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What colors match brown shoes?

Updated April 17, 2017

What to wear with brown shoes can be the source of many stressful mornings spent trying on your entire closet. You want the components of your outfit to complement one another, not clash. Brown can look expensive and luxe when used right, and it isn't so difficult to wear this colour if you follow a few basic tips.

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Colours Found Outside

Take your cue from Mother Nature. You can't go wrong with organically driven neutrals such as other browns, tans, camel, white, sand, amber, bone or gold; or greens such as loden, olive or pine. Even neutral dark grey tones (think river rocks) can be worn with brown. For brighter choices, flowers and plants as well as the sky can also yield good options such as light or medium blues, pinks, yellows or purples.


Patterns also work well with brown shoes, especially tweeds. Other choices are checked, argyle, plaid or paisley; or choose prints inspired by animals such as leopard, giraffe, alligator or tortoiseshell. Patterns that feature neutral colours (like earth tones) will work well, and be sure to use them carefully. You certainly do not want to be mistaken for a piece of furniture.

Other colours

Browns tend to look attractive with darker colours that complement it. For example, deep colours like navy, burgundy, cognac or eggplant look attractive with brown shoes. Blue jeans are a good choice, too.

Light colours such as pastels can also be used. For example, pair a pale yellow or blue shirt with khaki trousers and brown loafers. Both men and women can follow this suggestion.


One thing to keep in mind is the style or type of shoe you are wearing. The less shoe material on your foot, the less noticeable your shoe colour. For example, brown sandals can benefit from something eye-catching like a Hawaiian print, while brown boots would look better next to something more neutral.

Also, a general rule of thumb for brown is that it usually doesn't match with black.

Personal Preferences

Finally, you must be comfortable with your outfit, so ultimately whatever makes you feel the best will be your best choice.

So if you only like some tones in the brown colour palette, buy shoes in those shades. If a certain brown reminds you of the time you fell into mud, avoid that colour. If wearing brown shoes with a black skirt, a chartreuse top and an orange belt makes you feel like a million dollars, just go for it.

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About the Author

Rachel Vega

Rachel Vega has been writing since her teens and joined Demand Studios in 2009. She attended the State University of New York at Stony Brook where she received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology. She received certification as a webmaster from Merrimack College and currently studies construction management at Northeastern University.

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