Do Brown Shoes Go With Black Pants?

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Putting together a professional look for your next big interview can be very stressful, and getting ready for a date that you want to look great for can also be demanding. Anytime that you know people will be looking at your outfit, it can be challenging to try to figure out what you need to do to put forward your best appearance.

The most common questions that get asked about stylish men's outfits are about matching shoes to the entire ensemble. Do brown shoes go with black pants, or do you need to always keep it in the same color family for the outfit to work?

People have different opinions about this when asked, but fashion and business experts can help you to understand precisely what you need to know about this touchy subject.

Do Brown Shoes Go With Black Pants?

When you were first learning about how to match your clothes, there’s a good chance that someone told you that you shouldn't wear black pants brown shoes together. Most parents will teach their children this rule because it was taught to them as well.

As a straightforward guideline, this is a good rule.

Without putting in the proper forethought, putting on a pair of brown shoes with black pants (or vice versa) could end up looking terrible. This combination can work, but it can only work if the colors are worn together in the right way.

Today, we’ll help you learn just how to make this combination work!

How to Wear Brown Shoes With Black Pants

Now that you know that this combination can work let’s learn about how you can practically make it work for you.

Contrast Is Key

The secret to wearing brown with black is to learn about how contrast works. Contrast is the amount of difference between two shades, and it has a lot to do with the darkness of the shade of each color.

When working to pair up brown and black, you need to keep contrast in mind. If you choose very dark brown shoes and wear them with black pants, you’ll end up looking like you just made an unfortunate mistake.

If, however, you choose a medium, red-toned brown shoe, you’ll draw enough contrast between the brown and the black to make the overall look work!

The shade of brown that you choose is going to be of the utmost importance when showing off this look. The colors cannot be too similar, or the look will seem accidental rather than intentional and fashionable.

Consider Formality and Style

Another factor to consider is what type of black pants you'll be wearing with the brown shoes. Are you wearing a black suit for a formal event? Or are you putting on black jeans for a night on the town?

In these two situations, the styles and colors of brown shoes that would be acceptable are very different. Here are some examples:

For suits, slacks, and other formal pants, keep the following in mind:

  • Darker browns look more professional
  • Don’t wear a light tan color
  • Make sure to draw the contrast between the shoe and pants in a subtle way so that it doesn’t look awkward

For black jeans and other casual looks, consider this:

  • Men's light brown shoes make a statement with fashionable contrast
  • Any shade of brown can work as long as it has some type of contrast drawn
  • Use colorful socks to break up your look if you want to make an even bigger statement

The Cut of the Pant Leg

Another thing that you need to keep in mind, particularly with casual looks or when wearing lighter-toned browns, is the length of the pants that you'll be wearing with the brown shoes.

If your black pants are very long and they come over part of the light-toned brown shoe, the look will seem sloppy and accidental because the parts will not be evenly separated as they should be.

Get any long black pants that you want to wear with brown shoes hemmed to hit right at the top of your shoe for a crisp and refined look that screams “fashion” not “slob.”

Coordinate Your Men's Wardrobe Accessories

If you’re still not convinced by the idea of wearing brown shoes with black pants, use the other accessories that you’ll be wearing to pull the look together. By pulling brown into other areas of the look, you’ll be able to make the entire outfit feel cohesive in a very natural way.

Here are a few ways that you can add a bit of brown to the rest of your outfit to make your shoes fit in as perfectly as possible:

  • Wear a brown belt
  • Choose a tie with brown details
  • Wear a shirt with brown buttons
  • Wear a brown watch

There are a lot of ways that you can pull off this look; all you need to do is put some thought into it as you get dressed!

Change Up The Style

Finally, remember that not only the color of the shoe is important. While choosing lighter shoes for casual looks and darker brown shoes for more formal looks is a good beginning method to use when selecting your shoes, you can also start to incorporate style as you get more experienced.

Try different styles of brown shoes and see what you think looks best. In time, you’ll find that different shades can work for any look pending the style!

Get Creative!

Here’s a final tip for you. When you see a picture in a magazine or online of someone wearing black pants with brown shoes, take a closer look at it. What shade of shoes are they wearing? In what style? Is the look formal or casual?

By asking yourself these questions, you’ll be learning more about how to create this type of look for yourself.


Everyone knows that you can pull off black shoes with black pants. Why not break the mold and try brown shoes instead? Can you wear brown shoes with black pants if you don’t put any effort into your outfit? Of course not!

This is a sophisticated look, but it doesn’t require you to be a fashion expert. All that you need to do is take some time to consider how to create the appropriate amount of contrast to create a brilliant and sophisticated looking outfit.

Last Updated on December 19, 2021 by admin_comfortabledressshoes