What Color Shoes To Wear With What Color Pants

What Color Shoes To Wear With What Color Pants

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what color shoes to wear with what color pants

I often receive questions on what color shoes to wear with what color pants.  None of the questions are bad questions, sometimes it is hard to tell if things work together.  So I have decided to make a chart to try to help all of us out.  I hope the chart is easy to understand.  On the left we have the pant color and the right, the shoe color.  If you can wear a given color of shoe with a color of pants the color is present.  If you cannot, ‘NO’ will be present.

Now, obviously, there are exceptions to everything.  Sometimes certain shades of burgundy won’t go with burgundy pants or the grays and browns just won’t mix.  So this is only to act as a general guide and not as law, for it is mostly a subjective view on what I have seen done well and not well over the past few years.  I should note that some of you may disagree with some of the approved and not approved combinations, such as my lack of support for tan pants and black shoes.  Disagree all you want, but I have rarely seen the combination done well so I think it’s just best to steer clear.

Anyway, you should get the idea by now.  Feel free to post comments, disagreements, questions or requests for other colors in the comments section.

-JLJ

 

83 COMMENTS

  1. I think it’s a matter of personal taste.

    I do think that a pair of black jeans fits very nice to certain brown shades; there are so many shades of brownish leather.

    I do not think that a pair of white trousers fit to any shoe; I never wear white trousers.

  2. I agree Justin , the shoes I have are Herrings dark purple with dark soles and even though I haven’t worn them yet with the brown cords my feeling is that they would work. Thanks for giving me the idea! Regards, Geoff. P.S I now have an Etro paisley velvet jacket which I have paired with a pair of green Etro jeans what would you suggest to wear on the feet with that combination?

    • Geoff,
      Sounds like a pretty sick jacket. I can imagine some plain velvet slippers looking good with the jacket and pants. Or some very sleek loafers. I think since the jacket and pants will have such a strong visual presence you would want to keep the footwear simple and sleek.
      -JLJ

  3. Wht kind of pants can I wear with some dark brown boot shoes for me this shoes are not like boots there like sperry topsiders

  4. I have a pair of Two-Tone (Tan Leather/Natural Linen) Ellington cap toe saddles by Johnston and Murphy, what color trousers should I wear with them? I’m thinking Navy, Suggestions?

  5. this is one of the most useful charts on the internet!

    it also confirmed my suspicion that grey shoes don’t go with khaki (the american-style, tan khaki, not the “international” greenish-yellow khaki) pants. all my shoes are gray. i guess i should start buying brown 😀

  6. How often do you see grey or charcoal pants working well with a light brown leather oxford? Granted, they grade a bit darker towards the heel and toe, but I’m just so unsure.

  7. What pants should I wear with grey suede shoes that have a lighter brown leather trim around the soles and the soles themselves being white?

  8. I don’t entirely agree with everything and I do think black shoes should be given more credit in terms of versatility. Definitely suitable with white jeans, a tweed jacket and an outmeal cashmere sweater (imagine winter season) and with tan trousers with a grey/blue donegal jacket with a black knit tie (guys from the armoury).

    Having said that, it is useful guide for beginners who are willing to explore the art of dressing up. Not sure if I will ever venture into purple shoes though.

  9. So the shirt color plays no part in this decision? If I’m wearing khaki pants with a black shirt, black shoes would be inappropriate?

  10. I think blue (as above) pant with brown/reddish brown shoes will be a mismatch. Burgundy shoe looks ok with brown pant, they both have redness; but white pant on purple or green shoe will look like a clown.

  11. I looked at this chart for the first time today as I was debating on wearing black dress shoes with a light blue shirt and dark gray pants. I ended up going with brown thanks to this chart…. Never had so many compliments. Thank you!!! This is very very helpful.

  12. Chart is missing Charcoal/Dark Grey shoes. While it’s a helpful chart in many ways, the only reason I found it is because I just received some “Cement” harness boots and was searching for what pants I could wear. They appear like charcoal grey. Would be great if chart reflected this common shoe color.

  13. What shirt color can I wear with light grey pants and navy blue shoe and can I wear a navy blue blazer?

  14. i have a sky blue color shirt and navy blue trouser what color and kind of shoe do a wear for some special occasions?

  15. I disagree on black pants and tan shoes not going I wore tan shoes black slacks and oatmeal v-neck with a white dress shirt last week and had no less than five women approach me and tell me how nice I look

    • HH,
      The problem is that women are not the best judges on what men should and shouldn’t wear. They often analyze men’s clothing from a female style perspective; the rules are different. Although it is not impossible to pull off tan shoes with black trousers, it is very rarely done well; which is why it’s marked as a no.
      -Justin

    • Hi Varun,
      You could wear any type of shoe with brown trousers – oxfords, boat shoes, loafers, trainers etc. It all depends on the type of pant and how formal you want to be.
      Justin

  16. What about dark blue derby shoes with denim blue pants? If not what color pants would you recommend?

    Cheers in advance

  17. […] I could write many, many thousands of words on this topic and over the next few weeks, I will go more in depth into how to ensure you are able to find the best suit, best accessories for the suit, the shoes and even the colour. For now, if you want to look into matching the colour a bit more have a look at the chart here. […]

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  19. Maybe I’m just an old guy, but when did it become OK to wear brown shoes with gray or blue pants? That just looks wrong.

    • Michael,
      I think it is totally fine as long as the shade of brown does not clash with that of the blue or gray. That said, brown almost never clashes with blue so the gray can be more tricky.
      -Justin

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