It takes having a little bit more than a closet full of impeccably tailored suits, or an impressive collection of timeless accessories in order to rightfully represent the league of extraordinary dapper gentlemen. In the end it will always be the mix of tradition and modern taste, of poise, class and quality, of elegance and effortlessness the one to lead to the most impeccable results when it comes to ageless fashion and style.
But knowledge is also power. From finding out who your are, what looks good on you and how to make the most of the yearly fashion trends, to learning how to match your watch to your suit, or how to go sockless for summer, there’s still plenty acknowledging left to do when it comes to those few simple rules that should guide your everyday choices of attire.
Below, we take a closer look at how to match your shoes to your suit, building our guide around six of the most common suit colours and the standard shoes to concord. Of course, taking the unconventional route is always an option.
The stone coloured suit.
Looks best with: taupe, light brown, navy blue.
Try to avoid: black.
When it comes to spring and summer nothing is more seasonally appropriate than a light-coloured suit. Beige to light sand to khaki, the lightweight power suits make for classic staples.
They look about as good with a crisp white button-down shirt, as they do with a polo t-shirt in a darker hue. When it comes to shoes, try pairing the stone suits to complementary shades of taupe, tan, light brown, and try replacing the black with a midnight shade of blue instead.
Shop the look: Kingsman Stone Slim-Fit Double-Breasted Wool and Linen-Blend Suit at Mr Porter.com; Berluti Andy Suede Loafers at Mr Porter.com; John Lobb Darby II Leather Oxford Brogues at Mr Porter.com; Berluti Alessandro Capri Venezia Leather Shoes at Mr Porter.com.
The light grey suit.
Looks best with: brown, black, oxblood.
Try to avoid: the light grey suit will work great with about any other shoe colour.
Seeing how light grey provides such an exceptional base when it comes to mixing and matching, you couldn’t possibly go wrong with any colour choice. When in doubt, allow your accessories to dictate what shoes to wear. If going for a palette of blue opt for a brown shoe, if you’re opting for black and grey accessories stick with the classic black footwear instead.
Shop the look: Huntsman Grey Prince of Wales Check Wool Suit at Mr Porter.com; Edward Green Chelsea Burnished-Leather Oxford Shoes at Mr Porter.com; Alexander McQueen Monk-Strap Leather Shoes at Mr Porter.com; Church’s Shannon Leather Derby Shoes at Mr Porter.com.
The brown suit.
Looks best with: tan, dark brown, burgundy.
Try to avoid: black.
The trick in sporting the brown suits rather impeccably is keeping things relatively coordinated in the accessory department. These suits tend to look best with tan or darker brown shoes (brown shoes should always contrast against your trousers), as well as oxblood and burgundy. Black and brown however, should never be mixed in a formal setting, so do try to avoid this unlike combination.
Shop the look: J.Crew Brown Slim-Fit Checked Wool Suit Trousers at Mr Porter.com; Berluti Alessandro Capri Venezia Leather One-Cut Shoes at Mr Porter.com; Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Adrian Leather Derby Shoes at Mr Porter.com.
The dark grey suit.
Looks best with: burgundy, black.
Try to avoid: tan, brown.
Sharp and smart, a dark grey suit will look its very best when styled with a pair of black dress shoes.
If you care make a statement, you can also opt for a rich shade of oxblood to contrast its classic feel. Other than that, try excluding the rest of your footwear when it comes to a charcoal suit, forget especially about the tan and the browns.
The blue suit.
Looks best with: red, dark brown, oxblood.
Also great with: black.
Not much to avoid when it comes to the blue suit, instead plenty to build upon going from the common, to the classic and all the way to the unconventional. The final tone of your formal outfit should be dictated by the shade of blue and by the choice of accessories: black / navy tie begs for black shoes, red / orange tie goes great with dark brown, red or burgundy.
Navy suits on the other hand will look impeccable with a pair of dark brown shoes. As long as you don’t mind the plain, dull resulting look, you can even opt black footwear. Otherwise, stick to a palette of tans and browns.
Shop the look: Lutwyche Navy Puppytooth Super 170s Wool Suit at Mr Porter.com; Paul Smith Shoes & Accessories Leather Derby Shoes at Mr Porter.com; Santoni Leather Penny Loafers at Mr Porter.com; Dolce & Gabbana Leather Derby Shoes at Mr Porter.com.
The black suit.
Looks best with: black.
Try to avoid: brown, tan.
This perhaps is the easiest of decisions to take as far as shoe and suit combinations go. A black suit begs for a black pair of shoes. Nothing simpler. Again, the unlike combination of black and brown, or black and tan, should be avoided for as much as possible.
Main image via Shutterstock.