Every stylish man owns a suit.
It’s a stylish outfit that brings the best out of you if you wear it properly. And one of the keys to looking amazing is by matching your dress shoes!
So in this blog post, we’re going to look at how you can start matching your suit with dress shoes.
If that sounds interesting, then keep on reading!
Understanding The Formality Of Dress Shoes
Before we get into showing you how to match dress shoes with a suit, you should first learn to understand them. No shoe works for every occasion! There are 3 characteristics that define the formality of a shoe: its colour, decorations, and shoe type. We’ll go in-depth with all of them:
Colour sets the tone of your shoe! There are 3 main coloured dress shoes out there: black, brown, and oxblood.
Each one has its own characteristics:
- This colour is the most formal! The occasions you should be wearing this is, for example, black tie events, or funerals. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be worn casually! A black loafer or Chelsea boot can be used if you want a more casual look.
- This colour shoe is a favourite of many style influencers, and for a good reason. It’s very versatile and gives your outfit that needed contrast. But do keep in mind, that this colour is more casual, and shouldn’t be worn for the most formal events. Instead, you should wear it for semi-formal events like graduations, or weddings.
- While not a very popular colour, it’s a shoe you shouldn’t underestimate. This colour is a mix between black and brown in terms of formality. So you could wear this in a more formal event like a black-tie event, or less formal like a wedding. Plus, you’ll look unique doing so. Almost nobody wears red dress shoes!
The key thing you should remember is, that the darker the shoe, the more formal it is. Once you understand that, it becomes easy to pick the correct shoe for the occasion.
Whether it’s the cap toe or fancy lining, decorated dress shoes can make your look amazing when paired correctly. But whether you like it or not, decorations make your look more casual. So keep them for a social event, like a wedding or graduation party.
There are a lot of types of dress shoes out there! There are Oxfords, Chelsea boots, loafers, monk shoes, etc. Each one is great for its own occasion.
But it might be difficult to pick the right one! So here’s how you should pick your dress shoe type:
- For formal occasions. For the events that are on the formal side, I would pick oxfords, penny loafers, and single strap monk shoes. This is due to being the least decorated. And for colder temperatures, it’s best to take either Chelsea or chukka boots.
- For casual occasions. For these occasions, you get a lot more versatility. You could wear double or triple strap monk shoes or decorated oxfords. You could also go with others like different loafers, boots etc.
Before we go to matching, I wanted to tell you that these are not strict rules. They should be taken as guidelines to help you pick out the correct one. And if you’re confident, then go break those guidelines!
How to match your shoes with a suit
Now let’s talk about how to match your shoes. Here’s how you should match them:
- Use contrast. If you want to become the best-dressed man in the room, you should use contrast to your advantage. There’s a reason why a blue suit looks amazing with brown dress shoes. But don’t go too far as well. Your shoes should complement your look, not be the centre of attention
- Dress for the occasion. Another thing you should take in mind is the event you’re going to. If you follow the above-mentioned guidelines, you’ll look amazing!
- Don’t forget to match your belt. While this doesn’t help you match your shoes with a suit, it does make your outfit look better. So once you’ve picked up your dress shoes, pick the same coloured belt. They don’t need to be the same, but similar.
By following these guidelines, you’ll have a perfect pair of shoes in no time!
When In Doubt, Pick Brown Shoes!
If you are still in doubt, then the best action to take is to go with brown dress shoes. Colours like walnut, whiskey, and other dark brown colours give your grey, and blue suits a much-needed contrast. But don’t pick them for a black suit!
6 Example Ways to Match Your Shoes
Now you already know everything about matching your dress shoes with a suit. But let’s make it even easier for you! Here are 6 ways how you can match your shoes:
#1 – Grey Suit
A grey suit is more casual than a navy blue, and a black one. Plus, it’s very versatile! That means you can wear it with all the above-mentioned colours: Black, Brown, and Oxblood.
The medium grey ones are especially good for the black ones. They make it more formal so you can go to a business meeting for it. But if you’re going to a social event then take brown or oxblood shoes.
#2 – Navy Blue Suit
Blue is a colour that shows trust, openness, and wisdom. Plus, it makes you look younger!
This coloured suit looks amazing with black and brown shoes.
If the occasion is not very formal, then I highly recommend you to wear brown ones. This classic combo just looks amazing.
You could also pair it with oxblood shoes if you want a more playful look.
#3 – Black Suit
If there’s a very formal event you need to go to, then a black suit is always a good option. The most formal look is with black shoes. It looks especially good if you’re wearing it with a white shirt and a white pocket square.
But if it’s a bit less formal you could go with an oxblood as well. This makes your look just a bit more playful!
#4 – Charcoal Suit
Charcoal is another form of grey, which gives the wearer a special effect. When you wear it you don’t look older, but wiser.
This suit is quite versatile, but it doesn’t match well with brown shoes. Due to being that dark, the contrast is too much. The only brown that could suit is dark brown.
But oxblood and black look quite amazing with it! So if in doubt, try one of these!
#5 – A Brown Suit
If you’re looking for a unique colour without standing out too much, then a brown suit might just be for you. This suit pairs very well with both brown, and oxblood.
But black, not so much. If the suit isn’t a light brown one, the shoe just disappears, and we don’t want that.
#6 – A Red Suit
For the boldest men out there, a red suit is for you. The colour red shows off: masculinity, confidence, and danger. Plus, a red suit looks great in all three colours.
Oxblood shines here the most, but a black one brings some great contrast to the outfit, too.
The brown one is a bit tougher to match. Light brown shoes are a no-go, but if you have darker coloured ones like whiskey or walnut, then it could look quite good!
Bonus: Other tips for Dress Shoes
Congratulations, you’ve mastered dress shoe matching! But that doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be anything else to learn about dress shoes.
You want to keep your shoes looking good for a long time. Here are a few tips for you:
#1 – Invest in Quality
While it might be tempting to buy H&M dress shoes when you have a tight budget, don’t! Instead, save up some money so you can get a pair of good quality dress shoes.
The good ones cost around $300. While it might be on the expensive side, they are worth your investment.
#2 – Maintain your dress shoe regularly
A dirty dress shoe never looks good on a suit, even if it’s perfectly matched! So take proper care of it. Clean your shoe after every time you’ve used it. Also, polish it up from time to time! It will add some shine.
#3 – Get rid of slippery shoes
Once you’ve invested in quality shoes, you might have found out, that they are quite slippery! That’s due to their leather soles. So just create some traction by sanding the sole with sandpaper. But never do it with a knife, as it can destroy your shoes!
#4 – Buy And Use Shoe Trees
Shoe Trees are an essential tool for any fashionable man. It keeps your shoes looking fresh for a long time. That’s due to the tree keeping the overall shape of your shoe. Plus, you won’t have to worry about creases!
Once you follow these rules, your shoes will look amazing for a long time! This is essential if you don’t want to ruin both your look and your shoes.
If you follow these guidelines, then pairing your suit with the correct shoes is a breeze. Of course, these are just guidelines. If you’re already amazing at matching colours, then go ahead and break them. Maybe even add a splash of colour to the mix, like blue or green.