What Color T-Shirt Looks Good Under a Navy Button-Down?

Of all the classic wardrobe staples, a navy button-down ranks right at the top of both men and women’s must-have items. When you’re looking to wear your blue button-down as a layering piece or simply want to let a little color peek through, the right tee can help you stay conservative or elevate your go-to shirt to a new level of fun and funky.

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White and Other Neutrals

Whether you’re male or female, you can never go wrong when you put on a bright-white tee under a navy button-down shirt. But white isn't the only neutral that makes a classic statement -- ivory, heather-gray, tan and beige are particularly appropriate in the fall when fashion trends incorporate warm, earthy hues. As a general rule, stay away from black under navy, as the contrast is too minimal to make an impact.

Bold and Bright

If you’re looking to jazz up your otherwise simple button-down, reach for a bright, vibrant T-shirt. Women can get away with coral and turquoise tops, along with a variety of citrus colors such as lemon yellow and tangerine. Both men and women can make a bold statement with a red tee. The navy and red look has subtle patriotic elements, making this combo a great look for summer holiday parties and backyard barbecues. Just be sure to leave the shirt open to show off your vibrant color choice 1.


Brights aren’t the only game in town, pastels play as a springtime look for women who wish to make a button-down a little more feminine. Reach for a baby-pink, ice-blue or light butter-yellow tee to add a romantic vibe to your dark-blue shirt. Because orange is a complementary color to blue, a soft-peach tone also works well as a contrast to navy.


From a subtle tan-and-ivory to a bold red-and-white, striped tees offer a classic look that provide the perfect way to walk the line between conservative and fashion-forward. The decidedly nautical feel of a striped shirt under a navy button-down is polished and pulled together. Add a pair of white capris or khaki trousers, and you have a striking ensemble that’s ready to set sail.