Shoe Color vs. Suit Color
There is no right or wrong when it comes to colors of shoes being paired with suits, what matters is what looks good and what doesn’t. I have seen so many so called ‘Style Advisers’ tell people “You can’t wear tan shoes with navy suits or black shoes with brown suits etc.” but yet have seen so many people wear these combos so gracefully and well done that it just goes to show that these rules should be thrown out the window. I really think that everything just plays to your personality and your ability to pair things that go well together and the confidence to pull them off.
Take for example this gentleman on the right. His pairing of medium brown shoes with a navy suit lends a beautiful contrast to the eye that in my opinion could never be done by pairing a solid black shoe with a navy suit. Yet time again, you have so many individuals that say you should never put a navy suit with a light colored brown shoe. These gentlemen who make these remarks usually tend to be older than 40 hence their minds only thinking in terms of what they saw growing up. To their unknowing, times have changed and it is acceptable and, in my mind, more appreciative and elegant to pair a navy suit with any other color but black which will usually make your outfit stand out quite more than the boring monotone assembly of dark colors with dark colors. Of course to argue the contrary, it is usually considered more professional to wear black shoes since they have been branded in our minds as being more elegant in a business like situation. However, this statement also depends upon where you live, America vs. England vs. France vs. Italy, and also what profession you are in e.g. the arts, fashion, retail, finance, banking etc.
So here are my rules:
(Suits: Shoe colors)
Black Suits: Black (and patent) or Gray
Navy Suits: Brown (any shade), Burgundy, Red, Green, Yellow, Black etc. The possibilities to what you can pair with navy suits are limitless
Gray Suits: Same things as navy, the possibilities are pretty much endless (depending on the shade of suit). Lighter grays for me, are a bit more versatile, where as charcoal suits head towards the territory of black.
All in all, I have no rules, I generally tend to wear what I feel like. However sometimes I feel like an anomaly, especially in America, and what I believe the average man would be comfortable wearing is: black suits with black shoes; navy suits with either black, any shade of brown or burgundy/oxblood/cordovan colored shoes; and gray suits with the same colors as a navy suit. However, with gray suits there are different shades and for me the more contrast you create the more catching and appreciative the outfit. Here are several other pictures to show the different looks in pairing suits with shoes.