How to Match Your Shoes with Your Trousers

Posted on 09-07-2015 by Daniel Boey


It often kills me to see a man ruin a beautiful suit with a pair of (usually expensive but) highly inappropriate shoes.

So how do you choose the right shoes for your outfit?

When I was a young, clueless, fashion-ignorant graduate, an early mentor shared the following tips with me, which I have since used as a guide to match my footwear with a variety of outfits.


Dress Pants

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- The shinier the leather, the more formal the shoe.

- The ornamentation determines the styling e.g the buckles on the monkstraps or the tassels on oxfords are dressier but bulky soles and contrast stitching and thick soles are less formal.

- Choose a shoe that's the same colour or darker than the colour of your pants.

- Black shoes go very well with slate, navy or charcoal trousers.

- Brown shoes are excellent with shades of grey, navy, brown and green.

- Brown shoes do not match black suits.


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- Burgundy shoes look great with most lighter shades of brown, and likewise with blue or grey bottoms

- Camel-coloured shoes are versatile, matching well with lighter earth tones, blue, beige, tanned or light tan




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- Jeans are so versatile that almost any sort of shoes eg boots (chelsea and desert ), loafers, oxfords, sneakers, sandals - go well with them…. except, maybe, patent shoes

- Let your styling choice dictate the type of shoe you wear with your jeans

  e.g  paira retro fitted tee and skinny jeans with a classic retro-style sneaker ;

         a fitted polo top and bermudas with loafers ;

         short sleeved shirt and skinny cuffed jeans with plimsoles ;

         a shirt-and-blazer combo with brogues



Chinos and other Casual Bottoms

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- Match them with oxfords, sneakers, plimsoles or sandals to up your fashion ante.

One final tip - match your belt to your shoe - or make sure it's in the same colour family.


This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a start. The key is not to stress but to have fun with your styling choices.

Explore: men, style, fashion, shoes
Daniel Boey
Daniel's life is an open book ... literally! You can read all about his fashion adventures in his autobiography "The Book of Daniel", a 2kg tome. An easier way might be to follow him on Instagram @danielboey.

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