A staple of business-casual and smart-casual attire, chinos are known for their versatility. They’re easy to pair with a wide range of footwear, but can chinos actually be worn with black shoes?
Chinos in a wide range of colors can be worn with black shoes. Dark-colored chinos (eg. dark grey and navy blue) work especially well. However, light-colored chinos (eg. beige and tan) can make for eye-catching and high-contrast combinations when wearing black shoes.
Here are some great chino colors you can wear with black shoes:
- Dark Red
Let’s dive into each of these in a little more detail. You’ll see photographs, as well as descriptions of when each combination would be appropriate.
Navy chinos can easily be worn with black shoes in smart-casual and business-casual settings. The combination works well given how the dark tones of navy blue blend with those of the black shoes.
Navy and black tend to complement each other well for this very reason.
While navy blue is considerably lighter and noticeably different from black, the two colors always blend well.
Going for a navy chinos and black shoe combo does make the bottom half of your outfit very dark.
Consider going for lighter colors up top to add some contrast.
Contrast is a great way to make an outfit more eye-catching.
Given how you’ll most likely be wearing a chinos and black shoe combo in casual settings, eye-catching isn’t usually a bad thing.
So, what items could you potentially combine with a pair of black shoes and navy chinos?
Consider a white or light grey OCBD shirt, together with a beige blazer or sport coat.
If you’d prefer a more monochromatic aesthetic, consider a light blue shirt instead.
Brown chinos can easily be worn with black shoes, with dark brown chinos working especially well.
Gone are the days when the “black clothes don’t mix with brown clothes” rule was all the rage.
Ultimately, black clothes do mix with brown clothes and they do so very effectively.
However, it’s hard to deny that dark brown chinos tend to sync better with black shoes. The dark tones complement each other in much the same way as a navy blue and black combination.
Having said that, light brown chinos will work with black shoes too.
Ultimately, light brown chinos will look more casual than dark brown chinos and your choice of black footwear should reflect that.
In general, if you go for chinos in lighter shades of brown, it’s best to choose more “casual” styles of black shoes.
For example, instead of going for black Derby or monk strap shoes as you may have done when wearing dark brown chinos, consider black suede loafers or even all-black sneakers.
Blue chinos can be worn with black shoes with both light shades of blue (eg. sky and baby blue) and medium shades (eg. admiral and azure blue) working well.
As we’ve already discussed navy (and similarly dark shades of blue) earlier on, we’ll focus on light and medium shades of blue here.
It’s true that plenty of blue shades can be worn with black shoes.
However, given how lighter shades of blue will always look more casual than darker shades, be sure to account for that when choosing your style of black footwear.
All-black sneakers, espadrilles, and loafers are the more casual black shoe styles you could consider when wearing a casual-looking pair of light blue chinos.
When wearing blue chinos and black shoes, consider adding neutral items up top to keep the outfit subtle.
For example, you could go for a white, grey, or black polo or Henley shirt for more casual settings.
If you were dressing up a little for a smart-casual or business-casual event, consider an OCBD shirt in a similarly neutral color.
Beige chinos can be worn with black shoes. The contrast between the light-colored chinos and the black shoes will be immediately eye-catching.
The attention-grabbing contrast may not be for everyone but can work very well.
Beige is a pale and sandy shade of greyish-yellow. It has subtle warm undertones and a pair of black shoes will definitely stand out in contrast.
Because of this, it’s best to go for a casual shoe style if possible. Again, black sneakers, espadrilles, loafers, and even boat shoes are good options.
The contrast will undoubtedly make the combination look a little more casual than a navy/dark brown chinos and black shoe combo, for instance.
Because of this, consider reserving this combination for smart-casual settings and going for a more traditional pairing for business-casual settings instead.
In addition, focus on wearing casual items up top to make it clear you’re dressing down as opposed to trying to dress up.
Polo shirts, Henleys, and OCBDs should form your mainstay of options.
N.B – If you ever feel as though a beige chinos and black shoe combo is a little too harsh for your liking, go for a pair of brown shoes instead. It’s simpler.
Khaki chinos can easily be worn with black shoes when attending smart-casual and business-casual events.
While brown shoes would be the more common option here, popping on a pair of black shoes is an effective way to stand out from the crowd.
Khaki is the most traditional and commonly seen color for chinos, with khakis being a staple of business-casual attire.
It’s a medium shade of brown with strong hints of yellow. The undertones would usually be labeled “warm”.
Wearing black shoes with khaki chinos wouldn’t be the most obvious option, but it works well. Khaki is generally dark enough to not lead to an excessive amount of contrast.
Feel free to round the outfit off with other classic business-casual items such as dress shirts/OCBDs, as well as sweaters or blazers.
6. Dark Red
Dark chinos can be worn with black shoes. The dark and warm undertones of burgundy, for example, pair well with the neutral black shoes.
It’s a dark shade of red, similar to maroon but with a strong hint of purple.
Red is a bold and vibrant color, perfect for the spring and summer months.
When wearing red chinos (or any red pants for that matter), it’s generally best to keep things dark and relatively muted to avoid drawing too much unwanted attention.
Burgundy, maroon, and crimson are good examples of appropriate options.
Dark shades of red also tend to sync better with black shoes than light shades of red would, in much the same way that navy blue and dark brown do.
It’s worth mentioning that burgundy chinos will always look more casual than the more neutral and traditional options such as navy, dark brown, and khaki.
So, reserve the burgundy chinos and black shoe combo for smart-casual settings and consider a dressier option when attending a business-casual event.
Black shoes can also be worn with tan chinos. Although brown shoes would generally be seen as the more popular option, black shoes can work well with tan chinos in the right settings.
Tan is quite a light shade but considerably darker than beige.
It’s a pale and light shade of brown, to be more specific.
The contrast between a pair of tan chinos and a pair of black shoes would definitely be eye-catching, but not in a bad way.
However, the contrast would usually come across as quite casual. As mentioned earlier, the best approach in these cases is to make it clear that the outfit is casual and relaxed.
Do so by rounding off the outfit with casual items, and also by going for a casual choice of black footwear.
An easy way to make it clear that the outfit is well coordinated is by choosing a belt that matches the black shoes.
Grey chinos can very effectively be worn with black shoes. The neutral tones of grey and black complement each other effortlessly.
This is one of those combinations where you don’t really need to worry about color coordination.
It’ll always work.
In fact, some may even call it monochromatic.
You could go for chinos in either a light or dark shade of grey. Both of them would work exceptionally well with a pair of black shoes.
It also gives you the benefit of being a relatively dressy combination.
You could easily wear it in business-casual settings, although bear in mind that chinos should never be worn in truly formal settings.