Shoes to wear with a grey suit

If you’re looking for shoes to wear with a grey suit, you’re in luck! There are a lot of options out there that will make your outfit look great.

First of all, it’s important to know that the color of your shoe should match the color of your pants or skirt—not necessarily the color of the suit itself. If you wear a grey suit with black shoes, for example, it doesn’t really matter what color your socks are: they’ll just blend into each other and it won’t look right.

The best way to get this right is to match your shoes to the shade of grey in your suit. If your suit is very light gray, then you might want something darker like brown or tan; if it’s more charcoal or blue-grey, then brown or black would be perfect.

That being said… if you have a light-colored suit and want something with a little more contrast (such as brown), don’t worry! Just make sure that both items are made from similar materials (like leather).

Shoes to wear with a grey suit

Grey Suit and Shoes

Black, blue, and grey are three of the most timeless suits and you’ll see most men switching between them for different occasions, it won’t be wrong if we say these suits are a staple. But just like any formal wear, you can just wear it with anything to call it a day. However black suit is the king in terms of formality all you need is a plain black oxford and you’re done.

Today we’re going to talk about timeless grey suits and what shoes, shirts, and ties are you supposed to wear with them.

We’ll start off with the most formal, and go towards more casual styles. Here is what color shoes with grey suit are the most appropriate, plus a shirt and tie combinations.

The Charcoal Suit

Charcoal Suit Men

What shoes to wear with charcoal suit

The charcoal suit is lesser formal compared to the black suit, but it’s still the most formal of all the shades of grey because it’s darker. It’s best if you wear it with oxfords, capped toes, or whole-cut shoes. As for colors sick to darker tones like black and burgundy to maintain the dressed-up look.

Shirts to wear with charcoal suit

For a charcoal grey suit, a white shirt is hands down the best option, because it’s something that’s very formal, a shirt with a spread collar and no chest pockets are the most appropriate style to go with your suit. A white shirt can also go with almost any color you can think of; therefore, you should have one no matter what. Alternatively, you can also try a pastel blue or pink shirt if you don’t want white.

Tie colors that go with charcoal suit

Everything that you wear with your charcoal suit should be dark except for the shirt, and we can’t emphasize enough that. Let your tie be deep colors like navy, deep burgundy, maroon, dark green, and red.

The Medium and Light Grey

Light Grey Suit

What shoes to wear with medium or light grey suit

Black again would be an appropriate choice of shoes for your light grey suit, but we wouldn’t recommend it because you want to look more casual, brown shoes in this case will look richer, more interesting, and refined, and you can nail the no-tie look with it. As for the type of shoes you can wear capped toes, Derbys, brogues, and even Chelsea boots.

Shirts to wear with light grey suit

The same rules apply again, a crisp white shirt will complement any suit color. However, with the light suit, you still have the freedom to try different colors as it is lesser formal. Some of the popular colors are pink, blue, and navy, experiment with the medium to light tone to see what suits you best.

What tie to wear with light grey suit

The color of your tie is depended on your shirt, if your shirt is dark for a lighter tie to create a contrast and vice versa. Some of the popular colors that go with are true blue, different shades of maroon, red, and forest green.

#1 What Color Shoes Go With A Navy Blue Suit?

man wearing navy blue suit

Compatible shoe colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Oxblood/burgundy
black, brown and burgundy dress shoes

That’s right – navy blue goes comfortably with all three of the main colors of quality men’s shoes.

Why? Blues, by nature, can convey trust, wisdom, and responsibility. They give off a tranquil, calming effect when people encounter you.

Any touches of black, brown, or burgundy tend to “blend in” well with a larger amount of blue – without being distracting.

That explains why companies incorporate some form of blue in their logo design. And interior designers often use a hint of blue in planning the layout of corporate offices. Blue seems to encourage productivity.

Since it’s easy to coordinate a navy blue suit with most leather shoes – it’s the safest option for attending a job interview. It’ll help you look confident and level-headed right off the bat.

The only thing to remember is there are subtle ways in which the leather color affects the “attitude” of the entire outfit:

  • Black = formal, “getting down to business”
  • Brown = more relaxed or flexible
  • Oxblood/burgundy = more playful or creative

#2 What Color Shoes Go With A Gray Suit?

man in grey suit with glasses

Compatible shoe colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Oxblood/burgundy
black, brown and burgundy dress shoes to wear with gray suit

Gray suits are less formal than navy blue suits, but they’re equal in terms of flexibility. You can pair them effectively with all three shoe colors.

They’re not ideal for proper business wear (since they’re rather light). But they’re actually fine in office setups where suits are worn with a “relaxed” dress code.

Specifically, for medium-gray suits – black would be the best choice for your shoes while wearing a white dress shirt with a tie.

Brown and burgundy shoes turn it into a casual/social look – and work best when the shirt has some pattern.

And then we have light gray suits, which work really well for spring/summer wear. The lighter the shade, the easier it is to apply patterns (such as checks or herringbone) into the suit – since they’re more visible.

Light gray is also the most casual shade of gray – so you can use it to break up the monotony of the usual suit colors when you’re attending parties or events during the warmer months.

#3 What Color Shoes Go With A Charcoal Suit?

black man wearing charcoal suit

Compatible shoe colors:

  • Black
  • Oxblood/burgundy

Avoid:

  • Brown
black and burgundy dress shoes to wear with charcoal suit

Here’s the first “must avoid” to take note of – charcoal gray suits with brown shoes. The reason behind it isn’t that clear-cut.

Charcoal gray is a color that’s almost as versatile as navy blue – but it tends to add a little more maturity to the wearer (not “oldness” per se).

On the other hand, navy blue suits make a young man look even younger, giving him the freedom to choose among all three shoe colors.

It’s slightly different for charcoal gray suits. Brown leather shoes don’t match as well. It’s because brown is naturally less formal than the other two – and the contrast created between brown and charcoal gray (which is similar to black) is quite stark.

Plain black shoes are the best choice in this case. However, a deep burgundy also does a great job for a charcoal gray suit that’s “relaxed” but still classy overall.

#4: What Color Shoes Go With A Brown Suit?

man wearing brown suit

Compatible shoe colors:

  • Brown
  • Oxblood/burgundy

Avoid:

  • Black
brown and burgundy dress shoes to wear with brown suit

I know – you might be wondering why a brown-brown combination works. The truth is that brown suits go with most brown shoes.

You need a visible difference between the shades of the shoe and the suit. If both browns appear identical, the whole thing will look off.

In general – it’s better for the brown shoes to be darker than the brown suit (which helps keep the eye from being drawn downward).

But the single most important thing is a clear contrast. And that’s what oxblood or burgundy shoes provide more easily.

And as mentioned in #3 – brown is considered less formal than its darker counterparts. So if a charcoal gray suit wouldn’t go with brown shoes, neither would a brown suit go with black shoes. Those pairings “clash” a little too much (in terms of feel and perception).

Brown suits are traditionally seen as academic or casual. While this view was partly changed by former U.S. President Ronald Reagan (who wore these suits frequently), it doesn’t reshape the consensus on brown suits with black leather shoes. They never match.

#5 What Color Shoes Go With A Black Suit?

older man wearing a black suit

Compatible shoe colors:

  • Black

Avoid:

  • Brown
  • Oxblood/burgundy
black dress shoes to wear with black suit

Based on the “must avoid” combinations in #3 and #4 – it makes sense why a pure black suit is the least flexible.

Only pair a black suit with black shoes. Any other shoe color will look too casual with it.

And the reality is this outfit is NOT meant for regular use. You’ll be saving it for:

  • Strict, business dress environments
  • Black-tie parties (or similar social functions)
  • Funerals

The average man is better off owning charcoal gray or navy blue suits – since they’re appropriate enough for most occasions. Lighter grays and browns are the next best options (depending on how casual an event is).

Here’s a summary of the five categories of suits and matching shoe colors:

shoes with a suit infographic

Now, are all these matching rules absolute? No – but they serve as a very safe guide overall.

If you feel like breaking these rules, do it because:

  • You’re making a conscious decision – not because you’re unaware of them!
  • You’re aiming for a unique look (example: a rock singer might perform wearing a black suit together with burgundy shoes AND a burgundy tie – using color coordination)

There will always be exceptions depending on the place, celebration, people attending that event, or even your lifestyle or reputation. But there aren’t that many, so you’re more likely going to need classic combos that are proven to work. Let that chart be your #1 consultant.

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