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What Color Shoes Go With A Light Grey Suit? (With Pics)

December 22, 2022
What Color Shoes Go With A Light Grey Suit? (With Pics)

Some suit colors are so neutral and versatile that practically any shoe color would work. But is this one of them? 

More specifically, what color shoes should you wear with a light grey suit? 

Light grey suits can be worn with black, dark brown, or oxblood shoes in formal settings. In more casual settings, a light grey suit works well with burgundy, cognac, and tan brown shoes. 

That’s the short answer, but there’s a whole lot more to it. 

After going through a few guidelines to help you color-match light grey suits and shoes to perfection, we’ll list some shoe colors you can try out for yourself. 

Let’s get to it. 

How To Color Match Light Grey Suits With Shoes

Consider these guidelines before you put your outfit together. 

grey three piece suit
Image From Deposit Photos

Consider The Formality

The more formal the setting, the more likely it is that black shoes would work best with a light grey suit. However, dark brown would usually be a reasonable alternative. 

The beauty of a light grey suit is that the color is neutral and light enough to allow you to comfortably wear shoes in a lighter shade of brown without too much contrast. 

But sticking to the principle of going for dark shoes when it’s more formal and going for light-colored shoes only when it’s less formal will often serve you well. 

It’s also important to remember that a light grey suit usually looks more casual than a dark grey or charcoal suit. 

man in light grey suit
Image From Deposit Photos

If you feel as though an event is truly formal, going for a dark suit such as black, charcoal, or navy blue would always be better than a light grey suit. 

The formality should also influence the style of the shoes you go for. 

In order of reducing formality, here are your main dress shoe options: 

  • Oxfords
  • Derbys
  • Monk straps
  • Loafers

For formal events, stick to Oxfords or Derbys. 

Go For Grey Socks

A light grey suit should be worn with grey socks, no matter what shoe color you eventually choose. 

People often make the mistake of trying to match their socks to their shoes or something else entirely. 

The socks should match the suit pants as best as possible. 

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to find a pair of socks in exactly the same shade of light grey. 

But sticking to a shade of grey that’s relatively similar would always be a good way to go. 

Wear A Matching Belt

Make sure the belt matches the shoes. 

When wearing a light grey suit, it can sometimes be tempting to go for a black belt, simply because it seems to sync well with the suit color. 

But this isn’t a good way to coordinate a suit.

The belt should always match the suit.

If you’re wearing black shoes, wear a black belt. 

If you’re wearing dark brown shoes, wear a dark brown belt. 

When buying a new pair of dress shoes, always ask yourself whether you’d have a belt to go with it. If you know you don’t, it would be worth getting yourself one at the same time. 

6 Shoe Colors You Can Wear With Light Grey Suits

Here’s a selection of shoe colors you can wear with light grey suits, together with the dress codes and settings they’d be most appropriate for. 

Notice how some colors are more versatile than others, suiting a wider range of dress codes. 

Black Shoes

Ideal Dress Code: Formal, Business-Professional

light grey suit with black oxford shoes
Images From Deposit Photos

Black dress shoes are, without a doubt, the most formal option you could go for. 

If you ever feel as though there’s a real risk of underdressing for a formal event, always go for black shoes. 

Light grey suits work well with black shoes and this isn’t just because they’re both extremely neutral. 

It’s also because the contrast between the black and the light grey is strong enough to prevent the outfit from looking too monochromatic. 

However, it’s worth mentioning that if you do feel as though there’s a risk of underdressing, always ask yourself whether a darker suit would be more appropriate. 

The style of dress shoes will also influence just how formal they look, with black Oxfords being one of the most formal options you could go for. 

If you want to wear black shoes with a less formal aesthetic, consider Derbys or monk straps. 

Dark Brown Shoes

Ideal Dress Code: Formal, Business-Professional, Smart-Casual

light grey suit with dark brown dress shoes
Images From Deposit Photos

Dark brown shoes are arguably the most versatile pair on the list, as they suit a wide range of dress codes ranging from smart-casual to formal. 

There aren’t many formal events where dark brown shoes would be considered too casual. 

In fact, they’re often preferred over black shoes, simply because they add a bit more color and contrast to the light grey suit. 

When it comes to the style of shoe, the same principles apply. Go for Oxfords if you want to dress up, with Derbys and monk straps being the more casual (but still dressy) options. 

Oxblood Shoes

Ideal Dress Code: Formal, Business-Professional, Smart-Casual

light grey suit with oxblood shoes
Images From Deposit Photos

Oxblood shoes are a great option when wearing a light grey suit. Much like dark brown shoes, they have the benefit of suiting a wide range of dress codes. 

It’s a dark shade of red but has strong hues of dark brown. 

In terms of formality, you could say oxblood shoes were a notch less formal than dark brown ones. This is simply because the red hue has a more social and casual look to it. 

It isn’t quite as traditional as simple black or dark brown shoes. 

However, oxblood shoes would still be a reasonable alternative to dark brown shoes in formal settings. They have the benefit of being a little more eye-catching as well. 

They’re also very appropriate (if not even more appropriate) for smart-casual settings. 

Tan Shoes

Ideal Dress Code: Smart-Casual

light grey suit with light brown cap toe Oxford shoes
Images From Deposit Photos

Tan shoes work well with a light grey suit in smart-casual settings. 

The light shade of brown looks elegant and sophisticated, but shouldn’t be worn in formal settings. 

Light brown and light grey work well together, however, and the combination should be considered whenever you feel as though a setting is casual enough for it to work. 

Examples of settings where the combo could be considered include garden parties, work conferences, and weddings that aren’t too formal. 

Burgundy Shoes

Ideal Dress Code: Smart-Casual

light grey suit with burgundy dress shoes
Images From Deposit Photos

Burgundy shoes can be worn with a light grey suit in smart-casual settings. 

Like oxblood, burgundy is a dark shade of red. However, it has noticeable purplish hues that make it more eye-catching and striking than oxblood. 

Burgundy looks redder than oxblood and as a result, burgundy shoes often look more casual and social. 

Because of this, it’s best to avoid burgundy shoes in formal and business-professional settings. 

They’re often ideal to wear with light grey suits in smart-casual settings, however. 

They make for a nice alternative to brown shoes, simply because they’re a little less common and are more likely to catch the eye. 

Cognac Shoes

Ideal Dress Code: Smart-Casual

light grey suit with cognac shoes
Images From Deposit Photos

Cognac is an earthy color with strong hues of red, brown, and noticeably – yellow. When wearing a light grey suit, a pair of cognac dress shoes can often work a treat. 

Cognac has a warm and earthy feel to it, even more so than tan. 

It’s common to find dress shoes that take advantage of these benefits. 

While it’s a versatile color with various hues, it usually comes across as a light shade of brown. Because of this, cognac shoes do have a pretty casual look. 

It’s best to avoid wearing cognac shoes with a light grey suit to truly formal settings. Consider a darker suit with darker shoes instead. 

The combination would be much more appropriate in smart-casual settings where there’s less of a risk of underdressing. 

Cognac shoes may not be quite as eye-catching and bold as burgundy shoes, but this is a large part of their appeal. 

They’re subtle and never look overbearing. 


A light grey suit can be worn with a variety of different shoe colors ranging from black and dark brown to cognac and burgundy. The color you choose should mainly depend on the setting and dress code.