Blue suits are known for their versatility, especially when it comes to color matching other items. So, what color shoes go with a blue suit?
Suits in dark shades of blue such as midnight blue and navy blue pair well with black and dark brown dress shoes. Suits in light shades of blue such as teal, sky blue, and steel blue generally look better with shoes in lighter shades of brown or oxblood.
Although that’s the short answer, there’s a whole lot more to it.
After going through the main “rules” to consider when color matching blue suits with shoes, I’ll go through 5 great combinations you can try out for yourself.
Let’s get to it.
Color Matching Blue Suits With Shoes: Guidelines
Consider these guidelines whenever you’re wondering what shoe color might work best.
1. Consider The Shade Of Blue Suit
In general, the darker the shade of blue, the darker you’ll want your shoe color to be.
This is why navy blue suits work better with black and dark brown dress shoes, while suits in lighter shades of blue work better with lighter shades of brown or even oxblood.
Choosing a pair of shoes in a light color to go with a comparatively dark suit will lead to too much contrast.
The shoes will stand out from the suit instead of blending well into the aesthetic as a whole.
So, to sum that up – try to pair light with light and dark with dark.
2. Consider Formality
Suits in dark shades of blue are generally more appropriate for formal events, while those in lighter and brighter shades work better for smart-casual dress codes.
This is yet another reason why dark blue suits work better with black or dark brown dress shoes.
Those are the most formal shoe colors and so pair well with the formality of the dark blue suit.
Light blue suits will always look more casual and so you’ve got a wider range of shoe colors to choose from.
Light shades of brown (eg. tan brown) work well. However, there are also colors that aren’t exactly “light” but would still work well with light blue suits because of how smart-casual they look.
For example, oxblood and burgundy are both pretty dark, but they have a very “social” to them. As a result, they work very well with suits in light shades of blue.
When considering formality, it’s also important to consider the style of dress shoe you choose.
In order of reducing formality, the main styles to know about are:
- Monk straps
This is important because a pair of black loafers would still look pretty casual – too casual to be worn to a formal event even though they’re black.
So, consider the style and color of the shoes when deciding what to wear with a blue suit.
3. Consider Belt Color
While it would be important for anyone to have a range of belts to choose from, it may come to a point where it influences your shoe color choice.
In general, your shoes should match your belt wherever possible.
So, if you’re wearing black shoes, wear a black belt.
If you’re wearing dark brown shoes, try to wear a dark brown belt.
And so on.
You can get belts in practically any color. If you get yourself a pair of oxblood shoes, try to get hold of an oxblood (or at least a reddish-brown) belt to go with them.
5 Blue Suit And Shoes Combinations
Now that you’ve been through the guidelines, it’s time to see how those combinations would look.
Blue Suit And Black Shoes
Black shoes pair well with suits in dark shades of blue such as midnight blue, navy blue, and dark navy blue.
The lighter the shade of the blue suit, the less attractive black shoes become as an option, and the more likely it is that the options further down would be preferable.
But a dark blue suit and black shoes would make for a great formal ensemble, ideal for events such as work meetings, conferences, evening socials, interviews, and so on.
Consider a solid-colored or subtly patterned blue, black, or charcoal grey tie to keep things monochromatic or neutral.
Alternatively, choose a tie in a dark “warm” color such as burgundy red for some contrast.
Blue Suit And Dark Brown Shoes
Dark brown shoes can be worn with both light and dark shades of blue due to their versatility. However, they do work better with dark blue suits such as midnight or navy blue.
Dark brown dress shoes could become the workhorse of any wardrobe, simply due to the wide range of settings and occasions you could potentially wear them to.
While they don’t look quite as formal as black shoes, they can still quite easily be worn to formal events.
This is especially true when you go for a more formal style such as dark brown Oxfords or Derby shoes.
Dark brown shoes are versatile enough to wear with “medium” shades of blue which aren’t quite light enough to make lighter shades of brown preferable.
For example, consider wearing dark brown shoes with shades such as charcoal blue, royal blue, or steel blue.
Dark brown shoes could work just as well as a pair of light brown or oxblood shoes here, especially when you’re looking to dress up the suit a little.
Blue Suit And Tan Brown Shoes
Blue suits work exceptionally well with tan brown shoes, especially those in lighter shades such as teal blue, sky blue, or steel blue.
Tan brown is arguably the most popular “light” shade of brown shoe out there. It works so well in smart-casual and business-casual settings.
It’s light enough to add contrast between the shoes and the suit. Contrast is casual.
At the same time, brown is neutral enough as a color to not add too much contrast and draw too much attention.
Examples of settings you could wear tan brown shoes and a blue suit to include weddings, work socials, and so on.
Blue Suit And Oxblood/Burgundy Shoes
Blue suits in both light and dark shades of blue can be worn with oxblood or burgundy shoes.
In many ways, oxblood and burgundy are incredibly versatile as dress shoe colors. The reason for this is that they’re “bright” and bold enough to be worn in smart-casual and business-casual settings.
But at the same time, they’re sometimes dark enough to wear in more formal settings with suits in darker shades of blue as well.
When figuring out whether a pair of oxblood or burgundy shoes would work with the blue suit you’re wearing, the most important thing to consider is how social the setting you’re attending is.
In many ways, this is more important than the shade of blue suit you’re wearing.
In more formal settings, a pair of black or dark brown shoes would usually be more appropriate than oxblood or burgundy.
However, if the setting is more social and smart-casual, a pair of oxblood or burgundy could work very well.
They have a pretty laid-back and social aesthetic to them while still looking very dapper.
Blue Suit And White Shoes
A blue suit can be worn with white shoes (eg. sneakers) in casual settings. However, it’s important to be sure that it’s appropriate for the dress code before attempting to.
Out of the combinations listed, this is the one to be most careful with.
It’s more of a statement to wear a pair of white sneakers with a blue suit, simply because the contrast would be obvious and will immediately draw attention.
It would really only work in casual or smart-casual settings.
In addition, it should only be attempted if you’re sure a pair of dress shoes wouldn’t be more appropriate.
If there’s any doubt, go for a pair of dress shoes in a casual shade (eg. tan brown, or oxblood) instead.
The type of blue suit you wear with white sneakers is very important. Always go for a more casual-looking blue suit in a light shade.
In addition, go for a “casual” fabric such as linen wherever possible. The pants can easily be cuffed and the white sneakers can be worn with no-show socks without looking too awkward.
Trying to wear a pair of white sneakers with a formal-looking worsted wool suit won’t usually look good.
This is due to a formality mismatch between the formal suit and the casual shoes.
So, consider the formality of the setting you’re attending, as well as the fabric and shade of the blue suit you’re wearing, and you may find that white sneakers may be a reasonable option if you’re looking to make more of a statement.
There you have it. Hopefully, everything you could ever want to know about color-matching blue suits with shoes.
Once you’ve got the guidelines and “rules” down, it’s pretty easy to come up with potential combinations.
Always consider the formality of the setting you’re attending, stick to basic principles, and there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a combination that works.