Black or Brown Shoes With a Navy Suit?

Written by Marc | 01/09/2016




Making the distinction between brown and black shoes when wearing a navy suit has puzzled men for years. Which looks better? Which is smarter? Do the colours clash? All are questions a man will have asked himself at some time in his life.

Therefore, once again Mainline Menswear has come to you with a solution. We’re going to give you all the facts about brown shoes, black shoes and the rest. Then hopefully, you’ll be able to confidently get dressed in the morning looking dapper and ready to go.


Suit Shoes 1


Black Shoes

Black shoes are an inherently sober item. They’re ideal for more formal events, such as weddings, dinner parties, job interviews or work conferences. Pairing blue and black together in a suit makes everything look more professional.

This isn’t a bad thing, and if you want to look like the smartest man in the office go for it. However, to get the most out of a navy suit and black shoes combination, it’s best worn in the most formal scenarios. There are countless different styles of black shoes you can choose from. From brogues, to dress shoes, boots and even smart black trainers.

Black is a very versatile colour, so feel free to wear black shoes with pride. Just keep in mind that it may create a more formal look than you were originally going for.

dress shoes

Brown Shoes

Brown shoes are more relaxed than black, and brown shoes with a navy suit is a classic combination to pull off. It’s essentially a fool-proof look, more casual than black but still smart enough to wear to work or other formal occasions.

Smart shoes in a brown colour are ideal for wearing to work every day, to an upscale bar or club, out for dinner or even on a date. They tend to give off a more laidback, friendly look, due to being less formal than black. They also come in a wide range of styles, so you could wear brown brogues to work, and then switch to brown leather boat shoes in the evening, or boots if you’re going to be outside.

If you have to choose between brown or black shoes to pair with your suit, and can only go for one, go for brown. In general, they look better and are easier to wear in an array of settings. Yes, they’re less formal than black, but this doesn’t mean they’re not formal. They still look smart, and you can certainly wear them whenever you would wear black if that’s not an option.

And the rest

Black and brown shoes aren’t actually your only options to pair with a navy suit. You can also wear burgundy shoes, which have a more playful, social feel to them. Burgundy shoes are the least formal colour of the three, so you could wear them to work at a pinch. But definitely could be paired with a suit to go to a bar, or out for dinner.

If you want more information about how to pair trainers with a suit, we’ve already covered that. In addition, you can learn more about the different types of suits themselves through another of our blog posts.

Mainline Menswear stocks a large selection of formal shoes, available in black, brown, burgundy and other colours. We also sell a number of suits you can pair your shoes with. Visit our website to browse our extensive range of stock.

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