Four Tips to Masterfully Match Your Pants

Always getting stuck trying to figure out your next outfit?

Perhaps you’re one of those who simply hop into whatever you see and hope it doesn’t turn out to be downright awful.

The good news? You’re not alone! 

Here, at LIVSN, we do more than offer top quality clothing, we also provide the occasional tip on how to put them all together. 

Where to begin?

The first thing we'd love to tell you about matching your pants perfectly is that it is not as complex as many stylists make it seem. It's an art but also about just having fun. First, let's start from the basics. 

The Basics

If you’re new to the art of matching clothes colors, here are three principle rules:

Consider all three pieces:

There are three major pieces of clothing: a top (shirt), bottom (pants), and shoes. Selecting the best color combination of all three is key to a great outfit.

Neutrals first:

Starting with basic colors allows for simplicity. You can hardly ever go wrong as it ensures that your outfits never clash.

Avoid tonal outfits:

Matching all three pieces to the same color can easily look odd. While some pull this off exceptionally, this is a more complex concept for a newbie. 

Related - Field Report - Sam Starr

Pant Shirt Combinations – Your Best Guide

Several factors have to be considered when styling your outfit. Is the contrast right? Are there confusing patterns? How about the fabrics? 

Well, let’s get to it!

Tip #1 - Maintain Contrast

Understanding how to make your different pieces of clothing contrast each other is a great step to classic styling. This involves more than matching different shades of the same colors. Here’s a basic principle to ensure you get this right: ‘opposite attracts’. 

Following this principle, a light pair of pants (say, cream or khaki pants) should be paired with a dark top (like; black, dark blue, or Maroon).

It follows then that a dark pair of trousers (navy, camel, black) are best paired with lighter tops (like; white, beige, or baby pink). 

Tip #2 - Watch Out for Checks and Patterns

When wearing a pair of pants or shirts with patterns, stripes, and checks, extra caution must be applied. The colors, as well as the patterns, need to be matched. Remember the principle; ‘opposites attract’.

Hence, when you go for a checkered pair of trousers, a solid top will be the perfect match. Similarly, a solid pair of pants will do the trick for a patterned shirt. 

An exception to this rule mostly applies to striped patterns.  When done correctly, this could be a classic style. Only match top and bottom stripes of the same direction, same color, and similar width. That is, a vertically striped shirt should be paired with a vertically striped pair of pants.  

Tip #3 - Your Skin Tone Matters

Your clothing, when selected correctly, is a complement to your unique skin tone.

Typically, lighter colors match better on fair-skinned people. Matching the dominant color of your outfit with your skin tone limits the contrast your clothing creates. It is an absolute classic matching a mild pink clothing on fair skin. Of course, a darker bottom and a slightly dark pair of shoes completes the outfit perfectly. 

On the other hand, a darker skin tone will be best complemented by dominant dark colors like; khaki, navy blue, etc. 

Tip #4 - The Fabrics

Clothing fabrics differ. From wool to linen, cotton, or khaki, your choice of fabric might change depending on the season, event, or simply personal preferences. For example, while wool clothing is a nice fit for the winter, it won't fare as well in the summer months

Your ability to match clothing materials displays a keen attention to detail. At times, clothing of the same fabrics can be paired to produce a positive effect. For example, a pair of pants made of linen fabric will match greatly with a shirt of the same material. Be sure to follow the previously stated principles. 

Whenever you get stuck, you can always opt for the universal fabric, khaki. Matching it with any material can hardly go wrong.


So here we are. On your next outing, consider your skin tone, the clothing patterns (if any), and fabric. Always be sure to maintain a fine balance between similar and contrasting colors. While this process might seem too adventurous when starting, you can be sure to master it in no time. 

One of the most important rules when selecting a perfect cloth style is to have fun! There are no hard and fast rules here, just principles, so feel free to experiment with whatever comes to mind. 


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