When it comes to suiting, the accessories are almost as important as the suit itself. While more importance is given to ties and belts, the foundation of your sartorial look is laid through shoes. The wrong pair can blemish your carefully created attire. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate your options carefully and choose the shoes that pair perfectly with your suit and the occasion.
Typically, oxfords, brogues and derby shoes are the most formal shoes which are commonly paired with suits. More recently, monk straps, chelsea boots, chukka boots, loafers and boat shoes have become popular options, particularly for a relaxed look. Selecting the right shoes depends on the suit style, colour and the occasion for which you are wearing it. Some of the ways to match different suit colours with the right shoes are given below.
Black is the most formal type of suit. It is the ultimate choice for black tie events or formal business events. For a traditional appeal, the most obvious choice of shoes would be black oxfords. Further down the list, you can also pair a pair of black brogues, derby shoes, Chelsea boots or monk straps for a formal event that isn’t a black tie. For more casual occasions, suede loafers are a great option for a relaxed and contemporary look. While burgundy or tan shades can never be paired with black, on rare occasions, dark brown derbies may help create an aesthetically pleasing look.
Charcoal Grey Suit
Another colour that can be worn at both formal and semi-formal occasions is charcoal grey. While it is close to black, the grey undertones make it more versatile. Charcoal grey suits pair best with deep brown brogues, brogue boots and monk straps. This combination is especially seen at weddings. Another common choice is black oxfords or derby shoes. These create a look that is similar to black suits with black shoes. To give your charcoal suit a punch, burgundy oxfords can be used for a less traditional flair at semi-casual events.
A navy suit is the most common pick for business events. The bluish undertone gives it greater range than a black suit. For a complete boardroom look, patternless derbies and monk straps can be paired with navy suits. If you are going for a look that is towards the casual/ semi-casual side of the spectrum, brown derbies, monk straps and oxfords look savvy when paired with navy. The deeper the brown the more formal your outfit. Meanwhile, burgundy monk straps and derbies with a navy suit add a colorful kick to your look.
Light Grey Suit
If you feel like black or charcoal makes you look drab, a light grey suit may be an apt choice. When paired with black oxfords, the suit can be made to look rather formal. If you are going for a light, summery look, tan/ brown oxfords, derbies and monk straps help give your outfit a professional yet friendly aesthetic. To keep the look slightly traditional, choose dark brown tones. If you wish to go for a modern vibe, you can choose lighter brown shades. To add a bold contrast to your light grey suit, opt for burgundy oxfords. These have a smart, suave and sophisticated appeal.
Brown suits are typically less dressy than black, navy and charcoal. They are rarely worn to formal or business events. Nevertheless, they are a savvy choice for regular office days, nights on the town or semi-casual weddings. The best way to wear brown suits is by pairing them with brown shoes, albeit in a different shade. A pair of lace up boots, loafers, oxfords and derbies, all work with brown suits. Other than this, oxblood Chelsea boots in suede or shiny leather brogues can complement your brown suit.
Blue suits are less formal than navy suits. These define smart casuals more than any other. While the color is suitable all year round, it is not as versatile as a navy suit. For this reason, shoes need to be chosen carefully. For a slightly formal look, blue can be paired with oxfords and brogues while for a casual aesthetic, it can be paired with loafers and boots. One combination that is a big no-no is a blue suit with black shoes. Instead, lighter shades of brown complement blue suits smartly. Alternatively, for a classy look, burgundy monk straps or loafers are a good choice.
Beige or Cream Suit
Beige or cream suits are a popular choice in the summer. While these are unsuitable for black tie or formal events, they work well for daytime events and smart casual parties. Darker colors may overpower the suits and therefore lighter brown or ivory oxfords, brogues and loafers are preferred. Ivory creates a casual look while tan or brown are more dressy.