Black Jeans are a Menswear Staple, Here’s How I Wear Mine


My go-to black jeans outfits.

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I love black jeans. I wore my last pair so much that they faded and became gray jeans. I actually still own them as I think the worn design looks great. But it also meant that I had to go out and grab a new pair of black jeans (Uniqlo skinny jeans, since you ask). With this in mind, I figured that now would be a great time to highlight some of my favorite black jeans outfits.

The outfits on this list are pretty varied, but there are a few themes you’ll see throughout. When choosing what to wear with black jeans, I typically go for clothes in neutral shades. There’s a lot of gray, white, beige, and other black pieces, but not many brighter colors. There are also a few navy pieces. Some people don’t like to wear navy and black, but I think the color works well with black jeans.

I like wearing sneakers and boots with black denim. And sandals are a great choice for summer. In the past, I would wear black jeans with casual shoes quite a lot but I haven’t in any of these outfits. This wasn’t a conscious choice, but maybe it shows how much sneakers dominate menswear at the moment.

Styling Men’s Black Jeans: Key Points

  • Black jeans are super versatile. They go with everything from smart clothes like shirts and blazers to casual items like t-shirts and sweaters.
  • Dark black jeans can look quite smart, while faded or ripped jeans are more casual.
  • Sneakers, boots, and canvas shoes look great with black jeans. Dress shoes can work if the jeans are relatively smart and the rest of the outfit is relatively formal.
  • Neutral colors like gray, white, and cream go really well with black. Colors like red and navy can also work.

What to Wear With Black Jeans: 10 Men’s Outfits

A Denim Jacket

Black jeans denim jacket striped top
The Brdwlk

Wearing a denim jacket with jeans is one of my favorite outfits. Pairing a blue denim jacket with black jeans is a really easy way to avoid the double denim matching too closely. Wear it with a sweater in winter for some extra warmth or a t-shirt or casual shirt in summer.

A Black Denim Jacket

Black Denim Jacket Turtleneck
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This is one of my favorite monochrome outfits. The color and texture of the knit turtleneck and the chunky boots nicely balance out the denim from the jacket and the jeans. It’s double denim without your realizing.

With a Black Blazer and Dress Shoes

Gray jeans t-shirt blazer
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If you’re going to wear a blazer with jeans, your best bet is to go with dark jeans like the ones in the image above. Wearing a t-shirt under the blazer balances out the look and keeps it smart yet casual.

A Sweater and a Shirt

Black jeans black sweater
The Brdwlk

Wearing black jeans with a sweater and a shirt is one of my favorite date night smart casual outfits. The color and the dark color ensure it’s a stylish yet classy outfit. Meanwhile, the black jeans mean it isn’t too formal.

An Overshirt

Black Sweater Boots Jeans Beige Shacket
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Sticking with jackets for a moment, a more on-trend choice is to wear your black jeans with an overshirt. I like to wear mine with a beige shacket for a monochrome look. Pair this with white sneakers and a t-shirt in a similar shade to the jacket.

A Gray Blazer

Navy Sweater Grey Blazer Black Jeans
The Brdwlk

Black jeans can also be part of smarter, more formal outfits. This stretches to wearing them with a blazer. When I go for this look, I like to wear a gray blazer with a simple t-shirt or sweater underneath. You can wear this outfit with shoes, or keep casual by wearing a pair of minimal sneakers

A Casual Shirt

Black Jeans Blue Shirt Sandals
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Putting on a shirt is an easy way to upgrade a pair of black jeans. Casual shirts are an obvious choice. Look for short-sleeve summer shirts with muted colors and patterns for a modern look.

A Check Shirt

Black jeans flannel shirt
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Flannel shirts look great with denim, and black jeans are no exception. I chose a dark flannel shirt in the image above, but it would also work with a light version of the style.

An Oversized T-Shirt

Black Jeans T-Shirt
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I’m guessing that the most common item to pair with black jeans is a t-shirt. It’s simple, affordable, practical, and yes, can also look good. Give this simple black jeans outfit an on-trend upgrade by opting for an oversized t-shirt. This is one with more room around the upper body and longer sleeves, but cut to a regular length. I like to go for monochrome colors like white or gray (or even black) when pairing my black jeans with a t-shirt.

A Turtleneck

Turtleneck Mac Black Jeans

A simple sweater is an easy item to pair with black jeans. Although there’s a bit more flexibility due to the many types of sweaters that are available. I especially like wearing black jeans with a turtleneck.

A Button-Up Shirt

Black jeans dress shirt
The Brdwlk

You don’t have to limit yourself to a casual shirt. If your denim is relatively unfaded, you can get away with a more formal style. Wear sneakers to keep the outfit casual or shoes to make it suitable for the office. If you want an upgrade from a typical dress shirt, check out our guide to up-to-date shirt trends.

A Black T-Shirt

Black Jeans Denim Jacket
By Austin Wade via Unsplash

Plain t-shirts in neutral colors go really with black jeans. You can choose from white, gray, or even black. If you go with black, put a jacket on over the top so you break up the color a little. I also like how the Vans Old Skool in the image above continues the color scheme down to the shoes.

A Leather Jacket

Black leather jacket jeans
By Arun Sharma via Unsplash

Wearing a leather jacket with your black jeans is a classic rockstar look that I love. While your leather jacket and jeans are the same color, the vastly different textures of the two materials adds some contrast. Wearing your leather jacket over a white t-shirt is the obvious choice, although you do risk looking like an extra out of Grease. A black t-shirt like in the image above is another safe option. Or go for a more out-there look by pairing your leather jacket and black jeans with a patterned shirt.

Big Boots

Black Shirt Jeans Boots
By Good Faces via Unsplash

I wear my black jeans most in winter, which means one thing: wearing them with big boots.

Minimal Sneakers

Black Uniqlo Skinny Jeans
The Brdwlk

Black jeans go with many different types of sneakers. The kind you choose will depend on your personal sense of style. I like to wear mine with minimal white sneakers like in the image above, or with Vans. You’ll notice that I wore them sockless with my jeans turned up, another look I like. Both of these sneaker styles work well with black jeans.

What Colors Go With Black Jeans?

I’m a huge fan of wearing black jeans with other muted or neutral colors. Shades like gray, white, beige, or even other black items all go well. If you’re worried about this becoming boring, then you can add a pattern to the mix. Stripes and checks are easy ways to add some interest to your item.

What Color Shoes Go Best With Black Jeans?

Black shoes and boots go great with black jeans. So do white or neutral-colored sneakers. A lot of people advise against wearing brown shoes with black jeans and in many cases, I agree. It’s definitely not as cut and dry as it is with wearing brown shoes with black pants. If you have a pair of brown shoes or boots you like, I say go for it.


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Duncan Elder

Duncan is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Boardwalk. He's spent the last 15 years developing his own sense of style, which lies at the cross-section of mid-noughties indie and Uniqlo-inspired minimalism.

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