Black Shoes vs. Brown Shoes

December 20, 2016

If you’ve ever heard the old expression, “no brown in town” you can forget about it. Brown shoes can be quite dressy and quite casual whereas black shoes tend to be a little dressier than brown. When it comes to choosing between black shoes and brown shoes for your outfit, there are some hardline rules but there is also a lot that is up in air and purely preferential.

The one rule that every gentleman should know when pairing suits and shoes is avoid putting brown and black together, especially a black suit and brown shoes. This is one look that simply does not work but then again, rules are made to be broken so if you want to try it, be our guest but don’t say we didn’t warn you. Other than that, just about any combination will work. That being said, some combinations will work better than others.

Brown Shoes
If contrasting styles is your thing then a good pair of brown shoes should be in your wardrobe. Nothing projects confidence like the perfect navy blue suit paired with some beautiful brown oxford wingtips, which is why we developed a few shades of brown shoes in our current line. Because brown can be described as everything from dark chocolate to light tan, it can make your shoes very versatile depending on what color you get. Brown shoes look great with just about every color of suit, especially navy, grey and blue. A neat trick to enhance the color contrast between your brown shoes and the color of your suit is to pair lighter tones on the shoe with darker colors in the suit.

Black Shoes
Black shoes lack the versatility of brown shoes but make up for it in class and dressiness. Charcoal and black suits look great with black shoes and make a statement of tidiness when attending more formal events. Of course, if you are wearing a black tuxedo you should definitely be wearing black shoes. This is not to say that you can’t wear black shoes with a more casual outfit. Just remember, if you do, make sure that your belt is also black. It is also recommended that you match your watch to your shoes and belt.

Black Black
Grey Brown or Black
Brown/Tan Brown
Navy Brown (maybe black)

As always, style rules are written in pencil, not ink. Play around with it, be daring, show some personality, and discover your own style.

To your style,


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