Traditional menswear dictates that a man's outfit is assessed from the top down. First, someone sees his shoes; next, they see his trousers; finally, they look at his shirt. Like everything else in menswear, this guideline has become less rigid lately. Today, you can wear Oxford shoes with jeans. In the same vein, you can wear trainers with a suit!


The key to pulling it off is to get the right colours to match. Mixing and matching colours may sound easy. However, if you've just woken up and you're trying to get ready, deciding what to wear with the extra consideration of matching can be rough. It's very convenient to just go with the same tones: tan chinos and brown shoes, black trousers and black shoes, you get the idea.


In truth, a plethora of colour choices will go a long way.


Read on to learn more about picking shoe colours to match your trousers:


  • Oxblood Shoes


Despite essentially being a colour, it's easy for oxblood to effectively act a lot like a neutral. It's bolder than brown but can work a lot like that as well. It adds a whole lot more personality to whatever you end up wearing.


The ideal way of handling oxblood, however, is a quick dress-down. Derbies offer more versatility than Oxfords do given the way they can go with chinos, navy tailoring or jeans just fine. Someone that's in suits all the time will do well with oxblood Oxfords, especially when paired with a patina in a Berluti style.


Don't forget the classics, either: the penny loafer in oxblood is a casual style that's well-beloved. Many people use it particularly for the summer, pairing it with both colourful chinos and light-wash denim, among others.


  • Brown Shoes


Luckily, there's a brown for every occasion and location. (Except for the particularly formal offices where black is the only way to go, of course.) There's far less stuffiness when brown shoes are at play. Indigo denim is a great pairing here, though other washed out shades will do just as well.


Style-wise, it's important to go with the likes of chunky worker boots or suede Chelsea boots.


  • Black Shoes


This is universally the best possible colour choice to make, no matter what.


Black is the go-to for black tailoring; it works well for both formal work shoes and black tie events. Even tailoring in the charcoal or grey sense, especially in formal corporate settings, will do well with this. It also goes very well with blue, though navy and darker shades will be ideal. Royal blue and similar tones may be best held off.


When it comes to casual trousers, say black shoes with brown or tan chinos, the styles should be more on the casual end. For jeans, it's best to generally follow this guideline as well.




Plenty of fashion choices are pretty easy to make but can end up being rough in certain situations. Thankfully, today's fashions are a far cry from the traditional style. Black shoes, once seen as all-stiff and purely formal, will do well with casual trousers like tan or brown chinos.


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February 07, 2022 — Paul Masterson