As the one-stop destination to all men’s fashion tips, we at Menskool have decoded the age-old dilemma of matching shoes and suits!
The Business Casual style is certainly more relaxed now, thus, gone are the days when you had to wear sleek black shoes for every office occasion. But, now that you have got more options doesn’t mean you can screw up!
Pairing your suit with the wrong shade of dress shoes can completely ruin one’s look. At your best, you will still look sloppy. And, at your worst, you might come off as incompetent and insouciant. Therefore, it goes without saying that you should be matching shoes and suits.
Confused? We are here to help!
Ultimate guide for matching shoes and suits
Remember the notorious Kool Keith Shoes and Suits lyrics?
“this week was unimpressive.. are you quoting me
So you can go back and tell these people that I said so? “
“no uh yeah I thought uh it was unimpressive too;
Kook Keith definitely agrees that you need to match your shoes and suits if you want to be impressive in your workplace. Thus, taking inspiration from Kool Keith Shoes and Suits, here are some fashion tips for you!
1. Understand the occasion
The first step to dressing well is to understand the occasion you are heading to. The more formal the occasion, the more formal your suit needs to be. This is the number one rule of matching shoes and suits.
Of course, it is up to you to match your grey pants with white sneakers, but if you would like a more traditional approach and are aiming for a promotion, assess the occasion you dress for.
2. Pick the suit to match the occasion
If you are on a budget, it is always smart to invest in one suit that can be worn for a variety of occasions. A well-structured and timeless business suit always remains in style and can be used for up to 10 years if you take care of it.
Once you have your suit picked up, you can focus on other things. But, remember that a traditional business suit is not fit for every occasion. The suit you wear to a sales meeting certainly cannot be worn to your boss’ engagement party. So, it is always better to have a few suits instead of one. And, if the budget is tight, you can periodically rent a tux!
3. Suit accessories are important
One can never forget suit accessories when dressing to impress. Matching shoes and suits with the right accessories add personality to your style, break the monotony of your outfit, and take your outfit to the next level.
Some game-changer suit accessories that you must consider are: belts, ties, pocket squares, cufflinks, tie bars, etc. Check out our article on the essential business casual accessories for men!
4. Select the shoes to match the suit
By this stage, you already know what type of event you are going to and how formal your suit should be. Now, that you have picked out the suit, it’s time to select the shoes. Let’s explore shoe colours that go with different suits.
- Matching shoes and suits: Navy blue suit
Navy Blue is a versatile colour that goes with almost every shoe, including the three main colours of quality men’s shoes, black, brown, and burgundy or oxblood. A navy blue suit gives a tranquil vibe and provides a calming effect when you encounter people. Thus, any black, burgundy, or brown blend in with the blue without being too distracting.
It is easy to coordinate a navy blue suit with leather shoes, which is also the safest option in a formal setting. It will help you look confident and level headed. Thus, if you are going for a serious vibe, pick the black shoes, brown is for a more relaxed and flexible vibe, and burgundy is playful.
- Matching shoes and suits: Black suit
The easiest ensemble to style is a black suit. Because black only go with black in this case. And you must avoid the colours burgundy and brown. Pairing any other colour shoe with a black suit gives a sloppy look and looks too casual.
And, in reality, a black suit is not fit for every occasion. Only wear it if the dress code is black like a black-tie party, or if it’s a funeral or a strictly formal environment.
- Matching shoes and suit: Brown suit
Brown suits are relatively easy to style. That is because they go with every colour instead of black. So, when pairing a brown suit, pick brown or burgundy shoes and steer clear of the black.
If you are thinking of pairing your brown suit with brown shoes, make sure you pick two different shades of brown and not identical. Or else, the look will go off. In general, the brown shoes should be darker than the colour of the suit. But, the best style is to pair your suit with burgundy or oxblood shoes. It creates a clear contrast.
With that being said, keep in mind that, brown suits are more suited for academic or casual events.
- Matching Shoes and Suits: Grey Suit
Grey suits are typically less formal than navy blue suits, but they offer great flexibility. Thus, you can pair them smartly with all three shoe colours. Grey suits are not ideal for strictly formal business wear, but they work well if your office has a business casual dress code.
And, for medium-grey suits, black shoes work best!