I have a pair very similar to this that I love. Even for summer. They are light and have a bit of shine.

Great for showing off shoes... particularly ankle straps...

I consider this color gray and fab neutral and wear just about any color with it. I like hot pink, coral and even a sleeveless beige linen top.. I know this sounds quite bland but it is doable.

Suz - you're cracking me up. Maybe I should give you my pants The Okalas are totally me - love them to bits, but the vamp is not high enough on the foot to cover a bunion. (I vote to change the word "bunion" to something else a little less harsh sounding - lol ) And I'm totally embarrassed to admit I forgot I had those VC cage sandals from last summer. I wore those things practically everyday. Ugh - i'm such an idiot. I just came home with two new pair of shoes - hahahah! I'm keeping them anyways - some good deals on at The Bay and Brown's right now. I picked up a pair of those ubiquitous bootie thingies in perforated black with a nice stacked cognac wooden heel . Plus a pair of really crazy edgy black ones I couldnt' resist. Yes, I went shopping immediately after writing this - like a bad taste I had to get out of my mouth

SaraL- thanks a million for taking the time to post your outfits - that is very useful . How do you do that, btw? Just copy and paste from old posts?

Ladies - thanks for chiming in on what must have sounded like such a dumb question. Sometimes it's hard to see the trees for the forest etc. Grey needs to be high contrast for me . Pairing it with other colours leaves me feeling like I'm blending in with the wallpaper. White and white are going to be the solutions, with cognac or black heels. I really appreciate your input -

Rachy - too weak EXACTLY. That's why it works in winter but not in summer. Please take away my debit card when I approach anything in a pastel or pale colour.

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Vivian -now I need mustard coloured shoes and that navy top. Sigh. What a great colour mix .

Lisa for what it's worth, I really like the pants and I think some of the suggestions you've gotten are good. I too seem to have problems with grey in the summer and in fact have a grey skirt that I bought that I finally gave up on and am about to return. I like your pants better than my skirt however and I think the snakeskin mules or red accessories posted from your finds by AviaMariah would look great. I love grey and like Suz tend to wear grey tops rather than bottoms in the summer.

AM - too funny! I don't own all of those finds but I wish I did ! Those black buckled Top Shop ones have been on my mind all summer. Never have found them at retail and I'm not an on-line orderer - just prefer touching and trying and thinking.

The Smythe blazer? Wrong fabric pairing . I tried, but the two don't work together.

Colette - yes to mules - if I find a pair, I'll definitely try them. I have been lusting after a pair of Vince mules in black with the coolest cognac wooden heel, but the heels are totally unworkable. And I can handle a high heel!

Those new shoes look fabulous. Of course you shouldn't return them! It's good to have options and anyway, they go with more than the pants.

I am in favour of ALL the shoes. Also, yes to Viva's colour suggestion.

Also, how about (with your new hair) the right rust coloured top for moving into fall, that transitional time? Or the right burgundy? They look like great pants, actually. So yeah, if you want to send them my way...

In all seriousness, I do have a pair of more casual Gap cotton linen pants in soft grey that I rarely wear, mainly because I rarely wear pants in summer, period. But I do find them a bit difficult to pair things with, so I know what you mean.

I think you need a denim tshirt, preferably with a raw hem.

Anna - funny, I actually have one , but I can't figure out what to do with it. I've worn it once- last year. It's a mid-blue , raw hem, but I bought it at Anthro, I think, and that should tell you everything ( in other words, it has the dull yellow topstitching too ) I need to revisit it though - thanks for the idea.

Suz -I am officially buying you a pair of these pants. Rust - what a great idea! Rust and grey is a very luxe pairing - I like that. I'm already eyeing the fall colours starting to show up in stores and liking what I see ......

I have not read all the suggestions but I think black summer sharp dressy shoes of some description....I would wear with a black top and silver jewelry.

I would also like with navy, red or white, yellow or even fushia pink. I would still consider black shoes with all except maybe the navy and tie in a black pendant or earrings. I know this could be matchy but I think this would be totally sharp for work.

ETA I struggle with pastels, although they sort of suit me. I have one blush sweater and one patterned blush silky tee that I wear and like, but they are both usually worn with denim which somehow I like. I like pastels on others but on me they don't feel right.

Don't laugh, but I got these closed-toe wedges to be my dressier summer shoe (meaning for on your feet at work dressier than loafers or oxfords) for exactly that situation of gray pants and skirts and also white pants, and prints/tweedy, and casual dresses outside of work, because I don't do well with very light colored footwear.
Clearly comfort factor is going on here, as I have to really watch out and not wear shoes that are really just " a few hour" shoes--I think they are risking creating more toe problems. And I can't use open toes. Have not yet found the right high-ankle strap/closed toe version. This elastic crossover leaves something to be desired in terms of dressiness, for sure, but I like them and they give a more summery vibe than a clunkier shoe.
There are more colors, but I specifically targeted the gray because it IS lighter and because it gives a tonal look with several gray or print or beige items. And the suede, while maybe not screaming summer, is extremely forgiving for toebox. So I add lighter colors in my top or in a print or with jewelry and the gray is more grounding with my hair color--not yet bookending with gray, haha, but is less harsh than black for summer.

I generally don't wear a lot of grey pants in the summer. But I think the fabric and cropped length should work. I have two ideas in finds, but I like the idea of rust and think it would be a good color for you.

I like that red bag in finds.

As I look at them again they really seem more pewter than grey--maybe you could think of them as a metallic neutral.

Lisa (s) I have the J. Crew top in off-white or cream or whatever they call it. It's an odd thing, and I wasn't sure about it at first, but I got it on super sale with no delivery charge, Mr. Suz liked it, and I kept it.

What's odd -- it's sort of a polyester double knit!! (Seriously) That's both ICK!! and good. ICK for me because of old association and also, it's too hot to wear in daytime with no AC.

Good, because it keeps its structure nicely, pairs fabulously with a VC tube skirt or jeans, and works as a fun alternative to a more drapey top for evenings. I won't wear it during high summer daytimes in my home because of aforementioned lack of AC and humid temps.

Suz, I just got that blue peplum top this week. Haven't worn it yet, but looks comfy for summer for something not all natural fiber, but also structured enough to add some dressy element to an otherwise plain outfit.

Some ideas
#1 interesting architectural gingham blouse. I feel gingham is very summery.
#2 yes a winter look, but I could see it with a ruffle hem tee & a very cropped jacket. In light fabrics of course
ETA I see others suggested a ruffled hem
#3 maximal pattern mixing. Finding an non pretty floral might be tricky. Though Artizia here had some dark floral tops.

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Anna - that last photo is gorgeous! THat's where having a pair of crazy floral pumps is not so crazy at all. Really amps up a look . Gingham - yes, like that too . I like all three- actually. You find very cool things . What I need is a better b & m environment to shop in . So frustrating. Toronto will happen in August - but I'll be lucky if I have 5 minutes in which to shop.

And Manny - yes, to pretty pumps. Interestingly, I have a nice little collection of pointy-toe pumps in walkable heels, and haven't worn them this year. But you know something - with a really sharp top, that would be a slam-dunk. Sigh- now I am itching to go out shopping again tomorrow........I love those patterned pumps. A printed top though? Not really my thing - just never my favourite pieces in my closet.

Lisa/Suz - I like that JCrew top - but refuse to order from them unless I know exactly what I'm getting . Returns there are not worth the effort, nor is the price. The trouble with cobalt, and you referred to this earlier , Suz , is that it's rarely in tops that have an edge or a bit of fashion-forwardness to them. I like the colour, and I can wear it, but I always feel "missy" in it unless it's in a really luxe fabric or a very distressed t. Same with fuchsia. Maybe I need to get over my fear of that mainstream thing....I think I'm not conventionally pretty enough to get away with that kind of look , know what I mean?

You've received lots of great advice, LisaP. I just wanted to commiserate with you about the surprising challenge of working with grey, especially in summer! I have a summer weight grey plaid, boxy fit shirt, purchased a couple years ago, which is basically a wardrobe orphan. Almost everything I thought should work with it...well...doesn't. It remains in my closet because I love how it looks on the hanger.

wind chime - too dressy for white jeans?

I cannot read this thread - too many distracting shoe pictures.

What strikes me is the "annoyed" word in your title and the general feeling of impatience I get from the post.

I may not understand you well : I understand you have tried a couple of tops and shoes in the rush of morning, and declared the pants orphaned.

I have to try on nearly every top, topper and shoes in my wardrobe, before I can find an outfit that works.
Also, when I rush out to shop for complement items without playing in my closet first, I end up adding more orphans.

Obviously, I'm talking of myself here. You sound more intuitive and quicker at decision making than I am, so what doesn't work for me might work well for you, I don't know.

Skylurker - you are absolutely right in that I was annoyed and frustrated......with having bought the pants ignoring that niggling inner voice warning me I may not find enough to wear with them without having to buy more things. Which is precisely what I had to do

The pants hung on my closet door for 3 weeks - I looked at them every day against the tops and jackets hanging in my closet -and nothing was inspiring me . You're right, I'm pretty intuitive when it comes to shopping and choosing pairings out of my closet - if I have to work at it , it's usually a fail - lol.

I like grey and white together in summer it gives that crisp look to it. With some silver shoes and a fuchsia bag. You can rock it!!

So...this is why Angie's suggestion to leave the tags on until you've done your try-on session is a good one. Because what works in theory might not work in practice.

Having said that, I've been guilty of cutting a lot of tags myself. Or of failing to bother with a try-on session until it's too late.

So did you cut the tags already? If you have to go to great lengths to make something work, then maybe it's not worth it.

Try Suz's rust pairing idea in the fall. I will too, in fact. Sounds really heavenly. You can do the edgy version and I will do modern classic or whatever it is that I am. (Boring, I worry.)

Oh yah, I love these pants. I think these are my favorite pants in the universe at the moment. It's the sheen that grabs me.

But I decided against them because I have no shoes or tops to wear (so basically the same issues as you).

Really, the th I Ng is that you have to commit to a full-on dressy look with these, and I just don't have an ultra-dressy life.

Maybe a white silk sleeveless top would work?

Smittie - you are absolutely right . A full-on dressy look or nothing. And I bet that's what secretly attracted me to them was that sharp crease, and silky dressy fabric. Buying for my imaginary life. I am indeed looking for a dressy white sleeveless top. Today, in fact

These pants are sounding better and better and more and more useless by the minute. I think the solution is obvious: GIRLS' COCKTAIL PARTY. You need some pretty pumps, a sparkly or rich black or silky white or white lace (or fringed?) shell, some bling, and some champagne.

I'm following this closely because I was thinking of looking for some grey ankle pants......but I bet I'd have all the same issues you've had LisaP and that everyone else has mentioned.

Lisa if you do find a dressy white top let us know, I've been looking for a while and it's surprisingly a big HEWI for me. You'd think the basics would be easy to find....

Suz you are so funny...Girls Cocktail Party...YES!...what we need when we want to wear an outfit that is otherwise a bit too dressy for our real life.....