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How to Wear Brown Dress Shoes With Absolute Style

When looking for a good color alternative to black dress shoes and the outfit you are wearing does not call for it, wearing dress shoes in brown works just as well. Brown dress shoes are a staple for any fashionable man who wants to be versatile in his everyday style.

Outside of phrases like “no brown in town” or “no brown after six”, there are plenty of ways that men can figure out their dress shoe style for the right occasion.

If you need to figure out how to wear brown dress shoes with your outfit, read our guide below.

Which Shades Work Best For An Event?

The standard protocol for brown shade ranges discerns that darker shades are better to wear on more formal occasions while light to medium shades works for more casual occasions.

Of course, this also depends on the type of outfit matching your shoe wearing style and whether the event is casual, business, or business casual. Also, consider that funerals and black-tie functions are the two worst times to be wearing a brown dress shoe.

Shades of light brown to wear for more casual events are 

  • Tan
  • Cognac
  • Walnut
  • Neutral
  • Bronze

Shades of medium brown (also can be called standard brown) to wear are

  • Burnished brown
  • Medium brown
  • Mahogany

Shades of dark brown to wear for more formal events are

  • Dark brown
  • Burgundy
  • Bordeaux
  • Chili

Remember: the more formal the outfit, the darker the shade of a brown dress shoe should be!

Colors That Work With Brown Dress Shoes

While brown dress shoes lend themselves to be a very useful piece in a wardrobe, there are some colors that work better with them than others. Here are the types of colors that would work best when styling your suit or work outfit with brown dress shoes. 

Earth tones:

  • Auburn
  • Bronze
  • Burgundy
  • Copper
  • Forest green
  • Khaki
  • Mahogany
  • Maroon
  • Nude
  • Olive
  • Russet
  • Sepia
  • Tan
  • Taupe

Shades of Gray

  • Charcoal gray
  • Mid gray

Shades of Blue

  • Denim blue
  • Dark and light navy
  • Light blue

Bolder Colors

  • Red
  • White
  • Off-white

When questioning how to style shoes with the right color, figure out how conservative or bold you want your outfit to look and take these colors into consideration with the right shade of brown to pull it together.

Don’t Mix Brown and Black

In the fashion industry, one of the big no-no’s is the notion that mixing brown and black does not create a cohesive, stylish look. 

One of the rare exceptions to wearing this color combo is if you do not wear any other colors in your suit outfit and try to go for a neutral look. Another good combo is wearing black jeans, trousers, or chinos with brown lace-up oxfords, brogues, and loafers.

Otherwise, if you choose to wear black with brown dress shoes, make sure your dress shoes are a darker shade of brown so they can blend in better.

Wear With Jeans For A Casual Look

Jeans and dress shoes are a great combination for any casual look, but that doesn’t mean all styles of jeans will work cohesively with dress shoes. 

Since dress shoes can make your feet appear smaller, tighter-fitting jeans will work well. Great jean styles that’ll give your legs a slimmer look are slim fitting or regular-fit jeans. Darker denim jean colors always look best with brown shoes, though navy and black also work well.

One important note: don’t wear your dress shoes and jeans without socks. While it is a popular trend in menswear today, not wearing socks can make you look a little too unpolished for the occasion.

Do I Wear Brown Dress Shoes With A Suit?

When questioning how to wear fancy shoes, a pair of brown dress shoes with a suit is one of the best options.

For more casual suits, the look of the suit that would be appropriate is those with bolder patterns, material blends or brushed cotton, or corduroy. When opting for a sport or trouser suit, good materials are fresco, tweed, Donegal, and flannel.

When wanting to look classy, a pair of darker brown shoes with a mid-gray or charcoal gray suit will work best. Do not go for lighter shades such as tan as this will make the outfit appear too bright. Pair this with a brown satchel and belt and you will appear sophisticated and experimental at the same time.

Some Shoe Buying Tips

These are some important tips you should keep on your mind when adding a pair of brown dress shoes to your closet.

Consider Your Shoe’s Material

While the color of your brown dress shoes is one aspect to consider while buying them, you should also take a look at how the shoe is constructed. If you know how the shoe was made and what material the outside and sole were made of, you will find the best pair of shoes for the best price and quality.

Customize Your Shoes

The benefits of purchasing customizable dress shoes are that you can better express your fashion sense, make your shoes more comfortable, and invest in a shoe style that will last for a long time as an essential piece in your closet. While it may cost a bit of extra money, it comes with the knowledge that you are not compromising on your style, durability, and overall comfort.

Know How to Wear Brown Dress Shoes in Everyday Life

Brown shoes are stylish, versatile, and can be worn on most occasions. When looking at a brown dress shoe that works for any life occasion, the pair you choose will give others a sense of how well you dress at any time. So choose the right shade and dress shoe style wisely.

Take our advice to heart and you will never be confused about how to wear brown dress shoes again. For more fashion tips or other articles about a variety of topics, explore our blog.

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