Pairing Your Suit with the Right Shoes

Your shoes may literally be at the bottom of your entire get-up, but they’re definitely not at the bottom of things to consider when putting together an ensemble.

There are those who may consider putting on their shoes simply as an afterthought, but wearing the wrong pair can ruin an otherwise dapper outfit.

Which Suit Shoes Suit Your Suit?

Didn’t intend that one to be a tongue-twister. If that heading didn’t make sense, let me rephrase it: Which type of shoes match the right suit?

Not all shoes are made equal, therefore, not all of them can be worn together with a suit. How we wish that choosing the right suit shoes can just be as easy as choosing between formal pairs like Oxford shoes and less formal ones such as Derby shoes. However, in this fashion era where rules are more relaxed, even leather sandals and sneakers can now be worn with suits.

If you want to play it safe, especially if the occasion you’re attending is a black-tie event, your best bet is to wear Oxfords or Derbies. In fact, you should have at least a pair of any of these two in your closet (or wherever you keep your shoes).

If you want to tone down the formality of your ensemble, you can wear sneakers or leather sandals with your suit.

What About the Color?

Although black is the most neutral of them all, wearing brown shoes (running the entire gamut of shades from tan to dark chocolate) or a gray pair is safe for most suit colors. Another neutral shoe color is burgundy (or oxblood). Can’t go wrong with these three.

Let’s get to more specific:

  • If you have a navy blue suit, pair it with either black, brown or burgundy shoes.
  • If your suit is light or medium-gray, again, all three shoe colors can be paired with it.
  • If it’s a charcoal gray suit, however, only black and burgundy/oxblood would go great with it.
  • If it’s a brown suit, either wear brown or burgundy (stay away from black this time).
  • But if it’s a black suit, only a black pair of shoes would match it.

Boot Camp

Boots go well with suits, too, if you choose the right pairs, of course. Depending on your suit style (and the occasion) Chelsea boots and brogue boots are great options. Certainly, not all boot styles are appropriate for all suits.

Sandals and Loafers?

Again, in this fashion era where rules are more relaxed, even sandals and loafers are now acceptable footwear that can match certain suits. No one’s stopping you from wearing these types of footwear with your chosen suit. However, like all freedoms, this is not absolute. If you’re attending a wedding or a business conference, wearing a pair of sandals to match your formal suit is not just a no-no, it can also be downright embarrassing.

Let’s sum it all up. The three safest shoe colors that can match almost all suit colors are black, brown and burgundy/oxblood. Loafers and leather sandals are acceptable, as long as the event is not a formal one.

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