Can I wear brown shoes with grey pants? Yes. Yes you can.
There is this oddly persistant belief that a guy can’t wear brown shoes with a grey suit, pants, or trousers. It’s partially true (walnut doesn’t look good with dark charcoal), but the vast majority of grey + brown combinations look terrific. There are exceptions to every rule, and the only real way to figure out if something looks right, on you, is to put it on and give it a look. But you’ll find three outfit examples below that prove, yes, brown shoes do in fact go with grey pants.
Med. to Dark Brown shoes, w/ a Grey Suit that’s not too dark
- Suit: J. Crew Crosby in Italian Wool – $650 (review here)
- Shoes: Allen Edmonds Cornwallis in Brown Burnish – $385 ($250 – $299 for 2nds)
- Shirt: Nordstrom Herringbone Solid Smartcare Trim Fit – $38.90 ($65)
- Watch: Hamilton. More dress chrono suggestions can be found here.
- Tie: TheTieBar Light Blue Chambray – $19.00
Shades are key here. And this is the easiest way to prove that grey + brown does in fact work. Take a spin around Suitsupply’s website, and you’ll see that most of their models are wearing brown shoes with their grey suits. And it looks terrific. But you’ll also notice that the shoes they’re wearing are either medium brown with a little bit of warmth, or deep dark chocolate brown. They are NOT wearing walnut shoes or some other shade that leans more yellow. Also, it’s easier to pull this off if the suit itself isn’t too dark in shade. Brown shoes look better with medium to light grey suits, as opposed to dark charcoal suits that look almost black. And black shoes still work here. Black shoes look super sleek. Yet mid to dark brown shoes with a grey suit, as long as it’s not too dark, looks great.
With Wool Trousers and a V-Neck
- Trousers: Lands’ End Year ‘Rounder Merino Wool Trousers in Light Charcoal – $89
- Sweater: UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino V-Neck – $39.90 (last year’s green shown above)
- Shirt: Ledbury Blue Fine Twill Worker – $145 (ouch… pricey)
- Boots: Allen Edmonds Bleecker Street Chukka in Brown Burnish (discontinued)
- Watch: Timex Re-Issue T2N393ZL (sold out) on an after market strap
Green doesn’t get enough respect in men’s style, and the green merino V-neck here ties together the earthiness of the grey wool trousers and brown leather boots. You could go with a white shirt here, or a more casual OCBD, but a blue twill or poplin dress shirt works just as well. The Lands’ End Year ‘Rounder is a dress pant, but you could wear this look casually. Sure it’s an elegant/refined kinda casual… not something to wear while hitting a dive bar with pals, but maybe something to wear when you feel like kicking it up a notch for your significant other?
The Mod Look/Risk: Grey Jeans, Suede Chelseas, & a Turtleneck
- Chelsea Boots: Jack Erwin Ellis Suede Rubber Sole Cheslea – $220 (available 9/17)
- Turtleneck: UNIQLO Extra Fine Merino Turtleneck – $39.90
- Jeans: Bonobos Traveler Jeans in Austin Asphalt – $98 (any dark grey jeans will do)
- Belt: GAP Basic Leather Belt – $29.95
- Watch: Hamilton (discontinued)
- Sunglasses: Persol PO2430 – Low $100s on sale. Can be tough to find.
Tactleneck. Also, shades of Illya in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Takes a bit of onions to pull off, but if you’re past that whole “are people looking at me funny?” stage, then it should look extra sharp when the cold winds of autumn pick up. If the turtleneck just isn’t your thing, then try this outfit with a navy v-neck over a white button down.