What color top can I wear with olive trousers?

Updated April 17, 2017

Olive green is a warm, subtle earth tone that works as well for everyday outfits as it does for business casual. The key to successfully wearing olive trousers is finding a top in a flattering colour.


Neutral shades such as white, black and grey are versatile and basic. Pairing olive trousers with a white or black top creates a classic and simple look that transitions easily from the sidewalk to the office. Medium grey, as opposed to very light or dark grey, works well with olive trousers.

Earth tones

Earth-toned tops match the overall style of olive trousers and also create balance and harmony. Since olive trousers can be visually attention-grabbing, quiet and muted earth tones help avoid a clashing outfit. Chocolate brown, beige, dark blue or creamy off-white are all tasteful options.

Primary and secondary colours

Depending on the wearer's colouring and the exact shade of the shirt, some shades, such as orange, purple or yellow can look flattering with olive trousers. Red is opposite from green on the colour wheel, and a subtle shade of red such as burgundy or maroon often looks complementary against green trousers.


Very bright or neon colours can clash with olive trousers. Other shades of green tend to look unflattering or similar to hunter's camouflage. The easiest way to pair a green top with olive trousers is to choose a shirt with subtle green accents.

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About the Author

Sally Murphy began writing professionally in 2000. She has worked as a writing instructor and written for various organizations and publications on topics ranging from history to hairstyles to television shows. Murphy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English and also holds a Master of Fine Arts in writing.