Mens style tips for brown shoes & a suit

Updated March 23, 2017

When wearing a nice pair of brown shoes, you must make sure that the rest of the outfit coordinates with your footwear. Accessories and clothing must complement eachother, or the look falls apart and appears messy. There are some easy ideas to remember when wearing brown shoes and picking out a suit.

Suit Color

The first rule to remember about brown shoes is to avoid wearing a black suit. It simply won't look right, and it doesn't matter if the shoes look just dark enough to maybe pass for black. Don't do it. According to SuitUpp, brown shoes look best with tan and beige suits, and some shades of navy. A brown suit can also go with brown shoes, but that may be brown overkill.


The belt should match the shoes as closely as possible. Try to purchase a belt from the same maker as the shoes, if possible. Usually, there's a belt in the same, or a comparable, shade. This is important with brown, since variance among hues can be very striking and obvious. Consider braided belts, as well as solid, plain belts, for some style variation.


Black is more serious than brown, so keep this in mind when you're getting dressed. In some parts of the world, such as Italy, however, a brown shoe with a smart suit is taken just as seriously as an all-black outfit. The brown shoes might be more appropriate for a less formal occasion. Another point to consider is whether the shoes have laces or not; laced shoes are generally more dressy than slip-ons or loafers. Bolder shirts and ties will go a long way towards making the ensemble pop, and may increase formality.

Shirt and Tie Ideas

Suit designer Simon Crompton says, "If you have a brown suit, almost nothing will look better than a blue and white striped shirt with a dark blue tie." He eschews the bland look of the grey suit, white shirt and pale tie with brown shoes. Another piece of advice is to go bold. Don't fear strong colours in favour of weaker pastels. "The strength of colour is often more satisfying than another dark shade---grey or blue, for example."

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Gigi Starr is a freelance fashion writer. She previously served as the blog editor for a major online fashion blog and has more than a decade of backstage experience in the beauty and high fashion industries. She has worked for businesses like an internationally renowned theatrical touring company and events such as the Mercedes-Benz N.Y.C. Fashion Week.