Choosing the right colour shoes to match your suit is key to pulling off your outfit, and this quick and easy guide will give you all the pointers you need.
We’ve all seen it. The guy dressed in a decent suit, his tie just so, his shirt perfectly ironed, and his lapels looking sharp – then you spot his shoes and something’s just not quite right. They’re clean, buffed up to a nice shine, but they just don’t work. Nine out of ten times it’s because the colour isn’t one that matches with the suit, and this can really change up the look of the outfit.
When you’re looking to match your suit with a pair of formal shoes, say for a wedding or other important event, there are a couple of thing you need to bare in mind when it comes to the colours. Certain coloured suits work better with different coloured shoes. Don’t fret too much, though, it’s a really easy bit of colour matching that’s simple to get right.
What Colour Shoes to Wear with a Black Suit
Let’s start with the most common suit colour – black. You are much more limited with what colour you can pair with this one unfortunately, as not many colours are really going to work. The whole black suit brown suit shoes combination won’t work, as brown is just too light and will look odd in contrast. Red dress shoes are too stark and even if you go for a dark shade like oxblood, you still run the risk of looking a little top heavy. White dress shoes? Well, that doesn’t even bare thinking about. The only combination that’s really going to work perfectly is black.
If that seems dull to you, and you want your suit to have more of a unique look, you can easily change up the style of shoes you go for. Black dress shoes are one of the most elegant shoes you can slip on your feet, and you can actually change up the vibe of your suit a lot depending on the shape of them and the materials they’re made up of.
Loafers come in two unique styles – tassel and penny. Both have their own benefits and vibes, but if you’re going for an all black look you can add some subtle interest with some good quality tassel loafers. You could also go for a more winter friendly design with some patent leather lace ups to add some shine to your outfit, and some good old fashioned brogues are always a classic, yet never boring.
- Black shoes
- Brown shoes
- Burgundy shoes
You may be thinking ‘what colour shoes with navy trousers?’, but navy is a much more versatile suit colour than black, allowing you to match it with a wider range of coloured shoes. There aren’t really any shoes that won’t go with a navy suit, and you can even pull off a clean, stylish look with a pair of white canvas trainers if you want to go for a more casual look (but obviously we don’t recommend this for a wedding suit). Navy blue and brown is a classic, and a blue suit and brown shoes, or navy suit and brown shoes, combination gives a light, summer-friendly look, but burgundy, tan and black shoes with a navy blue suit will work as well. It’s just a matter of what style you prefer.
As with navy blue suit and black or brown shoes there are dozens of styles you can go for, from old school monk shoes to classic tassel loafers, but for a sleeker look it’s best to go for something more streamlined, like a classic brogue or Oxford dress shoe, but if you want to add some dimension to your look, try out something more interesting like a tasselled loafer. If you do choose loafers however remember to find some invisible/trainer socks to wear, and show off a bit of your ankle. You don’t want to mess up the look with visible socks that don’t go with the rest of the outfit.
What Colour Shoes to Wear with a Grey Suit
Again, this is a really versatile suit colour to be wearing. The only trip up is that there are so many shades of grey, and the tones can affect what colours match with them. If you’ve recently bought a grey suit and you’re unsure of how to style it, read out easy guide on what shirts to wear with it. The great thing about grey suits though is that they go with any skin tone, they aren’t as heavy as black, but they still give a formal, sleek look.
Dark Grey Suits
- Black shoes
- Burgundy shoes
Dark grey suits comes with a slight restraint as, like with black suits, brown shoes won’t really work well with them. There’s no reason to stick solely to black shoes though, as burgundy is a great alternative to brown, giving off the same warm tone but matching more easily with darker shades.
You can get them in various shoe styles, from textured brogues to dress loafers, but because of the colour’s intense tone you’ll always get a striking, yet complementary look. You can also go for a smarter, classic edge with some traditional black shoes, creating a subtle, clean look. Dark grey trousers with black shoes is a staple look and gives a clean, sharp finish to a tailored suit.
Light Grey Suits
- Black shoes
- Light Brown shoes
- Burgundy shoes
Light to mid-grey suits are easily paired with any colour shoe from your black to light brown dress shoes, so you should have no worries finding the right shoe for your suit here. Light coloured shoes can help give your suit a summery, easy vibe, whereas darker colours will bring out the formality of your look by toning down the suit.
Because of your endless choice you could go bolder with the design, going for more angular shapes or added elements, like tassel loafers or intricately detailed brogues. Grey suit and brown shoes – it doesn’t seem like the best idea, but this is really only for dark grey, and light grey can actually benefit from the warm tone of brown, with the colour helping the balance out the overall look.
What Colour Shoes to Wear with a Cream or Beige Suit
- Light brown shoes
- White shoes
Cream or beige suits are usually reserved for the summer months, with them usually made from linen or light cotton. Because of this you want to go for a light coloured shoe that’s going to compliment the look of the suit. The best style to go for is something equally light, such as a brogue or men’s dress loafer, as both will match with the summery vibe.
Despite the fact that you’re probably dealing with light, breathable shoes, there’s no need to skimp on quality, as cheap men’s dress shoes tend to look just that – cheap. If you have the money, try out some light suede shoes to keep things breathable yet smart. If you’re going for a smart casual look you can mix up the looks and pair your suit with some clean white plimsolls – just never ever wear them with socks that you can see.