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What to Wear with Gray Pants

What to Wear with Gray Pants: One Trouser, 10 Ways

Gray-centric outfits that are anything but dull.

By Emma Steinbergs

As I watch season 4 of True Detective, I’m mesmerized by the icy tundra that fills my screen. 

A pigeon lands at my feet as I wait to cross the street, and for a moment, I admire its feathers before shooing it away.

Much to my delight, NYC finally breaks its 11-day streak of sunless days, but a small part of me misses the singularly cozy atmosphere that only a cloud-covered sky can provide.

Lately, I’ve been seeing gray everywhere I go. While this sounds like some cliché emo lyric, I’m quite literally referring to a visual epiphany of sorts. I’ve always been drawn to neutrals—give me all the rich camels and chocolaty browns—but it wasn’t until recently that I came to appreciate gray as the varied and elegant color that it is.

l started to notice that deep shades, like olive and charcoal, were having a major moment this past fall—and ever since, I’ve been making an effort to incorporate more gray into my outfits. Throughout this quest, my heather sweater and the sharkskin version of my favorite blazer have been on heavy rotation, but there’s one gray piece that caught me by surprise: Enter the Colby pant in cool charcoal.

Most elastic-waist pants make me feel either toddler-level juvenile or tragically frumpy—and yet, somehow, the Colby pants are anything but. Made from our signature OrigamiTech fabric, they’re super sleek, beautifully draped, reliably wrinkle-resistant, and flatteringly tapered. Plus, thanks to a brand-new fit update, our just-released 3.0 version features a more streamlined fit through the thigh, a slightly shortened inseam, and an improved waist construction (which keeps the elastic from rolling).

I love my Colbys for all of these reasons, but in the context of styling, their best attribute is their cool charcoal hue—a blue-toned shade of gray that’s easy to pair and won’t wash you out. I wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on all the gorgeous moodiness they have to offer, so I put together 10 outfit ideas for what to wear with gray pants—featuring a special spotlight on the Colby 3.0 in cool charcoal. Scroll below to get inspired and shop the looks.

10 Gray Pants Outfits


Warm Meets Cool

Yes, you can (and should) wear warm tones with cool charcoal. For a gorgeous warm-cool combination, try pairing the caramel-colored Rae top and the cognac Rowan flats with your Colbys. Gray essentially functions as a softer alternative to black, resulting in a uniquely refined contrast when paired with particularly rich hues.

Warm Meets Cool - What to Wear with Gray Pants
What to Wear with Gray Pants

A Pop of Red

Looking to reinvigorate your wardrobe? Even if you share my strong affinity for neutrals, I encourage you to add a dash of color here and there. Our new amaro hue is deliciously punchy but less harsh than true scarlet, so it gets along with nearly any neutral piece in your closet. I highly recommend the brand-new Sabine tank, a bold scoop-neck style, with your Colby pants, and when you need a layer, top it off with the matching Moreland jacket.


Black-and-White Not-So-Basics

If you’re not keen on more creative color pairings, go for black and white instead; since gray is a mix of the two, there’s zero chance you’ll clash. To maximize your chic factor, opt for notably elevated essentials like the smooth, 365Knit Peggy top and the cropped Jolie jardigan—which hits right at the top of your Colby pants and creates an elongating silhouette.

Black-and-White with gray
What to Wear with Gray Pants for the office

Fancify Your Pants

While the Colby pants are a go-to for the office and casual events, you can style them for dressier occasions, too. To reframe these secretly pajama-like pants as polished trousers, pair them with a sumptuous blouse in a muted hue, like the Bobbie top in riverstone. Made from our Eco Soft Wave fabric, it’s artfully draped as well as wrinkle- and odor-resistant. Accessories like the silver Ella sandals and the pavé Martine earrings make this ensemble worthy of a work party or dinner at that new place on your list. 


The Right Amount of Slouch

The Colbys’ effortless slouch is something to be celebrated—which you can do by pairing them with equally relaxed pieces. The Larissa sweater is a recent favorite of mine, as it features a loose fit and gorgeous details, including a back button placket, pointelle detailing, and raglan seams. Low-heeled slingbacks complete this perfectly laid-back yet elevated look.

What to Wear with Gray Pants office wear
workwear outfit ideas

Just Add Pattern

If you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of solid-colored items, but if your pants are feeling flat, you can always add pattern. The Annika top in washable silk is basically a fancy T-shirt, and it now comes in scribble print, which offers playful visual texture and is remarkably easy to style. To tie this look together, just select a pair of shoes that match back to one of the colors in your patterned top.


Tonal and Metallic

I’m so excited about dune. No, I’m not talking about the second installment of the sci-fi film starring Timothée Chalamet (although I do already have tickets to see it). I’m talking about our newly released neutral shade—a warm, sandy gray with so many pairing possibilities, including the Colbys in cool charcoal. Pair them up with the dune Tatum top to form a tonal, taupe palette that looks especially elegant with metallic accessories like the Yang earrings and the Prosecco Rowan flats.

Tonal and Metallic workwear
Mixed Suiting Separates

Mixed Suiting Separates

With a boxy-in-the-best-way, menswear-inspired fit, the O’Hara blazer is exactly my vibe—and it looks great with the Colbys, too. This “boyfriend” jacket truly works with anything: suiting trousers, sweatpants, light-wash jeans, slip skirts, event dresses—the list goes on. For a look that’s both tailored and relaxed, try it with your Colbys, and layer your sleek Axam turtleneck underneath.


A WFH Uniform

My favorite formula for cool-weather WFH days = a turtleneck top + my Colby pants + a pair of luxurious slippers. Crafted from super-lightweight cashmere, the McKenzie sweater envelops you in the coziness you crave while working from home, and the Colby pants are as easy as sweatpants but make you feel a lot more put-together.

WFH Uniform
What to Wear with Gray Pants

Embrace the Blues

Pairing cool charcoal with similar shades, like navy, amplifies its beautiful blue undertones and creates a clean, sophisticated palette. Try the tailored Yiyan blazer, and tuck the matching Paige tank into your Colbys. For a crisp Power Casual combination, slip on a pair of leather sneakers, and keep your accessories sleek with a pair of simple silver hoops.

Written By

Emma Steinbergs

Emma is M.M.LaFleur's Brand Manager. She previously worked as an M.M. stylist and still loves thinking through styling challenges and solutions for customers.

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