When it comes to brown shoes, they mingle impeccably with almost any gentleman’s attire. The reality is, you simply can’t go wrong when you’re playing it safe in the first place.
From casual jeans to bright orange two-piece suits, brown shoes just work their magic.
Now, there are all sorts of lists out there comparing brown vs. black shoes, however I’m not here to make your life more difficult.
Most of those comparisons are based on personal taste or opinions. Do you really need a color chart to tell you that brown is the most universal shoe color?
With that said, I’d like to tell you about the three major fashion rules that apply when it comes to your shoe color selection. Follow these and you’ll never run into any issues while wearing brown shoes.
1. Reserve Black For Formal, Professional Business And Funeral Attire
Unlike brown shoes, black shoes have considerably more challenges; they’re just not as universal. Everyone knows this, however, where black shoes reign the number one choice are in formal, funeral and business occasions.
It’s hard to beat the sharp, sincere and sophisticated look that black shoes bring about. In comparison, brown is generally more casual and relaxed, though, that’s not to say they can’t be worn professionally.
Just consider the event at hand. If you’re wearing a black tuxedo for a formal event, the chances of wearing black shoes are pretty much one-hundred percent. Unless of course, you’ve gone with a brown tuxedo. Yes, they actually make those!
Additionally, understand that while 2-piece suits fare either color just fine, 3-piece suits generally deserve to be worn with black shoes given their more formal nature.
2. Don’t Mix Brown With Black
That means avoid wearing brown shoes with a black suit. Simple right?
Of course, you’ll also want to ensure whatever belt you wear matches your shoes. Black shoes pair with a black belt, brown shoes pair with a black belt. Just know, the color of two doesn’t have to be a precise match. There are all sorts of leather dyes and finishes out there today; we’re not checking Pantone paint color number swatches here. Make your best attempt to match whatever you have as close as possible.
A good thing to consider when you in a rush and don’t have a matching belt: Wear suspenders!
3. Contrast Is Key
As a general men’s fashion rule, the more (without being overly excessive) your shoes contrast your clothing the better. Remember, when it comes to style, your shoes are more than just functional footwear tools acting as protectors of your feet.
The truth is, your shoes accent your clothing.
If you can’t decide between two shades of brown shoes put them side by side against your clothing. Determine which has a better contrast, and you’ll instantly know the answer to which ones you should wear.
With those three super easy to follow rules in mind
I’d like to tell you that yes, you can wear brown shoes with:
Jeans, 2-piece suits, 3-piece suits, sport coats, chinos, khakis and more.
Colors like navy, red, brown, blue, charcoal grey, green, orange, white, tan, and more.
Fabric styles including tweed, flannel, cotton, pinstripe, corduroy, denim, and more.
Needless to say, your options are almost endless gentlemen.