How to wear brown shoes

Bored of black? Well it’s time to jump on the brown shoe bandwagon. This versatile colour will update your outfits and inject some style into your winter wardrobe.

With so many opinions surrounding this wonderful shade, it can be tricky working out how to wear brown shoes. Luckily for you, we’ve rounded up the rules and created a mini style guide, so you can be the best brown wearer in town.

The golden rule

Brown shoes and black trousers

What do you think?
Source: Fashionist

You’ve probably heard that black and brown is a colour combination from hell. The reason being that the contrast between the two shades isn’t different enough, so it just looks like a mismatch.

And as black suits are a popular with many men, brown shoes often can’t be worn. But as we’ll learn, you can’t discount the colour combination entirely.


Brown over black

Brown trumps black

When deciding upon your formal attire, you should first of all pick your suit colour, as this will impact what shoes you can wear.

Formal events and black outfits go hand in hand, but an all black ensemble isn’t the most inspiring. To shake things up a bit introduce a lighter shade, such as brown, by way of your shoes. This will brighten up your interest whilst still remaining formal.

You could also consider extending your brown look to your entire suit. Whilst often overlooked, brown suits have a certain vintage charm, and look great paired with a pair of classic brown shoes.

If you’d rather stick a shade closer to the classic black suit, why not try grey or navy? Both colour options look great teamed with tan brown shoes.

Smart casual


On his way to the office we can presume

The popular heritage look is great for smart casual events. Try teaming a traditional check tweed jacket with a pair of mid toned brown brogues.

Brown Chelsea boots are another great option for a smart casual heritage look. Wear with plain moleskin trousers and a check shirt – just don’t combine black and brown!

If heritage isn’t your style, try some lightweight Derbies in suede. Light coloured linen and darker tan shoes make a great summer look, and in the winter Oxfords can be swapped for Derbys for a more relaxed look.


Stylish brown shoes with black trousers

See how the loafers break the rule
Source: He Spoke Style

This is where the golden rule can be broken.

Loafers are a classic example of a casual shoe, and if you’re wondering how to wear loafers, then think about matching a brown pair with black trousers. You may want to match your belt with your shoes, to make clear your colour choice was intentional!

If you want to stick to our golden rule, then a pair of brown chunky work boots is a practical choice for the winter, and looks stylish teamed with a pair of chinos.

And for the summer months, a pair of brown deck shoes goes well with lightly shaded chino shorts. A tucked in shirt and a belt will finish things off nicely.

So if you were previously a devotee of black shoes then hopefully you have been swayed by the ways of brown. And if you’re a stickler for rules, then we can only apologise for the loafer suggestion, but we just think it looks good.

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Posted in Formal Shoes, How To - Shoes, Men's shoes.

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