Brown Shoes With Black Pants

 By: Michael D Taylor
If you want to be part of one of the oldest and most discussed men's fashion questions, just Google the words, "can I wear brown shoes with black pants?" You'll see dozens of different threads started on the topic.

Some may argue that it is okay to mix brown and black within an outfit. For example some fabrics out there mix black and brown with color blocking patterns. But black pants with brown shoes? It's a no. This is highly unlikely to change as trends come and go.

So how do you know what color shoes to wear with your pants? This is an important detail that you should not overlook when determining what to wear to an interview, how to dress for a business networking event, or at any time when you want to make a good first impression. The basic guidelines for matching shoes and pants are:

Navy pants - Wear shoes that are tan, camel, black, or dark reddish-brown. Navy is a neutral, and it matches just about any other neutral. My preference for a navy suit is a camel colored or medium brown belt and pair of shoes.

Black pants - Pair black shoes with black pants. Or, if you want to lighten up your look, go for light tan colored shoes or oxfords that mix white and black. Just not brown.

Brown pants - Any shade of brown shoes will work well with brown pants. This may include khaki, tan, dark brown, or reddish-brown. You can also wear charcoal gray shoes with brown pants.

Gray pants - Black, camel, or dark reddish-brown shoes look good with gray pants. Again, gray is a pretty versatile neutral. I personally think gray and brown is a nice combination that looks a lot less dark and heavy than gray and black.

Denim pants - Anything goes! Just make sure that your shoes and your belt are in the same color family. (For example, black shoes with a charcoal belt.) Since denim is a more casual fabric, you can also wear fashion sneakers in just about any color. Avoid wearing actual athletic sneakers, however, unless necessity dictates it. A fashion sneaker creates a much more polished look.

Khaki pants - For a classic preppy look, you can wear khakis with penny loafers. Many stores have a great selection of men's penny loafers. Just about any shade of brown, particularly a dark chocolate brown, pairs well with khaki. Pass on black shoes with khaki, as it is too stark of a contrast. If you want dark shoes, go for charcoal or dark navy.

Olive Green - Pair earth tones, such as olive green, with other earth tones such as camel, tan, dark brown, and reddish-brown.
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