the color . What I’ve said isn’t necessarily etched in stone. Fashion rules is consistently being changed, and what some see as proper, others do not. Best thing to do is look around your job and see what seems to be acceptable wear.

Jeruba's avatar

I’m actually no fashion maven, @cor2100. Far from it. I don’t mind violating fashion rules and conventions; I don’t usually even bother to know when I’m doing it. But that’s not the same as being totally unaware. I was responding to the color combination more than the fashion. (Wearing khakis is not dressing up.)

I have nothing to add to the good advice of @DrasticDreamer and @Pandora about tucking your shirt vs. not tucking, except that you can’t go wrong with tucking.

deni's avatar

wha! i wore a dark gray shirt and brown pants all weekends since i was out of town…i thought it looked fine! but i am so far from a fashionista that my opinion may not count.

Pandora's avatar

@Jeruba, yes you can if your belly is so big the belt falls under the pot. Then a tucked in shirt makes it look all the worse. :((

Jeruba's avatar

@Pandora, you have a point. In which case the color of the shirt is probably the least of your problems, although I would certainly recommend avoiding strong, bright hues and loud prints.


A pure white shirt would look better with khaki pants, but your grey shirt wouldn’t clash. The two together would pass. Not a big fashion faux pas by any means. I’ve seen women wear crocs with dresses and men in suits with sneakers——now that’s a major fashion no-no! Yeech. Lol.

Haleth's avatar

If you’re tired of wearing the white dress shirt with the khakis, it sounds like the heather grey polo might look better than the charcoal grey shirt. Just color-wise, a lighter grey would probably look better with khaki pants. Especially now that the weather is warmer, khakis and a polo are a very appropriate combination for a business casual environment.

You said you only have those three shirts and one pair of pants to wear to work right now. When you get around to shopping for work clothes, you should look for a few items that are more versatile so you can mix and match them around with each other. That will make it look like you have more outfits, even if you only have a few sets of clothes to begin with. If you don’t buy anything else, you should get a pair of black or navy slacks. You can wear them with all the shirts you have now. Next, start with one or two dress shirts that you can wear with both your khaki pants and your dark pants. You already have a white shirt, so maybe light blue or white with pinstripes would be good.

The basics of a business casual wardrobe are pretty boring, but once you have the building blocks, you can start changing things around to make your work clothes less stuffy. The idea isn’t to dress more casual, like wearing jeans or a t-shirt, but to be more playful and fashionable with your work clothes. The work clothes you have now are at the very casual end of business casual, and they’re also kind of boring- it sounds like something an employee at best buy or target might wear. Instead of doing that, gradually build up a wardrobe that is more professional and edgier.

If when you buy your next set of work pants, you get navy blue, then get a matching jacket to go with it. (It’s important to buy the pants and jacket together so they’ll have the same fit and will be made of the same fabric.) You can wear the navy blazer with khaki or grey pants and look really sharp. Adding a blazer to a business casual outfit means you can relax the standards a bit on what shirt you will wear. If your office has the right personality, you might be able to wear a cool t-shirt under it. If your style is more alternative, you could get slightly tapered pants and skinny ties and go for a post-punk look. Another thing I see a lot is men wearing conservative suits with very bold colored dress shirts- if done right it can show that you’re professional but creative.

Anyway, that was a really long tangent. I’d wear the polo tomorrow over the charcoal shirt, but they both probably look okay.

Draconess25's avatar

I’d wear it.

But why is fashion so important, anyways?

Be grateful thet you have clothes. Some people just have rags.

bob_'s avatar

@Draconess25 The people who have rags should be grateful. Some people don’t have anything.

YARNLADY's avatar

@bob_ Not to put too much a line on this, but where is the evidence that some people have no clothes to wear? Even in the poorest of Darfur refugee camps I see “rag clothes”: on people

bob_'s avatar

@YARNLADY My point was that somebody, somewhere, is worse off.

YARNLADY's avatar

@bob_ That was @Draconess25 point, but I fail to see where you have made it any better.

bob_'s avatar

@YARNLADY * shrug *

Too bad.

Draconess25's avatar

@bob_ True….But those completely without clothes are filthy rich & living in fancy nudist colonies.
@YARNLADY Thank you for seeing my point.

cor2100's avatar

Of for fucksake, I can always count on some douchebags trying to make me feel like a privileged idiot for asking such a question. If you’re so goddamned concerned about people who can’t afford clothes then why don’t you go donate some – I certainly have.

Though it must be easier to sit around and be self-righteous to people on the internet who have a question about fashion so I can understand your motive. Please don’t shit in my thread, even though some lovely people have already provided me with some fantastic answers.

bob_'s avatar

@YARNLADY See what @cor2100 said? That was my point… just, you know, in nicer, subtler words.

lonelydragon's avatar

Given the choices you listed, the dark grey would look better than the heather grey. Wear that for now and shop for new clothes, as the others have suggested.

downtide's avatar

Personally, I would pick the dark grey, and in a business environment, always wear it tucked in and with a belt. But I would also plan to shop for a pair of black pants to wear with the grey shirt, and a coloured shirt (warm colours) to wear with the khaki pants.

daghead's avatar

I don’t care much about being fashionable but I appreciate good composition and like to look nice, so this year I decided to make my entire wardrobe dark gray top, with tan pants, mostly cargo. Up until now I’ve only had t shirts but just today picked up some long sleeves and a mid-gray sweater.

mary1961's avatar

I would divorce my husband if he wore that combination

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