What Dress Shoes to Wear with Jeans?

In an ideal world, dress shoes are supposed to be worn with a fancy suit or a tuxedo. However, since you live in the ‘real world,’ where comfort is the thing you seek the most, then most of you will try wearing dress shoes with jeans.

Still, there are a couple of do’s and don’ts when going for this combo; some style rules that will make you go from “eww” to “wow.” Dress shoes are elegant in nature, so trying to combine them with a sporty outfit is going to be tricky. Here’s how you can do it.

The Rules for Wearing Dress Shoes with Jeans

When wearing dress shoes with jeans, it goes beyond just throwing some clothes on you. It’s like trying to bake a cake using sugar and hot pepper; the mix is intriguing, but if you do not do it right, it might end up a disaster. Here are the golden rules that will make this combo actually work:

Ensure that you’re wearing the correct jeans type

When it comes to jeans, there’s a wrong and a right type to mix with dress shoes. For example, if you try to mix dress shoes with ripped jeans or the hip ones with a washed-out look, you will not look classy; you will look like a hobo that accidentally found a good pair of shoes. Furthermore, baggy jeans or boot-cut models will not work with dress shoes for the exact same reason. If you plan on wearing baggy jeans, you might want to drop anything ultra-casual and stick with the “dressier” ones.

Opt for a pair of jeans that fit well around the waist and the hip. You may also want to make sure that they are not too long, nor too short, since dragging jeans will not look good with dress shoes. As for the color, you can always go with a dark hue – although colored jeans will also work well if you mix them with a pair of brown or black dress shoes. The best tip would be to pick a pair of jeans that is not in too much contrast with the shoes. To some extent, they have to match.

Find the Right Dress Shoes

You need to choose the right jeans, yes, but you also need to make sure that the dress shoe style matches the whole ensemble. For example, when choosing a pair of dress shoes, you’ll need something that is more casual than fancy. Indeed, Oxford shoes are a great choice for formal events, but if you want to mix them with jeans, you may find that they’re not exactly an appropriate choice.

The better designs would be loafers, bluchers, or derby dress shoes (which are less formal versions of the Oxford dress shoe).  You could also go for desert boots, monk straps, slip-ons, and chukkas when it comes to dressing up your jeans; they may not be as fancy as the Oxford shoe, but they are “dressy” enough.

Find a Balance

You may be wearing jeans, but the moment you decided to throw on a pair of dress shoes, you also decided that today, you’re going to be elegant. Therefore, you may want to give up the plan of mixing it with a sweatshirt or a T-shirt.

The best way to wear dress shoes with jeans is if you complete the outfit with a nice dress shirt – maybe even a hat or a necktie. Remember: If the bottom is elegant and the middle is casual, then you have to make sure the top is also elegant. Still, to make sure that you are not overdoing it, you may want to cover the fancy dress shirt with a sports jacket – but make sure that it also has a nice cut.

Examples of Dress Shoes to Wear

Now you know what dress shoes to wear with what kind of jeans. You know how to avoid looking like a homeless person, but you still want some new ideas. Here are a few suggestions for some stylish dress shoes that should pair well with jeans:

4HOW Casual Dress Shoes

Still having an Oxford-ish look, these shoes are perfect for a pair of jeans. Considering they are also made from suede leather, they do not have the same “formal” feel of full-grain Oxford shoes – so you can pull it off as long as you match the colors.

Another interesting aspect is that you can find these in both suede and corduroy options, which isn’t all that common in shoes these days. The rubber sole is also made to offer traction and keep you comfortable.

The closed lacing also means that you get the lace look that can lend itself easily to more casual outfits, but without the concern of having to tie your shoes multiple times a day. Overall, these shoes have a very unique style that works well to create style for multiple kinds of outfits.

3DM Lifestyle Single Monk Strap Dress Shoes

As mentioned, monk straps can work pretty well with jeans – which is why this pair should be a good choice to be worn in more smart-casual circumstances. If your jeans are of a lighter color, you might also want to go for a light color on the dress shoes; however, if you’re wearing a pair of dark blue jeans, then the black model might be the smarter choice.

These shoes offer a lot of comfort and a simple design, allowing you to choose elegance over eccentricity. The buckles are also easy to use and adjust as needed, so you can get the right fit without worrying about laces.

They’re often made with genuine leather, which is known to be highly valuable and durable. While some may wonder if the buckle design is best for them, it may help to know that they aren’t overly gaudy. These shoes are classy, elegant and will be sure to impress those around you on a daily basis.

Bruno Marc Square Toe Leather Loafers

When in doubt, always go for loafers. Not only are they comfortable, but the fact that they don’t have shoelaces or the Oxford-like style makes them a good choice for jeans – as long as you balance them. These in particular offer a great, simple look that is easy to make use of.

Another fantastic aspect of these shoes is that they come in a wide variety of colors, so you’ll be able to find something that can work with just about any outfit. Because of their simplicity, they’re sure to look great with jeans.

On top of the great look, you’ll also get fantastic style. These shoes are made to be comfortable, flexible and offer a soft inner lining. This is important if you plan on wearing them for a longer period of time, as it can keep you from hating the shoes you’re in.

Liyzu Oxford Leather Shoes

Technically, while these shoes might go into the “Oxford” category, the rubber sole with a seamed design offers a fairly casual look. Plus, the colors would look great with a pair of jeans or khakis. They are especially great for those who are looking for a work-friendly look.

These are somewhat similar to those you might find for those who work in a physically laborious job, but also need to attend frequent meetings where they need to keep their appearance up to snuff.

Because of that, they’re going to be very apt for wearing with jeans without a problem. Getting them in black will surely look great and take your level of style up a notch. They’re also going to be durable, so you can rely on being able to use them for a long time.

Mio Marino Casual Oxford Shoes

These shoes from the derby category could also be a great choice for jeans. They’re not too casual, but not too formal either – so you can easily wear them with some jeans as long as you accessorize them with other semi-formal clothing.

With these shoes, you’ll get a unique look and a stylish sheen that can keep you looking dapper. They’re sure to be a great addition to even a casual outfit to add a layer of style you just can’t get from sneakers.

Furthermore, they come in many shades, so no matter what color your suit, slacks or jeans are you’ll be able to find something that fits the bill. Overall, these are truly a fashion-savvy pair of shoes that will draw the eyes and gain the compliments of anyone who sees them!


The rules to wearing dress shoes with jeans are not that strict – but you need to look for shoe styles that aren’t as formal as the traditional Faranzi Oxford dress shoes, for example. You’ll want to find something semi-casual that mixes other “modern” qualities as well (for example, a round toe cap, seamed sole, or made from suede leather).


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