Choosing the right style and colour of shoes to match your suit is essential to creating a polished and stylish outfit. We’ve all seen that guy dressed in a decent suit, shirt perfectly ironed, and his lapels looking sharp – but you look down and shockingly, the shoes are just not working – for that suit!
Of course, fashion rules were made to be broken and black shoes go with just about anything. However, if you want to stand out, a light or dark brown shoe with a navy, blue, or light grey suit will do wonders for you.
You can judge a man by his shoes as they reveal whether he takes pride in the little things. If he throws on a nice suit and pairs it with cheap, clunky lace-ups, he’s not what you’d call a detail man. And if he leaves his pricey wingtips scuffed and unpolished, he may not be the closer you’re looking for.
There are numerous styles of shoes out there, but what’s great about being a man is that you can do perfectly well by sticking with just a few. You don’t need to maintain some Carrie Bradshaw–esque obsession about the latest and coolest. If you invest in a handful of sensible (and stylish) pairs and take care of them, you’ll be set for years. You just need to take that first step.
Here are a few tips on what shoe to pair with what suit:
A Charcoal Suit
These lie somewhere between black and grey. In terms of versatility where your footwear is concerned, plain black works best or a deep burgundy for a look that’s relaxed but still elegant.
A Grey Suit
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. Black shoes are your most reliable option in terms of achieving a harmonious look. If your grey suit is on the lighter side, however, you have a little more flexibility and a deep brown tone, or even a more interesting burgundy will work perfectly well.
A Navy Suit
These are far more versatile than black ones. You can probably even make a navy suit work with more exotic colors if you have them, although blue is generally too close to make a good contrast. Black, brown, and burgundy tend to be the most reliable hues and are great options to have on hand.
A Black Suit
You are much more limited with what colour you can pair with this one unfortunately, as not many colours are really going to work. So stick with black shoes because any other color of shoe is going to look too casual with black.
A Brown Suit
Brown suits work with most brown shoes. However, let there be a visible contrast between the color of the shoe leather and the color of the suit. If they’re identical or almost-identical, it looks off. The darker the suit, the darker the shoe. If your suit is light enough, a tan coloured shoe might work well. Note that black should be avoided at all costs.
Cover image: Kaysha / Pexels
Reference: The GQ Guide
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