3 style rules we’re breaking


SNAP and the rule was gone

Menswear style rules can seem arbitrary at times, so remember to take them with a pinch of salt.

In the past we have written up our opinions on the rules, but even we are subject to changing our minds. Though not on sandals and socks. Not in this lifetime.

Here are three common style tips to rethink. After all, rules are made to be broken!

Black trousers should never be worn with brown shoes


Just find the trousers to match…if you dare!

Lack of contrast is why many say brown shoes should not be worn with black trousers. We’ve said previously in a guide to wearing brown shoes, that you could wear brown and black in a casual setting, but now we’re willing to take it further.

If you’ve got stylish mens shoes and and smart men’s trousers, then we think, provided they contrast each other enough, it’s fine for formal occasions. Many are championing the look, including Jamie Redknapp, who is widely regarded as one of the best dressed football pundits around.

Tempted to try this look out? Go for a lighter brown. It will give you enough contrast to appease traditional bosses, plus make your shoes stand out more.

Navy and black should never be combined

Man bending down wearing a navy suit and black shoes

Navy and black do well in professional settings
Image: VAKS-Stock-Agency

A similar style conundrum to black and brown, again it comes down to contrast. This time though, we suggest using plenty of white to break things up. For example, in a formal setting team your navy suit and black shoes with a crisp white shirt.

Why have we changed our mind on this? There are two reasons. One, though brown shoes do go best with navy attire, black shoes offer a more formal look.

The second reason, is that wearing black and blue together creates a very serious, dark look; great for modern business.

Tweed is just for the country


So much tweed!
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

We’ve never directly said that tweed can’t be worn in cities, towns and offices, but we’ve always pushed the heritage look. We still love the heritage look, and when paired with some moleskin trousers, it’s a great alternative style. But your use of tweed shouldn’t stop there.

Tweed can be worn in offices with suits, casual setting paired with chinos, and, if you find a plain tweed jacket, pretty much anywhere!

The more traditional tweed patterns might lend themselves more to the heritage look, but feel free to jazz things up every now and then. Tweed in the office is sure to get you noticed!

Final word…

Give it a year or two and we’ll probably change our mind! But for now this is our stance on some of the more contentious rules of the modern age. One rule we will always stay with though, is that socks should not be worn with sandals. Just, no.

Posted in Men's style guides.