Whether your clothes for the day need to be casual or dressy, you can wear brown shoes. Just be sure you have the right style, shade, and material for the occasion. Leather works in most cases, but don’t overlook suede for casual days.
Dark Wash Denim and Cream Sweater
Going for a casual look that’s not too sloppy? Dark denim is the way to go. Choose your favorite cut of jeans and then pair them up with a cream or beige fisherman’s sweater. Casual brown shoes (boots or loafers, for example) are the perfect choice. Their warmth mimics that of the sweater’s color. While plain white would also work, the overall look is more unified with the cream shade.
Denim and Tweed
Similar to the cream sweater and dark denim option is the denim and tweed combination. Put your favorite jeans on, choose a button-up you like (you may decide to wear this tucked or untucked, depending on the cut of your jeans and overall vibe you’re going for), slip a brown belt on if your shirt will be tucked in, and then finish up your look with your brown shoes.
On the dressier end of the spectrum, you’ll have your brown oxfords or dress loafers. Black may be your initial go-to when you’re planning your business wardrobe, but don’t be afraid of brown. You can wear your black shoes with charcoal, gray, and black suits and your brown ones will go with forest green, olive green, lighter gray (black also works with these), and brown/tan suits.
When you’re wearing a navy blue suit, you can choose shoes in black or brown, but keep in mind that the brown will be perceived as more relaxed than black in this situation. If you’re attending a more formal event or going in for a job interview, leave the brown at home for the moment.
Khaki Shorts and a Polo
Brown boat shoes and sandals go well with khaki shorts and a polo or casual button-up when you want a casual look for summertime. In this type of setting, and where khaki shorts (or similar tones) are involved, brown shoes are a safe bet regardless of shirt color. Don’t forget the brown belt, which will help tie the whole outfit together.
Jeans, T-shirt, and Brown Overcoat
Do you have a pair of brown or tan pull-on suede ankle boots you want to incorporate into a more exciting ensemble? Look no further than the jeans, t-shirt, and brown or camel overcoat option. Jeans and a plain gray or white t-shirt with brown shoes are kind of a no-brainer, but the brown overcoat gives an interesting, smart casual twist and gives you an outfit that really celebrates the cooler days of fall. You can experiment with the t-shirt color here, as well. Try pale blue for something beyond your average neutral.
Black Pants and a Casual Shirt
If you’re more trendy than traditional or you’re just looking for something different to try, slip into a pair of brown shoes with your black trousers or jeans and a casual shirt (try a fitted white, taupe, or light blue button-up or sweater, or a combination of both). The key to making this work is how much contrast there is between your black pants and your brown shoes. If your shoes are a lighter shade of brown, they can work.
Steer clear of dark brown shoes with black pants; they’ll just look like you accidentally picked up the wrong pair in the dim morning light. Your best option for making this work is a combination of black pants, light-toned brown shoes with black accents (for example, black stitching), and one more brown accessory on the top half of your body, whether it’s a pair of sunglasses or your bag. And again, don’t forget the brown belt. A rich medium-toned brown shoe can work, as well. This is one of the edgier ways to wear brown shoes so if your style is more traditional, this may not be where you want to start.
The Versatility of Brown Shoes
Brown shoes quite a versatile choice, especially with the edgy option of pairing them with black pants, the multitude of brown styles and shades on the market, and the ongoing trend of a more relaxed dress code at the office (so you may be able to get away with brown shoes with your navy suit). As long as you wear the appropriate type of shoes for the event and accessorize with at least a brown belt, you really can’t go wrong with brown shoes.