What To Wear with Maroon Pants (Ask An Effortless Gent)

by Beau Hayhoe  |  in Style Tips

There are certain menswear essentials that go together like, well, PB&J, and seem pretty easy on the surface to pair up, like the classic blue jean or the tan chino.

But if you’ve ever been stumped when dreaming up what to wear with maroon pants, we here at EG would wager you’re not alone. 

Maroon is a bold shade that calls attention to itself from the get-go, so it can be a nice change of pace if you want to inject some color into your wardrobe. But that bold nature can make it tough to style, right? 

Not so fast—there are plentiful options as you search for what to wear with maroon pants, including classic menswear neutrals like white, black, or tan. We’ll get into it all below, so consider that pair of maroon pants an asset rather than a style obstacle. 

What Colors Go Well with Maroon Pants?

It’s like we said above: Menswear neutrals always play nicely with a bold color like maroon (or dark red).

Colors like white, black, tan or even a khaki-leaning olive allow maroon pants to really do the talking, and even lighter shades of blue, like a light wash denim shirt, a light blue Oxford shirt or a lighter shade of chambray shirting also play nicely with this eye-catching color.

Light blue with Maroon: A no-fail combo

Lighter colors in general also contrast well with maroon pants. Consider the fact, too, that your maroon pants are likely going to come off a bit more formal.

We at EG find that maroon tends to show up in pants like chinos rather than denim, although classic brands like Levi’s always seem to dream up jeans in various colors. 

This is going to give you plenty of options for shirt colors and styles, be it a khaki overshirt atop a gray tee or a chambray shirt layered over a white henley. Of course, you can also go a bit more tonal.

In the same way you’d wear a light blue chambray shirt with dark blue denim (both shades of blue), a lighter shade of maroon or burgundy can work to play up the divide between your top and bottom half in a tonal look. 

When in doubt, keep it simple with menswear neutrals or tops with a bit of contrast, especially in looks that lean more casual or just a touch more dressed-up. Speaking of pieces to wear with maroon pants…

How Can I Wear Maroon Pants in Different Settings? 

Although maroon or burgundy is a visually striking color, it’s easier to pull it off than you might think, in ways both casual (off-duty) and a bit more polished.

Yes, maroon pants can work at the office when styled the right way.

If you want to wear maroon pants casually, you can offset those pants (remember, they could either be a tailored chino or a five-pocket-style pant!) with some classic, versatile, slightly rugged options—think a light blue chambray or denim shirt, perhaps layered over a white or heather gray henley, then paired up with tan Chelsea boots.

A casual henley in a neutral color with maroon pants

You could also go more neutral. For example, a heather gray henley or pocket tee topped off with a deep blue indigo denim jacket, and maroon pants to anchor your bottom half, of course.

To dress up your maroon pants for the office, keep it crisp and clean. 

A white Oxford shirt worn tucked in beneath a lightweight cotton navy blazer is an all-season look you can style for the warmer months (try dark brown leather loafers) or fall and winter (think brown or black lace-up dress boots).

a casual, but more office-appropriate, outfit with a white button-down and tan loafers

While those examples are indeed easier to pull off than you might think, it’s still important to keep in mind that there’s a right way and yes, a wrong way to wear maroon pants. Let’s keep it rolling! 

When Shouldn’t You Wear Maroon Pants?

When considering what to wear with maroon pants, you should also really consider a time and a place when maroon pants just might not work. Let’s start with the color of your menswear pick of choice on your top half. 

Some shades simply just don’t work all that well together, like colors that are direct complements, such as emerald green or dark green.

Not necessarily “wrong”, just clashing and not super pleasing to the eye. However, compared to bright red and bright green (think Christmas decor), this is much better.

Maroon pants can also clash in situations where you should be looking for more continuity: For example, if the dress code calls for black tie, stick to the rules of said dress code and avoid swapping in tailored maroon trousers. 

And from time to time, maroon pants might feel out of place in the season itself.

While you can indeed wear maroon pants in the summer, certain situations (like a rooftop cocktail party or a beachside vacation soiree), lend themselves to more traditional summer colors, like shades of white or off-white on your bottom half. 

Maroon tends to play best in the fall and winter, when rich, dark tones stand out nicely on a gray landscape or against a fresh coat of white snowfall (traditionally, at least). 

After all, there’s just something pleasing about wearing a gray shawl cardigan atop an Oxford shirt with burgundy or maroon pants as you sip a winter Old Fashioned, right?

You can make maroon pants work for you in plenty of seasons, but it all comes down to what to wear with maroon pants, of course. 

And on that note, let’s look at a few picks to add to your wardrobe as you style up those dashing maroon pants. 

A Few Pieces That Always Go with Maroon Pants

The Grey Pocket Tee

The ever-versatile pocket tee can absolutely work with your maroon pants, given that it’s a timeless menswear neutral in this particular shade of gray. Better still is the fact that, since it’s a pocket tee, you can rock it on its own or as a base layer under a denim shirt or denim jacket for a more casually rugged look.

The Trucker Jacket

If you want to dress down your maroon pants, it’s hard to go wrong with a classic pick like a jean jacket. Look at this as the kind of jacket you can wear on breezy spring and summer days as your top layer, and as a mid-layer beneath, say, a camel or navy topcoat in the colder months. The light wash also contrasts nicely with the deep maroon color on your lower half.

Unconstructed Wool Blazer

A navy blazer, especially in the right fit and the right fabric, like this Bonobos option, pairs up with just about anything you can dream up. That includes maroon pants, of course, and we love the fact that this crisp jacket styles well with white Oxford shirting or a light blue dress shirt for a variety of business casual looks that still let your maroon pants shine.

Light Oxford Shirt

It can sometimes be tricky to pair patterns up with more eye-catching colors like maroon, but when done the right way, it’s definitely an option to keep in your quiver of menswear arrows. That’s especially the case with this light blue striped Oxford shirt, a four-season staple that you can wear untucked, sleeves rolled up, or paired up with the aforementioned navy Bonobos blazer.

Do maroon and blue match?

Out of all the colors, blue is probably the color you’d wonder about most.

We say a resounding yes, especially in shades of light blue or in a shirt like a light or mid-blue chambray. Stay away from a blue that’s too vibrant and saturated—you don’t want it to compete and clash with your already vibrant maroon garments.

Navy, which naturally leans about as dark as maroon in some instances, can work, too, but offering up contrast with lighter shades of blue is always a solid bet, too.

What color pants can I wear with a maroon shirt

And for as much as we’ve talked about maroon pants, you might also be wondering about what color pants to wear with a maroon shirt? To this, we say you can, in some cases, flip the same color selections from your top half to your bottom half. 

Dark blue denim or tan chinos play nicely with a maroon shirt, as do colors like black and charcoal or heather gray. Remember, when in doubt: contrast is your friend. Maroon is a darker color, so lighter and more neutral colors will always pair nicely with it.

Try it Out! 

No matter the color of your pants or shirt, it’s getting the details right – like fit, fabric and complementary style pairings—that makes it all go around.

And while maroon pants might seem complicated to wear on the surface, they’re certainly a style you can make work for you when dressed up (or dressed down!) the right way. 

So, which pieces are you considering purchasing to pair with your new maroon pants? If you’ve got any other questions – this is our Ask An Effortless Gent series, after all – hit us up via DM on Instagram.