Being less commonly seen, a brown suit is a great way to stand out from a crowd in smart-casual settings. However, it’s important to color-coordinate shoes with care.
So, here are some great shoe colors you can wear with a brown suit.
While the range of choices is wide, there’s a good chance a couple of them would be more appropriate for your specific brown suit, as well as the setting you’re dressing for.
After going through a couple of tips to help you choose the right one, we’ll go through each of the combinations in more detail.
Let’s get to it.
How To Coordinate Brown Suits With Shoes
A brown suit can look very different depending on the color of the shoes you choose to wear with it.
Consider both of these factors before putting your suit together.
1. The Dress Code Is Crucial
A brown suit should only be worn in smart-casual settings. It shouldn’t be worn in formal or business-professional environments.
The reason for this is that a black, grey, or navy suit would be far more appropriate in truly formal or professional settings.
Brown, while neutral and easy to combine with other colors, would be a much better option in smart-casual settings where there’s less of a risk of underdressing.
However, even within the realm of smart-casual settings, there will always be those that are dressier and “smarter” than others.
When you’re looking to dress up with a brown suit, consider a pair of shoes in black or dark brown.
These shoe colors epitomize the formal and professional dress code and are hard to go wrong with as a result.
Oxblood is a dark shade of red that’s often seen as similarly formal due to its dark brown undertones.
Of course, you’ll need to take the shade of the brown suit into consideration as well – we’ll be going through that in the next part.
In more casual settings, lighter and more vibrant shoe colors can be worn with the brown suit.
Burgundy is a great option. It’s a dark, yet vivid shade of red with noticeably purple hues.
When you’re really dressing down, you could wear a pair of white shoes with your brown suit for a striking and eye-catching casual combination. All-white leather sneakers would be an option here.
2. Consider The Shade Of Brown
The shade of your brown suit is also important to consider when choosing a pair of shoes.
Ultimately, it comes down to contrast.
If you’re wearing a dark brown suit, a pair of black or oxblood shoes would lead to less contrast than a pair of burgundy or white shoes would.
The colors are just less different from each other and the combination would look more subtle overall.
If you’d prefer a bolder and more striking aesthetic, consider a high-contrast suit and shoes combination instead.
High-contrast combinations will usually look more casual and are a better option when looking to make your shoes a larger focus within your outfit as a whole.
Even when going for a low-contrast combination, it’s important to ensure that the color of the shoes is noticeably different from that of the suit.
Avoid wearing a dark brown suit with dark brown shoes. Similarly, avoid wearing a light brown suit with light brown shoes.
Low-contrast combinations look elegant but wearing a suit and shoe combination using the same colors rarely ever does.
6 Brown Suit And Shoes Combinations
Here are those suit and shoe combinations in more detail – descriptions and pictures to help you choose the right one.
Brown Suit And Black Shoes
Black shoes can easily be worn with a brown suit in even the dressiest of smart-casual settings.
While the pair of black shoes in question may be perfectly suitable to wear in formal and professional settings, the brown suit and black shoe combo should only be worn in casual or smart-casual environments.
At the end of the day, a brown suit can never be formal.
Dark brown suits tend to work best when wearing black shoes, simply because the dark tones sync well together.
If you did want to wear a suit in a lighter shade of brown, it’s fine. Just be aware that the contrast you’d achieve will be bolder and more eye-catching.
Generally, it’ll lead to a more casual aesthetic.
Another thing to note is that it’s important to wear a black belt here. As a general principle, always coordinate your shoes and belt whenever you’re wearing a suit.
Brown Suit And Brown Shoes
A brown suit can be worn with brown shoes as long as the two shades of brown are different enough and easily distinguished from each other.
As mentioned earlier, wearing a suit and pair of shoes of the same color rarely ever leads to a sophisticated outcome.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t wear a brown suit with brown shoes.
In fact, this combination can actually look pretty great. It’s just important to pick two contrasting shades of brown.
For example, wear a light brown suit with dark brown shoes.
Alternatively, wear a dark brown suit with light or medium brown shoes.
No matter what shade of brown shoes you choose, wear a matching belt. Not doing so is a quick way to make a suit look poorly coordinated. It’s simple, yet effective.
Brown Suit And Blue Shoes
A brown suit can be worn with navy blue shoes. The combination should only be worn in casual settings where there’s no risk of underdressing.
This combination is great because it stands out from the crowd. Navy blue shoes are a more exciting alternative to black, brown, and burgundy shoes.
They’re less commonly seen, less traditional, and more casual.
You could go for a pair of shoes in a lighter shade of blue, but this does always carry a certain level of risk.
At the end of the day, a pair of light or medium blue shoes will always draw attention. It’ll turn the shoes into a statement piece – the focus of the entire outfit.
If this is what you want, that’s absolutely fine. A brown suit is neutral enough to coordinate with any pair of blue shoes.
However, if you’d prefer to keep things more subtle while still making a bit of a statement, go for a pair of navy shoes instead.
Brown Suit And Oxblood Shoes
A brown suit can be worn with oxblood shoes in casual and smart-casual settings. The dark brown hue of oxblood shoes would coordinate effortlessly with most brown suits.
While oxblood is a dark shade of red, the noticeable dark brown hue does make it appropriate to wear in more formal settings.
However, when wearing a brown suit, it’s important to consider the shade.
When wearing oxblood shoes, you could end up in a scenario where the shoes are of a very similar shade to the brown suit.
In these cases, it’s best not to wear them. Go for a pair of dress shoes in a noticeably different color instead.
Oxblood shoes usually work best with suits in a light or medium shade of brown where the colors are easily distinguished from each other.
Try to wear an oxblood leather belt to tie everything together.
Brown Suit And Burgundy Shoes
Burgundy shoes can be worn with brown suits in a variety of different smart-casual settings, but will always look more casual than black or brown alternatives.
Burgundy is a dark shade of red, similar to oxblood.
However, unlike oxblood, burgundy has a purple hue that makes it more vivid and striking than oxblood.
While burgundy shoes are very versatile, the striking color does make them look more casual than black or brown shoes.
Ultimately, burgundy shoes can be worn with suits in any shade of brown. It’s just important to ensure that the setting is casual enough to allow for them.
Brown Suit And White Shoes
A brown suit can be worn with white shoes in very casual settings where there’s no risk of underdressing. All-white low-top white sneakers would be the best option here.
While you could wear a pair of white “dress shoes”, these are often difficult to pull off for even the most fashion-forward of gents.
It’s tough to make them look like anything more than a statement piece and they do sometimes look quite comical at their worst.
White sneakers, on the other hand, could be a great option when wearing a brown suit in a truly casual setting.
While it wouldn’t be appropriate in smart-casual settings where a more traditional pair of dress shoes should be worn, it can work well when really dressing down.
When wearing a suit of any variety, it’s important to pick a pair of relatively “dressy” sneakers. Going for all-white leather would be the easiest way to pull this off.
Avoid chunky canvas sneakers with heavy branding and loud colors. The more athletic they look, the less likely it is that they’ll pair well with a suit.
A brown suit can be incredibly versatile in casual settings, but certain shoe colors do work best with them in specific settings.
Consider the dress code, as well as how much contrast you want between the shoes and the suit when making your decision.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.