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Brown is the new black. For years, black was considered the height of sophistication, elegance, and good taste. But now the tables have turned, and designers and fashionistas alike realize the earthy and versatile qualities of brown fabric. At least one pair of brown pants is a must in every person's wardrobe, both for men and women. You can experiment with long or short styles, wide-legged or skinny, but you'll always need to pick out an appropriate color for the top.


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Almost all light colors are a good choice with brown pants, no matter how light or dark the pants are. Choose pastels for a soft, formal look. White is appropriate for the office but can get a bit boring after a while. Try yellow or tan to bring out the brown in the pants. Don't be afraid to experiment with different shades of brown tops, either. Monotone color can have a similar slimming effect as an all-black outfit, a look that many individuals find flattering.


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Medium colors also have their place atop a stylish pair of brown pants. Jewel tones are especially appropriate for fall and early winter, giving a warm, earthy quality to the ensemble. If you are wearing a medium-toned top similar to the shade of brown in your pants, but aren't going for a monotone look, you'll need to spice up the top. Chose a flattering design -- your shirt need not be all one color. Or use ruffles, frills, or an interesting tie to break up the monotony.


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A recent development in the fashion world (seen more often in the past five years) is combining brown with darker colors. Brown and blue has been a popular combination for well over 10 years, both in light and dark hues. If you have dark brown pants, you may choose a dark, medium, or light brown shirt. However, if you have light or medium brown pants, stick to lighter shades above -- otherwise, you will look top-heavy. One color combination that used to be a big taboo was pairing brown with black, but it isn't any longer. Considered a modern and chic option, black fabrics of all sorts can now be worn with brown pants for an intriguing twist on darker outfits.


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It's not only tops you need to think about when wearing brown pants; accessories are important. Choose extras of a similar color to look instantly pulled-together.