Dear Readers,

If you are reading this text, that means that you are on the old version of my blog. I have changed platforms and am now using Wordpress. You can find the updated version of my site at:

www.theshoesnobblog.com

Sincerely,

Justin, "The Shoe Snob"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shoe Color vs. Suit Color


There is no right or wrong when it comes to colors of shoes being paired with suits, what matters is what looks good and what doesn't. I have seen so many so called 'Style Advisers' tell people "You can't wear tan shoes with navy suits or black shoes with brown suits etc." but yet have seen so many people wear these combos so gracefully and well done that it just goes to show that these rules should be thrown out the window. I really think that everything just plays to your personality and your ability to pair things that go well together and the confidence to pull them off.


Take for example this gentleman on the right. His pairing of medium brown shoes with a navy suit lends a beautiful contrast to the eye that in my opinion could never be done by pairing a solid black shoe with a navy suit. Yet time again, you have so many individuals that say you should never put a navy suit with a light colored brown shoe. These gentlemen who make these remarks usually tend to be older than 40 hence their minds only thinking in terms of what they saw growing up. To their unknowing, times have changed and it is acceptable and, in my mind, more appreciative and elegant to pair a navy suit with any other color but black which will usually make your outfit stand out quite more than the boring monotone assembly of dark colors with dark colors. Of course to argue the contrary, it is usually considered more professional to wear black shoes since they have been branded in our minds as being more elegant in a business like situation. However, this statement also depends upon where you live, America vs. England vs. France vs. Italy, and also what profession you are in e.g. the arts, fashion, retail, finance, banking etc.

So here are my rules:
(Suits: Shoe colors)

Black Suits: Black (and patent) or Gray

Navy Suits: Brown (any shade), Burgundy, Red, Green, Yellow, Black etc. The possibilities to what you can pair with navy suits are limitless

Gray Suits: Same things as navy, the possibilities are pretty much endless (depending on the shade of suit). Lighter grays for me, are a bit more versatile, where as charcoal suits head towards the territory of black.

All in all, I have no rules, I generally tend to wear what I feel like. However sometimes I feel like an anomaly, especially in America, and what I believe the average man would be comfortable wearing is: black suits with black shoes; navy suits with either black, any shade of brown or burgundy/oxblood/cordovan colored shoes; and gray suits with the same colors as a navy suit. However, with gray suits there are different shades and for me the more contrast you create the more catching and appreciative the outfit. Here are several other pictures to show the different looks in pairing suits with shoes.







29 comments:

  1. Good point of view and great examples!

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  2. you have a flair for description.. im not a man but i would pair a navy suit with brown shoes..:)

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  3. Hi Justin

    Do you think it is ok to go for a pair of Graphite Grey Chraney's with a very dark charcoal suit?

    Many thanks

    Owen

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  4. OwenB - Is that graphite grey light or dark? I would say that it's best to have a little contrast, if they are too close in shade then I would avoid pairing them, but the shoes should go great with a navy suit!

    -Justin

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  5. Ahem...
    Let's not assume that all the over 40S folks are stuck in the traditional way of looking at things....

    That navy and brown combo is HOT!

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  6. Anon - You are right, it was just a generalization....I was scared by the amount of men that I saw in America that gave me this impression. Yet after coming to Europe, I think that it is switched. The younger men dress quite rubbish and the older gentleman maintain the elegance...

    -Justin

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  7. I really enjoyed this knowledgeable article,thank you Justin.......

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  8. "you have so many individuals that say you should never put a navy suit with a light colored brown shoe...their minds only thinking in terms of what they saw growing up. To their unknowing, times have changed and it is acceptable...."

    You are mistaken. Times have not changed; light brown shoes with a navy suit have always been acceptable. As you say, it's merely a question of whether the wearer can pull off the look. Such people didn't appear suddenly twenty years ago. They have always existed.

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  9. What color of suit/pants should I wear with navy shoes? Should it be gray suit/pants?

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  10. Anh Vu Doan - with navy shoes, yes, I believe that gray suits and/or pants would be preferable....

    -Justin

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  11. I have been given a pair of these Jeffery West aubergine coloured shoes -

    http://www.jeffery-west.co.uk/jefferywest/product.asp?item=moon-punch-front-gibson-29-230#.UNx50qVFFJ8

    What colour suits can I wear them with?

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  12. Craig M - The color aubergine complements any shade of grey or blue....

    -Justin

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  13. Thanks Justin, great site you have here.

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  14. Craig M - No worries my friend! Thanks for the kind words.

    -Justin

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  15. Justin,

    I appreciated your article. Keep up the great work!! The key is being true to one's self/style. Too often, so many allow themselves to be bound by antiquated dress codes. Being an older gent of 54, I don't always conform to fashion's dictates, as I believe if it feels & looks good on you, go for it. Having traveled extensively during my military career, only further encouraged my "clotheshorse" attitude.

    Regarding my black and grey/charcoal suits, moreso pinstripes, I like to wear cognac wingtips with complimenting shades accessorized by ties, shirts and/or cufflinks thrown in. I like the sublte contrast of colors.

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  16. E.Harrison - Thanks for sharing my friend! And well said with regards to one's style and "the rules." I could not agree more!

    -Justin

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  17. Snob! Im getting married in a burgundy suit!?
    Help me i've gone shoe colour blind...in the eyes.

    Love the blog. Just Saying

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  18. Benny - With a burgundy shoe, I would go with a nice medium brown shoe...or even better a navy one!!

    glad that you enjoy the blog, thanks!!

    Oh, and congrats!!

    -Justin

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  19. I have a great and comfortable pair of Cole Haan Madison Air Cap Toes in black. They are very comfortable and conservative for the classic suits I wear so I decided to pick up another pair as they were on sale. They only had burgundy, which are very sharp...can I wear them with both light gray and navy suits?

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    Replies
    1. Definitely!!! I think that burgundy is actually the nicest color to wear with grey and navy suits as the contrast in color is far more interesting and elegant than most people think... Enjoy them!

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  20. Hi Justin,

    Awesome blog, love it - have even bookmarked it on my macbook. Anyhow, I am off to a wedding and have decided on a navy suit that I can subsequently use for work. So what shoes? I was thinking a toe cap mid brown oxford, as I can then use them in the work place. Based in Manchester so thinking of a trip to Russell & Bromley & Edwards. Budget is £250-300 on the shoes.

    On a side note I've always been a follower of Italian style with suits and shoes - so my suit will be slim fit (I'm 6ft 2, 42 inch chest, 32 inch waist). As we have less options than in London, what is our opinion on Armani shoes, Gucci, D&G etc. It's just we have a Selfridges, Armani etc here in Manchester

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    Replies
    1. Marco, sorry for the late reply, hopefully it's not too late...but yea, I agree with you on the brown cap toe as it will be quite functional afterwards too. If you can spend that much, I would not go with Russel & Bromley....possibly save a few bucks more and go for Crockett & Jones? All together I am not really a fan of designer brands or the uber-pointy Italian shoes. Love the Italian slim suit look but rather to then pair it with a nice slick English made shoe...or maybe Magnanni as they have good prices and nice models.... Hope that this helps

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  21. Hi Justin

    Would you absolutely rule out tan/brown shoes with a black suit? Have not tried it but was thinking about it for an upcoming function.

    Thanks
    Robert

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    Replies
    1. without a doubt....in fact, I would not really wear a black suit to be honest....navy with brown shoes on the other hand is a great idea...sorry Robert, I know that this was not really what you wanted to hear, but have to be honest my friend...

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  22. Your blog is great. I have enjoyed your thoughts on fashion very much. Continuing the pleas for advice...

    I have a dark grey suit (charcoal?) which I generally wear with a pair of brown and black wingtip boots. They're the only pair of shoes I have that are predominantly brown and black, everything else is a riot of color (I generally dress casual for a job teaching math at a community college). I'd like to continue the fun-with-color without being too "in-your-face" since the suit definitely sets a more serious tone. I was looking at these (http://www.zappos.com/fratelli-9086-ocean-black), but would be ok going for a standard burgundy.

    Fashion thoughts?

    Rick

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    Replies
    1. Rick, thanks for the kind words, I do appreciate that....as per your next purchase, well I would say that a burgundy pair would be a good idea as it really sits nicely against grey....hope that this helps...

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  23. Hello Justin!
    I've just found your blog - awesome! As I liked all your suggestions, maybe you can help me: for my wedding (this summer in 3 weeks) I have this suit: http://shop.mango.com/fichaOutfit.faces?state=he_001_ES and I try to match it with shoes. My idea was this: http://www.zalando.it/hush-puppies-alpha-stringate-nero-hu912a00y-909.html?size=43 . Do you think it is OK, or if not can you give me some hints.
    Thank you!
    Adrian

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    Replies
    1. sorry adrian, but that link to mango did not work, probably because we are in different continents...it just went to the home page...can you send a pic to my email?

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  24. Forget the shoes! I'm just happy to see someone properly use the word "complement."

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