At Edit Suits Co., we talk a lot about how a suit should fit. And – don’t get us wrong! – fit is the deciding factor in whether you look smart in your suit or like a young boy drowning in his older brother’s clothes. But, accessories are important too. They have the ability to elevate your look from ‘good enough’ to absolutely perfect.
Most men know how to find the right tie, and it’s easy to pick out a pocket square, but what about the shoes? Coordinating the colour of you shoes with the colour of your suit can be confusing and, if you do it wrong, it could completely ruin an otherwise dapper ensemble.
We’re here to dispel the rumor that ‘black shoes go with everything’. Here’s our definitive guide.
With a Black Suit
Unfortunately, there’s only one answer here: black. Wearing a black suit with brown shoes is like wearing black shoes with white socks. They stand out, and for all the wrong reasons. We know that you’ve probably seen celebrities experimenting with coloured shoes but we have to say that we don’t recommend it. There’s a certain elegance that comes with a black suit and black shoes.
It’s clean. It’s streamlined. It’s classic.
Instead of playing around with colour, express yourself through the shape and material of your shoe. Create a point of interest with a tasseled loafer or play it cool with penny loafers. Suede will add texture to your look while shiny patent leather lace-ups are perfect for virtually any occasion.
With a Navy Suit
Ah, the navy suit. So versatile.
Your options are (virtually) limitless if you’re opting for a navy suit. You have just as much freedom with shoe colour as you do with shirt colour. The three best options, though are: black, brown or burgundy. Since we spent so much time talking about black above, we’ll give you a break and move on to the other two.
It should go without saying that your suit-shoe combination is heavily influenced (if not dictated!) by the event that you’re attending. Brown shoes work well in warmer months while burgundy is better suited for fall and winter. Bear in mind the colour of your shirt and tie when choosing your shoes and avoid all-over colour. That is to say if you’ve opted for a brown shirt, mix up the colour of your shoe so that you don’t look to monotone.
Otherwise, you have free reign! We even support white trainers with a navy suit. We told you it was versatile.
With a Grey Suit
It’s difficult to give advice on grey suits because there are so many different shades of grey, making the suit ideal for mixing and matching. In particular, we love the look of brown, tan and – if you’re feeling a bit more daring – you could choose an oxblood or burgundy shoe.
Top tip: The lighter the shade of grey is, the lighter the shade of brown should be. So, for a darker grey suit, opt for a brown shoe. If it’s a light grey suit, swap brown out for a tan.
With a Cream or Tan Suit
It’s safe to say that if you’re wearing a cream or tan suit, it’s likely made of linen and is, therefore, being worn to an event somewhere warm. Bear this in mind when choosing your shoe!
In order to complement the colour of your suit, opt for a shoe that’s light. Hint: This is one of those instances where a black shoe does not work! Instead, go for light brown or even white shoes. Better yet, go for both with spectator or two-tone shoes. They’re eye-catching for all the right reasons and add whimsy to simple outfits.