How To Wear Brown Shoes With A Black Suit Or Trousers

Down down to black & brown town.

We’re not going to make you read all the way 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 makes a big difference.

Let’s begin…

Brown Shoes & A Black Suit

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.

Brown Shoes & 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.

Brown Shoes & Black Trousers / 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: It’s important your trousers are not 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.

Brown Shoes With Black Suit FAQ

Which is better, a single or double monk strap?

The single monk strap has a cleaner profile which make it look great with formal suits and with business casual looks. The double monk strap is more edgy. Also, if you have narrow feet, it may provide a more accurate fit.

What is the most versatile style of loafers?

A pair of penny loafers, with its signature strip of leather across the saddle and a diamond cut-out, is probably the most versatile style. You can dress them up or down easily and they work with most outfits.

How to wear brown shoes?

Darker shades of brown are best paired with more formal outfits. For smart casual looks, opt for medium to light brown shades. If you want a more eye-catching shade, try burgundies or cognac.

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