How to Match your Shoe Colour to your Trouser


Men should think of their shoes as tools for making a good impression on others – just like a nice watch or a great haircut. The type of shoe you wear can say something about your personality, so choose wisely.

If you’ve ever wondered how to match your shoe colour to your trouser, you’re in the right place. We’ll show you how, using some simple and really easy-to-follow steps.

First, get a pair of trousers

There are several different types of trouser you can buy. We recommend chinos. Chinos are a good fit for most people, and can be worn at most occasions. They come in a variety of colors, so you can pick your favorite one!

If you prefer jeans, that’s fine too. You will have more difficulty finding a matching pair of shoes with jeans, but it’s up to you if that’s the look you want to go for. If so, we would recommend either blue jeans or black jeans. These are the most common colors available and also the easiest to match with shoes.

Second, decide what kind of shoe you want

The second step is to decide what kind of shoe you want. Do you want a wing-tipped brogue? A loafer? A trainer? It’s up to you. Shoes also come in different styles too, from leather shoes to suede and canvas shoes.

Third, decide what colour shoes you want to wear

Shoes come in many different colors. So, once you’ve decided what kind of shoe you want, the next step is to decide what color of shoe you want. Does the shoe come in red? If so, do you want the red one or not? Again, it’s up to you.

To make things easier, we suggest narrowing down your choices by deciding what kind of outfit will be complemented best by which type of shoe material and colour combination. For example: brogues are generally more suited to smart attire than trainers; brown leather shoes are usually better suited to casual outfits than black leather shoes; and white trainers go well with a range of outfits from formal to casual.


Basic tips

After choosing your pair of trouser and deciding on what style of shoes you want to wear, it is now time to march them for that desired look. There are a few basic guidelines to follow, but it’s mostly a matter of personal preference. If you are like most men, chances are that you have a hard time matching your shoes to your trouser. Here are a few tips to make it easier.

  • Choose shoes that are darker than your trousers

There are a number of rules you can use to match your shoes with your trousers. The most fundamental rule is the one that says: “Your shoes must be darker than your trousers”. This is because it is generally easier to find shoes in darker colors. If you start with a pair of dark colored shoes, you will have more options in terms of what colour trousers they will match.

  • Pairing brown shoes to your trouser

Brown is trickier because there are so many shades and it is easier to get wrong and look bad. A good rule of thumb is the darker the brown, the more formal it looks. If you wear a suit to work, brown shoes will always work with a dark suit. If you wear chinos or khakis to work, they can be worn with brown shoes as well, but stick with lighter browns and avoid very dark browns that look too formal.

Brown shoes also work best with grey trousers and blue suits. Blue is a complementary colour to brown. Black and brown are not complementary colors – they are contrasting colors. If they were complementary, they would be called black-brown or brown-black; instead they are called “colors that don’t go together.”

The most important thing to remember is that you should never wear brown shoes with black trousers.

  • Wear white sneakers only with jeans                                

White sneakers look great with jeans. There’s no need for anything fancier. They show off your shoes and they go with almost any top. If you want a pair that will go with every other outfit you own, consider a pair of classic Converse in white or black. Pairing pure white sneakers with pure black jeans can be a bit too stark and high contrast, so we’d recommend darker denim or black jeans that have been worn in and faded a bit. This also applies to black shoes and light denim – we would recommend going for darker washes if you want to get the most wear out of your shoes and jeans.

Never wear sneakers with a suit – unless you’re heading to the gym after work and need to keep your shoes on for both situations. A business suit is fairly formal and requires formal footwear, such as dress shoes, brogues, loafers or boots. You could also wear suede chukka boots if you want something more casual but still smart looking.

  • Blacks and grays

If you’re going for a conservative look, black and gray are the best colors for your trousers. You can match these trousers with black or gray (or even brown) shoes and socks, depending on how bold you want to be. Dark trouser colors can be worn in any situation from casual to formal.

  • Blacks and navy or charcoal suits

Black shoes work best with charcoal or navy suits. Black tends to diminish your feet, making them look smaller than they really are – this is an optical illusion caused by the contrast between the dark colour of your trouser and the dark colour of your shoe.


You should now be well versed in the art of matching your shoe colour to your trouser. You should also understand why this is important. If you ignore these guidelines, people will treat you as if you are a social misfit. Of course, there are times when flouting these rules is appropriate and may even be seen as fashionable. But unless you are 100% certain that that is the case, it is better to adhere to the guidelines set out here.


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