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How to Match Your Suit to Your Shoes

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Section: Gentlemanly Pursuits - Blog

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Black suit, black shoes, navy suit, brown shoes. Okay, you've got this fashion thing knocked - or do you? If you're satisfied with blending into the crowd of suit wearers and being labeled as the man in boring black, then carry on. However, if you prefer to channel your inner fashionista to stand out in that crowd, here’s some insider secrets you have to know.

A man’s black suit is a key wardrobe element. However, unless you’re saving the world and protecting/hunting aliens, you won’t wear it every day.

If you do own another suit, then it’s probably one of these other common colours:

  • Navy
  • Light or medium grey
  • Brown
  • Charcoal

As these are the four colours typically found in most men's closets, we’ll be discussing how to match them with shoe colours. We’ll leave the beach suits and purple velvet outfits for a later post (or maybe never).

What about shoe colours? Once again, we’ll ignore the fashionable yet outdated styles like blue suede and stick with the stylish gent's three top colour choices:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Red (or burgundy)

Navy Suits

Have you heard that matching navy suits with black shoes is a fashion faux pas? Actually, that’s afashion myth we'd like to debunk. Are you wearing a navy or midnight navy suit? If so, those black shoes are a good match.


However, if you are wearing the brighter shades of navy/blue, you should opt for brown shoes. Take care, though, don’t buy the first pair of sandy brown oxfords you see.


You’ll want to match the darkness of your shoe to that of your suit. In short, the lighter the shade of navy, the lighter the shade of brown, and of course vice versa.

Light to Medium Grey Suits

Light grey suits are less formal than their navy counterparts, so you can typically choose any of the three shoe colours mentioned above depending on your mood or the occasion's formality. We’d recommend a lighter brown shoe with a lighter grey suit, but the shoes should be a few shades darker than the suit, of course.


When it comes to medium grey suits, this colour usually looks better with medium-toned brown shoes, but if you’re wearing a tie and want to look more formal, a flat black shoe can also work. Really, it’s all up to you and your personal preferences. Light or medium grey suits are neutral colours so you have more freedom to accessorize them as you please.

Charcoal Suits

Charcoal suits are less forgiving than other shades of grey. It’s rare to see anyone wearing anything other than black shoes with one. However, having said that, we favor dark burgundy shoes with charcoal suits for less serious occasions.

Brown Suits

While we’re going to advise you that brown goes with brown, there must be a noticeable contrast in the shades. By all means, match that suit with your favourite cigar but never the shoes and the suit.

The general trend is to choose a darker brown for the shoe, but since trends don’t have to be followed, you can always go in the opposite direction, you daredevil.


Whatever suit and shoe combination you choose, do yourself a favour and have your suit tailored right. You can match colours to your heart's content, but if you are wearing pants that fit like those of famous rappers, there’s no point is there?

BOOK YOUR FITTING with us and we’ll take care of you because we care about how you look, and we want you to look damn good.

Image Credit © Viorel Sima | Dreamstime.com© Vonora | Dreamstime.com © Igor Strajin | Dreamstime.com © Fashionstock .com | Dreamstime.com


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