In the summertime, I love olive pants, be them in a pair of capris, casual cargos or dressier pants for work. In fact, I even like olive shorts and skirts, too. There are a few reasons I feel this way and in today’s One Item, Five Fashionable Ways, I am going to not only express why I like them so much but also show you all the different ways you can wear them.
Olive pants are versatile
Olive pants can be like the black pants of summer because the color is just as versatile as black without being so heavy in appearance. Any color you can wear with black bottoms you can wear with olive ones. Seriously, pick a color and it will go with olive. In fact, more will work olive than will work with black. Navy and brown, for example, will work beautifully with olive, black won’t.
Olive pants will work for any skin tone
Near the face, olive can be hit or miss. For some people it can be a beautiful shade. On others, olive can make someone look sick or sallow. However, with olive pants, the color is nowhere near the face which means anyone can take advantage of the color without worrying about whether it will be an unflattering face shade.
Olive is more figure flattering than khaki
During the warmer months a tan cotton khaki often becomes the go-to bottom color. However, many women shy away from it because, being such a light color, khaki can show off a lot of figure flaws. With olive, however, because the color is richer and darker in tone, these body issues aren’t as apparent.
Five outfits using olive pants
To give you some examples on how to incorporate this versatile summer bottom shade into your wardrobe, check out the outfits and my tips below. I decided to feature J. Crew’s ankle length chino in olive. However, all the outfits can be modified for any type of an olive bottom you are seeking, from a more professional pair of pants to a skirt or a pair of shorts. As you will see, this is a definite must have shade to make your wardrobe complete.
Outfit #1- With a chambray shirt
If the denim on denim look isn’t your thing, these olive pants are a great alternative to wear with a chambray shirt, like this one from Anthropologie. In fact, as I am writing this blog it is Sunday afternoon and I am wearing a very similar outfit. I’d photograph myself if I didn’t have bed head and no makeup on. Starting with a base like this that is so neutral, you are free to add in any splash of color you want, if any at all. You can keep it all neutral too. In this outfit, I quite liked the idea of a pop of purple and chose a purple handbag from Brahmin, a pair of purple earrings and, for versatility, a pair of gold sandals and a gold bracelet from Stella & Dot.
Outfit #2- With a colorful printed top
I chose this printed top from Modcloth to show that there really isn’t a color on the planet that doesn’t work with olive. Prints can be great road maps for showing how to finish outfits with color. Looking at the shades of the top, I used the same purple Brahmin handbag and earrings from the previous look and added a coral kimono cardigan from H&M and a pair of yellow ballerina flats. The outfits is finished with a basic gold necklace that is easy to throw on and look accessorized. Of course, if this is too much color, you can always pull back and change the shoes or handbag for metallic or anything that feels more understated to you.
Outfit #3- With navy
As I was saying earlier, I think olive can be more versatile than black because there are colors you can wear with it that you can’t with black. For example, navy, like this asymmetrical tunic from Zara. Again, like the first look, an all neutral base is created, which gives you the freedom to pop the outfit with any color you like. Because I not only like to show how to style one item five different ways in this blog series, but to also show a realistic approach to accessorizing, I chose to use the same yellow ballerina flats from the previous look. Plus, I really just love yellow and navy together. But, you can add any pop shade. Coral would be lovely, purple, pink, and so on. With the choice of these yellow ballerina flats, I brought the pop color near the face with these eye catching earrings from Stella & Dot. With the addition of a metallic handbag from Cole Haan, the outfit is done without much effort.
Outfit #4- With orange
One of the colors I love with olive is orange. Orange is so bright and cheerful and really brings the somber qualities of olive to life. Of course, you can go for an orange top or pair of shoes, but I particularly liked the idea of an orange handbag, like this one from Aldo. I styled these pants with a grey smocked top from Boden to create a neutral base for the orange to shine (I also love grey and orange as a color combination) and finished the look with the same gold sandals used previously, a pair of gold earrings, that same gold bangle bracelet and, to cover the arms, if necessary, a 3/4 sleeve navy cardigan from Target.
Outfit #5- With Red
Red is another color that looks gorgeous with olive. In this outfit, I belted this red top from Modcloth with a Lauren Ralph Lauren brown braided belt and wrapped an olive summer weight scarf around the neck. For a touch of animal, which looks beautiful with olive, I added a pair of Lucky Brand ballerina flats and finished the look with gold, the same gold earrings and bracelet as previously used and a bright gold Banana Republic tote.
Shopping for olive pants?
Well, if this post now has you on the hunt for olive pants, take a look at these styles.
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I’m drooling over this post, in part because I’ve been lusting for a pair of olive pants for at least a couple of years… In addition, I think I already own no less than 50 % of the items displayed, proof that olive pants would work well with my wardrobe. Unfortunately, my budget for this summer is already set on other necessities, but I can still apply your suggestions to: 1) a pair of grey casual pants; 2) a pair of olive cargo shorts. I think I’ll be Best Dressed Beauty on the Beach this summer, thank you Bridgette!!! 😉
Hi! Thrilled to hear it!!! Yes, any color you can wear with these olive pants you can definitely wear with grey or those cargo shorts! I love olive for how versatile it is and how gorgeous it looks with any color. I am glad you got some inspiration! Thanks for the comment!
I love, love, love this post!!! Olive is my color in any shape, form or placement. A few months ago I purchased a bright orange tote (pop color) now I know what to do with it..(a little orange goes a long way).
Thank you Bridgette for sharing your wonderful, creative, mind with us. I just can’t wait to read your blog everyday.
A faithful fan,
Hi Pat, thanks! Ooh, I love orange and olive!!! Well, I love any color and olive, actually. 😉 I have always loved having a pair of olive bottoms in my wardrobe during the summer. When I don’t, either because a pair has worn out or I’ve gotten too big for them, I always feel like I am missing something. Thanks for your comment!
Love the article thanks. On the subject of olive: I have major problem feet and am resorting to having a pair of shoes made. They will need to be flat lace ups. I can only afford ONE pair and I’m thinking about olive. I only wear pants, never black, currently I’m leaning towards chocolate and grey (and will be trying olive now!) For shoes I can basically get any colour under the sun made, or even more than one colour. I work as a health professional. Everyone else wears black shoes but I think I can probably get away with anything that isn’t super bright. Given it’s my only pair I want them to be super shoes that can do anything. What do you think???
I think it all depends on the main colors of your bottoms and the colors in your wardrobe. Also, what will the shoes look like? When you say flat lace up, do you mean an oxford?
I think they’re an oxford? (pictures here: http://ruthemilydavey.4ormat.com/ruth-emily-davey/the-latests )
This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but I actually manage to get by with one pair of jeans and 3 pants total -one grey, two browns. My tops are mostly muted summer type colours. I guess I was so sick of having no choice in shoes I was hoping they could be a bit exciting. I’m short too, so maybe it’s not such a great idea
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply -no problem if this is a bit beyond the scope of a blog question!!
By the way: I really enjoy your posts. Each time there’s a new one it’s like a wee treat.
Hi Andrea! That is so sweet to say about my blog, thank you! I like those shoes, they are a bit rounded in the toe area and I am a bit concerned that they might be a bit limiting. I see that you basically wear pants all the time so I think they might be okay, but what about if you wear skirts or dresses? Are you covered for shoes there? The only issue I have with them is they are just slightly masculine, which might be your style and, if so, they are great. If you go forward with them I feel inclined to suggest brown simply because they will work with all your bottoms, including grey and olive if you buy them. Yea, I’d say go with brown.
With foot problems, have you checked out Eneslow? They offer comfort brands and products for people with foot problems. You can check out their site at http://Eneslow.com. Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks!
Hehehe that was very diplomatic 🙂
Yes unfortunately they are very masculine and I’m stuck with the toe shape -My feet were run over a long time ago and I’ve found that unless I have an extremely roomy toe box I get pain. I guess I have had to shape my wardrobe to fit. I do try dresses in the summer with sandals. Thanks so much for your reply!
[…] 5 ways to wear olive pants this summer: Bridgette Raes. […]
Since when do black and navy not go together?
It’s debatable. Some say it does and others say it doesn’t. It’s all wearer’s choice.
Black and Navy CLASH terribly. There is not enough CONTRAST between them.
It’s all a matter of opinion. There are some ways that navy and black do look good together.