How To Wear Brown Shoes With A Black Suit, Pants Or Jeans

Down down to black & brown town.

how to wear brown shows with a black suit

We’re not going to make you read to the bottom to reveal the answer to this popular question.

The answer is yes, you can wear brown shoes with black. However, we’ll also show you the right and wrong ways to wear brown shoes with any type of black suit, jeans, chinos/trousers.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Brown shoes can be worn with black suits, but the shade of brown worn makes a big difference.
  • Brown shoes can be paired with black jeans, but you need to think carefully about the type of shoes, or even boots, that you wear.
  • Brown shoes can also be worn with black chinos/pants, but like above, the shoe style and colour make a big difference.

Let’s begin…

Know Your Acceptable Brown Shoes

Know Your Acceptable Brown Shoes For A Black Suit

If you’re unsure what brown shoes are acceptable with a suit, it’s simple.

  • Loafers – Tassel or no tassel is acceptable.
  • Oxfords – Good shine, lace-ups
  • Brogues – Again, look for a good shine.
  • Chukkas – Mostly found in suede
  • Chelsea boot – Leather or suede, no laces in a good shine (if leather)
G H Bass Apron Loafer

G H Bass Apron Loafer

Dressy and elegant with the genuine comfort of a moc, the Larson is the perfect shoe to elevate your style game.

When Should You Wear Brown Shoes With Black?

Even when you understand how to pair a brown shoe with different black outfits, it still sometimes feels inappropriate. So when should you wear brown shoes with black? Honestly, a brown show will work fine for most outings, except the most formal ones like White Ties or Black Ties.

Outside that, you should be fine with a brown shoe as long as you follow all the rules we’ve discussed above. There’s still some gray area though. 

For instance, do you wear brown shoes with a black suit to the office? While this will be totally fine for a cocktail event, or a wedding, it may not look right in the office. 

So, try it on and if you don’t feel so good about the look – especially considering the impression you’re trying to give off, stick with a black pair, and pick up your browns for other events. But if you like the look, you should go for it!

Brown Shoes And A Black Suit

With a shirt or without is totally acceptable.

You’re probably wondering why you don’t see men wearing black suits with brown shoes more often and put simply it’s because black shoes and a black suit is a safer bet.

If you’re inclined to try new things, then we recommend investing in a pair of high-quality brown Oxfords, brogues and or loafers to wear with your black suit.

The most important thing to remember when wearing brown shoes with a black suit is to choose a darker shade of brown. Tan shoes will NOT be suitable. Use the images above as a guide as the right shade of brown. Any lighter than this and we would say wear black shoes instead.

Keep things as monochromatic as possible on top. Too many colours and shades will not work. Bradley Cooper’s example above is what we recommend.

If you can, ensure your belt colour matches your shoes, otherwise, don’t wear a belt.

Black Herringbone Havana Suit

Black Herringbone Havana Suit

With its slim tailoring, peak lapel, and jetted pockets, this sleek black Havana suit is the perfect balance of classic style details and all-occasion versatility.

Brown Shoes And Black Jeans

One of our favourite combinations all year round is black jeans and brown shoes. Although, when we say shoes we really mean brown boots. What boots? Chelsea boots, hiking boots and importantly dress boots will work superbly with a pair of black jeans.

If you don’t own a pair of boots, don’t worry. Lace-up Oxfords, brogues and even loafers will work just fine. In this case with denim, lighter shades of brown shoes will also be suitable. See Justin Theroux above (far right) for an example of lighter brown (even tan) boots.

Skinny Lin Black Black

Skinny Lin Black Black

Jeans with a tight fit, made in our organic power stretch Black-Black denim.

Brown Shoes And Black Pants / Chinos

Last on our list is the black trouser/chinos question when wearing black shoes. Here you have more freedom to wear pretty much any type of brown and style of shoe.

We prefer the loafer, oxford or even monk strap in this scenario. Even brown leather sneakers would be suitable in this occasion.

NOTE: Your trousers must not be too long otherwise they will sit awkwardly on the shoe (like the image in the middle).

If you’re wearing loafers then you’ll want to ditch the socks and make sure the trouser length is on the shorter side. Complete the look with a leather jacket, black blazer or simply a well-ironed t-shirt or shirt.

There you have it, a simple guide on how to wear brown shoes with a black suit. Keep scrolling for more inspiration on what to wear with your black suit, trousers and jeans.

Stretch Washed Chino 2.0

Stretch Washed Chino 2.0

Our best chino, updated with non-iron, 4-way stretch cotton & a secure zip pocket.