Certain suit and shoe combinations work so well that it’s tough to separate them. But color-matching ties with the pair can sometimes be frustrating. So, what color tie should you wear with a navy suit and brown shoes?
A navy suit and brown shoes can be worn with a blue tie for a monochromatic look, or a neutral-colored tie such as grey or black for a subtle aesthetic. For more color, consider ties in a dark shade of red (eg. burgundy, maroon) or green (eg. hunter green).
That’s the short answer. But as always, there’s a whole lot more to it.
After going through a few guidelines to follow whenever you color-match ties with this classic suit and shoe combo, we’ll go through a few great examples to try out for yourself.
Let’s get to it.
Matching Ties With Navy Suits And Brown Shoes – Guidelines
These aren’t “rules”, but they’re always worth considering before you put together any suit and tie outfit.
Think About The Dress Code
A navy suit and brown shoe combination could potentially be worn to a variety of different dress codes.
Wearing a navy suit with dark brown shoes would often be a better option for more formal settings, while light brown shoes would be more suitable for smart-casual settings.
But the dress code should also influence what tie you wear with them.
A monochromatic or neutral suit and tie combination would be better when you’re looking to keep things subtle and don’t want to draw too much attention.
This is often ideal for formal settings or events such as weddings where you don’t want to draw attention away from the wedding couple.
For smart-casual settings, using the tie to add a splash of color is often appealing. It can add a bit of contrast to the otherwise simple and neutral navy suit and brown shoes.
However, even in more casual settings, it’s usually best to pick a dark and muted shade of a color. Avoid anything too bright, bold, and in-your-face.
Think About The Color Wheel
The color wheel can be very useful when color-matching but shouldn’t be made too complicated.
There are really only a few things you need to know about it:
- It shows a variety of different colors and how they relate to each other.
- It’s good to split it into two halves – “warm” and “cool” colors.
- Warm colors are vibrant and bold (eg. reds, oranges, yellows).
- Cool colors are soothing (eg. purples, blues, greens).
You can combine hues that are close to each other on the color wheel to produce less contrast, or further away on the color wheel to produce more contrast.
We’ll refer back to the color wheel when going through the examples later on.
Always Wear A Brown Belt
A brown belt should be worn whenever you wear a navy suit and brown shoes.
The belt doesn’t need to match the suit, the tie, or anything else.
Just the shoes.
It’s a simple rule of men’s style that makes it clear to people that your outfit is well-coordinated.
Always Wear Blue Socks
The socks should match the pants. When wearing a navy blue suit, wear blue socks.
While the socks don’t need to be the same shade (i.e navy blue), the closer the two items are in shade, the better.
Much like matching your belt to your shoes, sticking to the rule of matching your socks to the pants is yet another way to make it clear that your outfit is put together well.
5 Ties You Can Wear With A Navy Suit And Brown Shoes
Here are some great examples of ties you can wear with a navy suit and brown shoes. You’ll notice how the monochromatic and neutral options are the most subtle and “formal” looking.
Example: Navy Suit, Brown Shoes, And Steel Blue Tie
Wearing a monochromatic suit and tie combo with your brown shoes is probably the simplest option you’ve got. It’s a good option for formal events or events where you want to keep things subtle.
It requires very little thought and this is definitely appealing. All you need to do is choose a tie in a shade of blue to go with the navy blue suit.
The brown shoes will work with it regardless of what it is.
You don’t necessarily need to pick a navy blue tie. You can choose a tie from a range of different blue shades ranging from light (eg. baby blue, aqua) to dark (eg. navy, azure, admiral).
Example: Navy Suit, Brown Shoes, And Scarlet Red Tie
Referring back to the color wheel, you can see that the “warm” half of the wheel consists of reds, oranges, and yellows.
A navy suit and brown shoe combo is neutral enough for any of these colors to work. However, it’s usually best to keep things subtle and to go for a dark and neutral shade of one of these colors.
Red ties are a popular choice when wearing a navy suit.
Consider a dark shade such as burgundy, oxblood, or maroon.
While one of these colors wouldn’t be as appropriate as a monochromatic or neutral color scheme for certain formal events, sticking to dark shades should allow you to pull it off.
For more smart-casual events, going for a warm-colored tie can add a splash of color and interest to an otherwise straightforward navy suit and brown shoes outfit.
Example: Navy Suit, Brown Shoes, And Plum Purple Tie
As you can see from the color wheel, the “cool” colors are a range of blues, greens, and purples.
While you could go for a blue, this would lead to more of a monochromatic scheme given the navy blue suit.
Go for a purple or green tie for a little more contrast. “Cool” colors are soothing and laid-back.
But just like with warm-colored ties, go for a dark and muted shade of a cool color to keep things subtle and relatively formal.
Examples include indigo, plum, forest green, hunter green, and fern green.
Example: Navy Suit, Brown Shoes, And Slate Grey Tie
A neutral-colored tie would be a great alternative to a blue/monochromatic scheme, simply because it’s almost as simple and is just as subtle.
The true neutral colors are white, grey, and black. However, olive green, khaki, and yes – navy blue, are also considered “neutrals” when it comes to style.
The example above is of a slate grey tie with a navy suit and brown shoes. The collection of neutral colors blends as perfectly as you’d expect.
While it’s still very subtle and straightforward, you could argue that it was more interesting than simply going for a blue tie.
You’ve got just enough contrast between the suit and the tie to catch the eye.
Example: Navy Suit, Brown Shoes, And Marmalade Orange Tie
“Complementary” colors are colors that lie directly opposite each other on the color wheel. As a result, they lead to a large amount of contrast when they’re combined.
Combining complementary colors is a common technique used in style. It usually leads to a bold and in-your-face outcome without leading to a color clash.
Looking at the color wheel, you can see that oranges lie directly opposite blues. As a result, blue and orange are often thought to be complementary colors.
Following on from this, an orange tie could make for a nice, complementary addition to a navy blue suit outfit.
If you’re looking for a combo that stands out and catches the eye, this might appeal to you.
It wouldn’t be appropriate for a formal event or setting – stick to the other options on this list for these.
But if you were attending a smart-casual setting and wanted to pick a tie that makes more of a statement with your navy suit and brown shoes, an orange tie could do just that.
A navy suit and brown shoes is a versatile combination that can easily be combined with blue or neutral-colored ties to keep things simple. If you were looking for a splash of color, consider a warm-colored or cool-colored tie instead.
At the end of the day, this suit and shoe combo is neutral and muted enough to give you plenty of options.