So what colour shoes should you wear with your suit? It is a question that I am asked on a regular basis along with “who are you and why are you in my kitchen?”. And while a black suit, paired with black shoes is an obvious safe bet. We’d like to think that most guys prefer to be a little more colourful and adventurous with their formal attire. Unless of course you’re attending a funeral, in which case black is just fine.
So back to that common query. If you are wearing a charcoal, navy, grey, brown or even a red suit, what colour shoes should you wear? Below we have put together a simple guide, that should make the whole pairing process much more enjoyable for you.
Now this shoe to match suit guide is an example of the safe rules to follow and if you use this guide correctly, you will not go wrong. However there is nothing stopping you from ignoring our advice and creating your own unique look by mixing up the colours or even (classic formal wear fans cover thy ears) wearing a clean pair of trainers.
Going against the rules can often help express your individuality, which is something we encourage wholeheartedly. I do however suggest that this guide is followed when attending a more formal occasion, that may require a classic look.
What colour shoes to wear with a Brown suit:
When wearing a brown suit, the key is to make sure the colour of your shoes is darker than the suit itself. Most brown shoes work but make sure there is an obvious contrast between the two. Again, if they are too close in tone, it could look odd. Ideally I would refrain from pairing your brown suit with black shoes. Black just doesn’t combine with blown as well as your other options.
What colour shoes to wear with a Grey suit:
Grey suits are less formal than navy and can also be worn with most colours. For a smarter or more formal affair, where a white shirt and smart tie is being worn, black shoes are always the best option. If you are aiming for a more relaxed look, perhaps with a patterned shirt. Brown or burgundy shoes can be a great option to complete your outfit.
What colour shoes to wear with a Black suit:
Black suits are not so flexible. It is for that very reason that we tend to suggest a charcoal grey suit when picking your first suit. If you are wearing a black suit, black shoes are best. Any other colour is too casual to pair with your black suit.
What colour shoes to wear with a Charcoal suit:
When wearing a charcoal grey suit, try to keep away from brown shoes. Plain black always works best but pairing your suit with a pair of dark burgundy shoes will result in a look that is more elegant and relaxed.
What colour shoes to wear with a Navy Blue suit:
The Navy Blue suit is possibly the easiest colour to pair, as nearly every shoe colour can work. In fact, the colour of shoe that you pick should be influenced more by what occasion you are attending. Formal business situations historically would have called for black shoes to be worn.
However, as work attire has relaxed over the last few years, brown shoes are now also widely accepted. Red or Burgundy shoes could be worn at more casual events, helping to express a more playful look. I would just be wary of wearing blue shoes with a navy suit.
It may sound like an obvious choice, but the tones may be too close to create an obvious contrast and could result in looking like you’ve tried to create a unified outfit but ended up screwing it up a little. Contrasts are always a better look.
There are so many different colours out there when it comes to suits and the different possibilities are endless. To make sure you get it right, regardless of the colour, I would try to follow these two simple yet incredibly effective rules:
- Make sure there is an obvious contrast between the colour of your suit and the colour of your shoes.
- The colour of your shoes should always be darker than the colour of your suit.
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So that’s Me My Suit & Tie’s exclusive guide to matching your suit with the colour of your shoes. I hope this guide is helpful to you and please be sure to get in touch with us, regarding any questions that you may have.