Running a men’s style blog it is expected that I will receive many style questions, but there are a few that get repeated over and over agian.
Can you guess what’s the most common mix and matching question I receive from readers?
If your initial quess was “how to match my shoes to my suit”, then you, my friend, are a genius.
Except, I kind of gave the answer away with the title of this post.
But anyway, it’s true. This is a burning question among all men who want to make sure they rock their suits in perfection from head to toe.
Me being me, I scraped the idea of creating a single, shallow blog post. Instead, I have decided to put together the ultimate suit and shoes matching guide.
Ready? Let’s do this!
A black suit might not be the best option in most situations, but if for any exceptional reason you find yourself wearing a black suit, the rules to match your suit to your shoes will be extremely limited:
Black suit calls for black shoes. No options, no alternatives, no cool color combinations, no nothing.
A plain black suit demands black shoes.
A charcoal suit is the best alternative for men who still want to wear a dark suit that’s very close to black, but without the style problems that bring with a black suit.
The very dark nature of a charcoal suit calls for dark shoes – never go for any light color here. Instead, you should go for colors like black, a very dark burgundy and even a dark shade of brown could possibly work, although it might not be the ideal choice.
This is where it starts to get really fun. A navy suit, unlike a black or charcoal suit, is much more dynamic and gives a bit more creative freedom and flexibility to find interesting shoe combinations.
Obviously, you can go with the most obvious and formal choice and wear black shoes with your navy suit, but don’t shy away from trying burgundy and brown (light brown can work as a more informal option as well). These two colors are always great choices if you want to go for a more adventurous look with a navy suit.
Gray suits are very similar to charcoal suits in terms of which shoe colors will look great with them. Although, the lighter color of a gray suit will allow for more possible combinations with lighter colored shoes.
Keep it simple: black shoes, different shades of brown and even burgundy shoes will work with a gray suit. Again, the level of formality you are trying to accomplish will be the most important element when choosing the right shoes.
Matching your shoes to a brown suit can be a little bit tricky.
Some would say you can safely match a Brown suit with brown shoes (well, obviously), but in reality, I wouldn’t recommend going for a shade of brown that matches too close to the color of your suit. A lighter shade of brown or tan shoe would make a much better choice.
Besides the obvious light browns, you can also get more adventurous in your choice by wearing a burgundy or oxblood shoes.
Last, but not least. Do not wear black shoes with a brown suit. Some would tell you it’s ok, but it most definitely is not ok.
Blue suits are actually very similar to navy suits not only in terms of color, but also in how easy they are to match with shoes.
The only remarkable difference would be the fact that the lighter shade of blue will allow you to wear lighter shades of shoes as well.
Black, most shades of brown, burgundy, tan… Take your pick!
Light Gray Suit
Light gray suits are not too restricting in terms of matching shoes, but they are not the most dynamic either (at least when compared to a regular/medium gray suit).
Still, the options are plenty, so you’ll surely find a great pair of shoes to match your gray suit. The colors you want to look for are black, browns and tans.
If you’re feeling bold you can always play with some other shades of brown and even run a slight risk with other colors, just know the result might not be as fruitful as you’d wish. Nothing wrong with taking such risks every now and again, though.
Beige is one of the most common daytime formal suit colors and even if it wouldn’t technically be terrible to pair it with black shoes, you’ll want to lean more towards browns and tans.
White shoes are also a possibility with beige shoes as long as the suit color is very light/close to white. In this case my best advice would be to pay attention to the exact color of your suit and match according to these rules.
Call me crazy, but I do believe a white suit can be great canvas for a great color combinations. Shoes are no exception.
Of course, white suits can be considered more casual than formal, so that gives a little more extra freedom. The extremely light color of a white or off white suit makes for a great opportunity to match with more contrasting colors for a classy and interesting look.
Black, brown, burgundy, oxblood, etc. You’ll be killing it.
I would draw the line on white shoes, though. It would be way too much white for a single outfit.
Got Further Suit – Shoe Combination Questions?
I tried to cover the most common and basic suit and shoe combinations and then a bit more, but I know there is a plethora of different colors and shades out there that can be quite difficult to properly match despite knowing your basics.
If you have any specific suit color in mind and are unsure which shoe colors you can wear with it, please let me know either in the comments below or you can just send me an email.
Now promising I’ll know everything, but I promise I’ll give it my best to give you a satisfying answer.
PS In case you missed it, my reader survey is still open – I’d love for you to voice your opinion on the topics you like and the mediums you prefer.