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  • Writer's pictureRohit

How To Match The Shoes To Your Trousers?

Shoes are the most flexible part of any outfit. There are innumerable permutations and combinations nowadays that you can try with your outfit. For example, you can wear Oxfords with jeans and trainers with a suit. The choice is completely up to your taste and preference. But, the only thing that you must take care of is the hues. Footwear is a different game altogether, you can stick to the basic rules like black shoes with black trousers, tans and browns with chinos, and so on, but then you will miss out on the colourful side of the play. Don’t worry, we are here so that you don’t miss any part of it. We will play by the rules and with the rules as well ;-). But, first of all, let us see the basic guideline so that you never set a foot wrong.

Men Wearing shoes

The Important Guidelines

If you are too pre-occupied to think of anything creative, you can always use these basic rules to save your day:

1. Black is the smartest colour in the footwear section. Lace them up to create an impression. 2. Darker tones always have an upper hand on lighter tones due to their versatile nature. 3. Color is not the only game at play, sometimes the design can create a difference too. Black derbies are better than the tan ones, but a chocolate oxford beats both. 4. Casual shoes have a different set of rules than formal shoes, don’t mix them up.

5. Irrespective of the colour, if your shoe looks dull and scuffed, it will give a far worse impression. You better buy a neutral polish along with the pair. 6. Balance the look, if you are wearing something funky on your feet, try to keep the outfit a bit on the neutral side.

Shoes Rack

The Classics

The classic shoes comprise the shoes that go well with formal wear, like the derbies, oxfords, brogues, and loafers. Since they are related to work, these are limited to three classic shades, black, brown, and tan. Whether it is a corporate meeting or an annual office party, you should know what should complement your well-tailored suit.

Classic Combinations For Shoes

1. Black

As we said, black is the smartest colour in the footwear section. If properly laced up with the right outfit, it can enhance your looks beyond measures. It goes most comfortably with the shade itself. Get yourself a tailored black suit and pair them up with black oxfords to rock the all-black look. It goes with grey trousers as well. The contrast it creates with the colour grey looks amazing. You can pair them with navy and blue trousers or denim or the white colour as well. Try to avoid them with colours like brown, beige, olive, and red. And please don’t wear them with shorts, your schooling got over long ago.

Men wearing black shoes

Sketchers Black Textured Sneakers

Black Formal Monk-strap Shoes

Black Textured Sneakers - Buy Now Black Formal Monk-strap Shoes - Buy Now

2. Brown

Brown is also a popular choice in the classic segment. Brown shoes can add more definition to their design as we said in rule no. 3. The colour goes brilliantly with shades of blue. Light blue denim and brown brogues are a lit combination to try out. Although it doesn’t go with the shade itself like black, it pairs well with the lighter shades of the colour itself like tan or beige. It also goes well with the colours olive, red, and white. You can even pair it up sometimes with shades of grey. Try to avoid them with black, and brown.

Men wearing brown shoes

US Polo Tan Brown Textured PU Loafers

Tan Brown Textured PU Loafers - Buy Now

3. Tan

It is considered a lighter shade of brown, and the most versatile colour in the shoe section. It almost goes with almost anything and everything. Tan is often referred to as the most relaxed and casual tone of brown and often is used to lighten up the ultra-formal look. Except for a little bit of struggle with black, tan goes with every colour of trousers you own. You name it, blue, navy, grey, charcoal, beige, brown, olive, red, white, jeans, and so on. You must own this shoe colour for pre-occupied or tiring days when you are too stressed to try out any combination.

Men wearing Tan Shoes

Louis Phillipe Tan Perforated Formal Derbys

Tan Perforated Formal Derbys - Buy Now

The Contemporary

Contemporary shoes are your trainers, sneakers, sports shoes, or any other casual wear. In contrast to the classics, you can get a wide array of colours and choices to select from in this section and the consequences are you can make up a combination mistake more with the contemporary shoes rather than the classics. Let us start with the basic colours first, (Color combinations mentioned in the classics will also apply here)

Contemporary shoes combinations

1. White

White is a versatile colour in the casual section. A white sneaker, or trainer or sports shoe, goes absolutely with anything and everything. They make an excellent combination with shades of blue, charcoal, brown, olive, white themselves, beige, and red. You can also have these in black, and lighter shades of grey. The only con of owning a white shoe probably gets dirty quickly and you need to take care of them frequently.

Men wearing White Shoes

US Polo White Sneakers

White PU Leather Sneakers - Buy Now

2. Grey

Just like white, grey adds up to the family of versatility. If you do not want much trouble but want the same amount of comfort with the colour, grey is at your service. They make an excellent combination of black, shades of blue, grey, shades of brown, olive, white, beige, and red. Although, grey shoes will not be able to catch the eyes as white shoes generally do with ease.

Grey Shoes

Puma Grey Running Shoes

Grey Running Shoes - Buy Now

3. Blue

Blue can be an uncomfortable colour for smart shoes. However, it is a perfect way to add some personality to looks. Denim sneakers, nubuck, or suede can add more texture and definition to your outfit. This colour goes well with shades of grey, white, olive, beige, red, and so on. Go for the darker hues of blue like navy or denim. Avoid pairing them with black, and blue themselves.

Men wearing Blue Shoes

Tommy Hilfiger Blue Sneakers

Navy Blue Leather Sneakers - Buy Now

4. Red


Red is a tricky colour to play with, be it clothes or footwear. It is not the most versatile or comfortable colour for footwear but still has massive demand in this section. Red sneakers or sports shoes are a favourite for many. The colour goes with a selected few like, blue, tan, white, and beige. You can try it with grey, olive, and navy too. Try to avoid them with red itself, brown, charcoal, and black.

Men Wearing Red Shoes

Jack & Jones Red Suede Shoes

Red Colourblocked Suede Sneakers - Buy Now

The Rule Breaker - Multicolor Shoes

Trying colour combinations for a particular shoe is one thing. But what if there are more than one or multiple colours in your shoe. We often see today these variations in the classics as well as the contemporary sections of footwear. Our advice is to watch for the dominant colour of the multi-coloured shoe and coordinate your trouser according to it. After that, you can tie the other colours in the shoe back into your outfit by being strategic with your accessory selection.

Let’s say you have some red, white, and blue saddle shoes, where white is the dominant colour. You would want neutral, summery trousers to pair with these, but then wear perhaps a blue shirt and a red tie to play off of the other colours in the shoe. Another piece of advice would be to keep your outfit as simple as you can and let your shoes do the talking.

Men wearing multicolor shoes

Puma Color Block Sneakers

Colourblocked Sneakers - Buy Now


There is a lot to footwear and people’s choices and perspective. We have tried to cover the major and prominent colours in both categories, be it formal or casual. If you still have a specific colour in mind and want to find out about its combination, you can join us in a one-on-one session with our fashion experts who are eager to help you out. For more style and fashion-related knowledge, subscribe to our Youtube channel, follow us on Facebook & Instagram and join our community on WhatsApp & Telegram.

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