How to Wear Brown Shoes | Men’s Leather Dress Shoes Oxford Derby


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! In
today’s video, we’re going to talk about how to wear brown shoes, how to combine them and
when not to wear brown shoes. In the 19th century, Beau Brummel set the
tone for men’s fashion. He was a big proponent of black eveningwear and so people also wore
black shoes. At that time, rules like “No brown in town” or “No brown after six” just
ensured that people dressed in a socially acceptable way. By the 1930s, Edward, the
prince of Wales, became the Arbiter Elegantiarum and he basically dictated what people wore. If he
would wear something, the general public would pick it up shortly thereafter and he was a
big fan of brown slip on shoes. Oftentimes, he would wear brown and white Spectator shoes
and so brown became more acceptable in the general public. If you want to learn more
about history, check out our article on How to wear brown shoes here. Today, dress codes are much more relaxed than
they were fifteen or sixteen years ago. If you wear a well-fitting suit today or a combination,
you are much better dressed than the average person. So “No brown in town” or “No brown
after six” are simply not valid anymore. What matters is that you look good. It’s much better
to wear a well-fitting suit in Brown shoes than to wear an ill-fitting suit with black
shoes in town after 6 pm. Most debonair Italians I know only wear black shoes for funerals,
for weddings and for black tie, white tie events. Otherwise, they go with brown and
so can you. One of the really nice things about brown leather is that it develops a
patina, unlike black shoes. That means over time, you get this nice look of the leather
and it’s really pleasant and it’s not something you can achieve with dark shoes. Also, you
can really see leather textures on brown shoes much better such as scotch grain, or pebble
grain or suede. With black, they just disappear. Generally, it is important to keep in mind
that shoes with more texture and more broguing are less formal and shoes that are plain,
cap-toe leather Oxfords are more formal regardless of their color.So, when should you wear brown
shoes? Well, Brown shoes could be worn with almost anything ranging from jeans of cavalry
twill to corduroy, flannel and worsteds or tweeds. Unlike black, brown comes in a variety
of shades so you can really create a unique color palette in your shoe closet. Here are
some guidelines on how to wear brown shoes but keep in mind that it’s just that. It’s
a guideline and it’s never absolute. It’s just here to help you create your own look.
So first, let’s start with business suits. Three piece business suits, two-piece business
suits, solid, small patterns, fine stripes, Glen plaids, this is what we’re talking about
here right now. If your suit is black, you should wear black shoes. When you should have
a black suit to begin with, is another question but don’t combine black suits with brown shoes.
Just stick with black. For Charcoal suits, I personally prefer black over brown, even
dark brown because I think it just works together much better. Definitely avoid Tan and you
can try it with a dark reddish brown or red pair of shoes. For mid-grey suits, black works
but in terms of brown, you can really start combining now, you can wear dark brown, maybe
burgundy red and you can even try lighter shades of brown. For dark Navy suits, black
is an option but you really want to go with brown for a more modern look. I think burgundy
is outstanding, tan can work, mid brown can work and it’s really all up to you and how
much contrast you want to create. For a lighter navy, I think black oftentimes looks better
but again, you can try to ease in with darker shades of brown, chocolate brown, medium brown,
maybe add suede as a texture to counteract the worsted business suit style and can work
really really well. If you wear a dark brown business suit such as a charcoal brown which
we talked about here, you definitely want to wear brown shoes. Make sure to get a little
bit of contrast, can be chocolate brown, medium brown and since it’s business, try to stay
in the darker shade of brown area and don’t go with tan. Okay, to sum it up, black remains
the number one color for business suits and when you’re in doubt, stick with black. Your
first pair of shoes should be a black pair of cap toe Oxfords, brown also works, stick
with darker shades, not so much broguing or plain leathers and maybe throw in a pair of
suede to mix it up and create an interesting look. Two, casual suits are just bolder and
their colors have louder patterns, maybe interesting textures such as corduroy or cotton linen
blends and brown shoes work really well here. For green suits and jackets, I think brown
is the only way to go. Avoid black and I like suede a lot because it has this really lovely
texture that makes things matte but relaxed. Personally, I combine it with all shades of
brown and depends on is it a light green, is it a dark olive green so you basically
pick and choose whatever you like. For Khakis, dark brown works well or reddish browns or
mid browns especially if they’re like tan, khaki, beige and it’s really versatile and
looks much better than anything black so stay away from black and try to keep enough contrast
between your khakis, your pants and your shoes. If you have tan colors, what’s really great
is Cordovan or Burgundy red. In fact. this is one of those shades which is almost not
brown any more but it’s so super versatile and that it shouldn’t miss in your shoe closet.
If you don’t know what kind of pair of brown shoes you want to get, start with something
reddish brown, it will truly go with almost anything you have in your closet. With white
and off-white combinations, I like to wear tan. Of course, you can also go with darker
shades of brown and ultimately, you have to figure it out. I just find the tan has a milder
contrast without blending in and so it looks really nice. For any kind of brown, casual
suits, you can wear only brown and I really like to wear spectators in white and brown
with it, of course that’s really loud and a really strong contrast, you’d have to comfortable
with it. If it’s too much for you, no problem, go maybe with a darker brown or chocolate
brown but always make sure to create enough contrast between the shade of brown and your
shoes. Three, sport coat and odd jacket combinations and fabrics with more texture. So if you have
corduroy, donegal, saxony, all of these kinds of rich woven texture and strong fabrics,
you are even more casual and so you should only wear brown, try to go with broguing,
suede or scotch grain rather than just plain cap-toe oxfords because it really kind of
works much better with these kinds of garments. If you have dark or even black corduroy hence,
you can wear tan shoes or tan boots and it creates a really nice contrast and it works
surprisingly well. Otherwise, I would say stick with black but tan for this more casual
form of black garment is much better. For charcoal grey flannels, I think black is better
but you can try it with dark brown and see if it works well together. I think that it
can look very nice and it’s not too contrasting but the look overall is very debonair. With
mid grey, I suggest you go with burgundy red, black will work well but since it’s more casual,
I think this is a much more suitable color and definitely avoid tan because it’s just
too strong of a color and it doesn’t look nice with a mid grey. With blue garments,
I basically wear any shade of brown. It really depends on my mood and what I’m going for.
Of course If i wear dark chocolate brown, the whole combination is less noticeable.
If I wear a bright tan, it really stands out more but you can really wear an entire range.
So if you really have a lot of blue suits, it really doesn’t matter what kind of brown
shoes you wear with them, anything works. With denim, you should avoid wearing black
and most browns work well but I think that a medium, reddish brown like this one or a
burgundy red work best. Make sure your shoes have some broguing. I think Derby shoes are
better than Oxfords and it really works well together because it underlines the casual
character of your jeans with the more casual look of the shoe. With any kind of green shades,
you should go with brown shoes every time. Avoid black and I think dark works really
well. For casual garments, if you want brown tones, khakis, tans and so forth, you can
really play around with brown. I would say try wearing boots because they add another
element of casualness especially with thicker soles and broguing. Overall, brown is the
best shoe color for sport coat combinations and odd contrasting trousers so to start,
I think you should have at least, three pairs of brown shoes. One would be a burgundy red
shoe, can be with plain leather. Then the next one would be a dark chocolate brown Derby
full brogue so you have that and then a medium red brown, it can be Oxford, may be half brogue
and that will cover your entire range. In the beginning, avoid things like tan, or avoid
spectators simply because these shoes only work with much fewer outfits and in the beginning
you want to make sure that you can wear almost any shoe you have in your closet with almost
anything you have in your wardrobe so you can create a lot of unique different outfits. Now that you know when to wear brown shoes,
the question becomes when not to wear brown shoes? So, number one rule would be, do not
wear brown with any sort of eveningwear, black tie, white tie or even formal three piece
suits that are dark and charcoal. You should always stick with black. Also if you are at
a wedding and if you wear maybe a stroller suit, when you think about wearing a morning
coat, black is the only suitable color. If you work in a very white collar environment,
let’s say a traditional law firm, maybe a bank, I would also say when in doubt, stick
with black. if you want to test the waters, maybe go with a dark burgundy red but avoid
really light colors like tan at all costs. Other than that, brown shoes are a really
great investment into your wardrobe because they’re so versatile, they look great with
everything, you can create a beautiful patina, you polish them properly and also think about
going with suede because it adds this softer texture but you should avoid it if in your
area, it rains a lot because suede does not really age well when it gets wet. If you enjoyed this video, please check out
our article about how to wear brown shoes which is much more comprehensive and sign
up for our newsletter so you’ll never miss a video again. Thank you.

100 Comments

  • I would like to think that what I wear is not dictated by what one man did or didn't do . HOWEVER there are some styles and looks I know I like simply put some of us are leaders others followers ,,I've done both

  • I disagree with the black suit/black shoe guideline. As a person who wears business suits regularly. I can rarely think of an occasion where I would wear black shoes. They are too formal. I do, however, regularly wear a black suit with a patterned, checkered/gingham shirt, but it wouldn't look right in black shoes. There are too many colors and shades of brown to settle for a black shoe unless you're attending a formal event. My rule is this: only wear black shoes when you're wearing a black suit, white shirt and black or white tie.

  • People are always stepping on my shoes, how about blue suede?

  • Some Italian fashion icons would no agree..

  • I think a video just on color combinations–would be very interesting

  • Great video, only the valid points. Thanks! Subbed!

  • Great videos man, really helpful 🙂

  • Love it when they scripted the whole video and I can hear and read his presentation at the same time 👍🏼

  • Please make your videos more short and don't repeat information in one video.

  • Another good video. I hereby give you the Star Wars name Brogue One! 🙂

  • Damn those tan shoes look fabulous!

  • navy suits; cordovan or black ONLY; absolutely no way would i wear any brown shoes. i save them for grey and other CASUAL situations

  • wearing brown/tan shoes with a blue suit makes you look like a peacock; not at all classy…

  • I love this channel.It basically gives all what I want to know and learn.

  • nice!

  • Any videos on how to wear burgundy shoes?

  • Now THIS is how you pull the hoes man

  • how about you ? fashion didnt hit to your shirt i guess

  • I am fan of tan colour shoes. When should I wear tan and with what type of outfits?

  • Brown is the most under rated color of all time. I always buy brown leather if i have the option.

  • Well, if you are saying that brown shoes "go" with black, dark grey or even deep navy blue suits, you are wrong. It seems to be a modern trend and I always think that when I see this especially when wearing a suit with no socks, the wearer thinks of themselves as a hipster or young man trying to stretch the fashion envelope. I do NOT think of an older gentleman who values classic style and wishes to be seen as a timeless iconic standard to be admired. Young people & children often like to dress foolishly. That is the immaturity of youth in my opinion.

  • Anyone else cringe at the crease in the thumbnail?

  • I always thought you wear brown shoes if you have brown hair

    And black shoes if you have black hair .

    Brown is more dressery though

  • This dude has crazy eyes.

  • I work at Best Buy so I just wear white tennis shoes. If I want to be bold then black tennies.

  • Am I the only one that hates seeing navy suits with tan brown shoes?

  • Anyone know the shoe he's holding at around 9:20? That rich burgundy red shoe looks amazing. Brand name? Style? Anything?

  • I'm a subscriber. I really like this channel. More power to Gentleman's Gazette. From the Man from Manila.

  • I have just began a new career requiring a professional, business attire. Before I was given this opportunity, I worked in either jeans and work boots, or camouflage and combat boots for my entire life.
    Up until a couple of months ago, I had no idea of what size shirt or jacket that I wear, beyond the standard L/XL.
    I appreciate your insight and advice. I need all of the help that I can get.

  • Can you do a video on how to wear and pair purple?

  • I wear a black Cerutti cloth suit that I designed with a ‘camel’ colour stitch on the button hole, mahogany buttons and a taupe lining with off white Columbia stitch; it works wonderfully with brown shoes and belt and allows me to add pinks and reds in the shirt and tie

  • Thanks so much for the video. I don't own a suit or something but all my Sims look amazing now!

  • You should do this same video but with blue dress shoes and how to match them with other colors and or matching Accessories to those shoe colors since not everyone needs to stay within the brow and black motif

  • Ive always been drawn to brown leather , but unsure how to get it to work . I was afraid of the many different shades and textures but now I feel more confident and may just have another shoes buying frenzy

  • Anyone have a link to Instagram???

  • Hi. Say I have a dark burgundy colored pair of shoes and I want to wear them with blue jeans. Do you recommend having some burgundy color touch somewhere else in the outfit?

  • Love this channel

  • Do this for Burgundy/Oxblood shoes?

  • My advice on shoes/boots: buy quality; and look after them, and they'll look after you. Black for business – generally; brown if you're the boss! Suede is for casual attire, only…and the colours of the rainbow can apply, as desired…however, a pair of desert wellies never goes out of style with jeans/slacks; and, if you're in a hot country, and/or near the beach, a pair of leather deck shoes, e.g., Timberlands – the old style ones without the insert, work best, imho, and always look good – especially with shorts (though not those red raspberry ones, ever) – and definitely NO SOCKS!

  • Boozwha and further more ghous..i say it's time to revolutionize the styling industries … if you can pull it off go ahead and do not sweat the small stuff.

  • I seen a man about 20 of age, he was sporting a brown trousers and brown leather shoes of the same color …. Needles to say, his hunting of style was unsucesfull…

  • Brown shoes are soooooooo ugly.

  • I got my first office job and I found myself having to make a major upgrade to my wardrobe. First time in my life jeans , sneakers and a hoodie won't cut it anymore lol. I appreciate the advice

  • Thank you Sir, however I wish you can show the pictures of the color suits

  • Sven is there the possibility you could do on Oxblood/Burgundy version of the video?

  • What is your opinion of the Patina sneakers?

  • I realize it’s not ideal, but can you wear black lounge suits with oxbloods (during the day)?

  • Would you wear glasses as an accessory (not sunglasses)

  • I agree that tan shoes doesn't go with black jeans but it works so well with blue jeans and grey jeans.

  • Just get to the point and show some picture or examples. I don't need to watch a 14-minute video just to know what's best for my brown shoes!

  • Can you suggest some wisdom for shoe car and how to polish/tend the leather? I'm new to this, my father taught me his way, but its been so long those lessons are lost. I've got some nice brown oxfords now and want to keep them well and watch that patina form over time.

  • Thank you for producing this informative video. Great job.

  • NEVER wear brown shoes with a black, grey, navy, or blue suit — or pants. NEVER.

  • Hi i just bought a tan shoes for my work (my first time to use light brown formal shoes because im tired of black shoes) i would like to knos if i can pair my light brown shoes tan color in my slacks(black pants) and dark blue pants for my work attire? And what color of sock should i wear as well? Thank u so much watching your video its great

  • Do you think a black pair of Jeans would go well with brown boots

  • those yellow-brown shoes @ 8:53 go really well with your blazer.
    Actually…

    All of them do. So, I've learned anything goes with a light color suit!

  • i have no money to buy clothes and shoes 💔

  • Gentleman? This dude looks more like a clown to me. His outfit could be a definition of bad taste. Downright repulsive.

  • Thank you so much for your so well informed & well intended presentations. I forwarded this link to every person, man & woman, willing to get educated. All your topics are Very well done & the way how you presented them is delightful. I will be back 😚🌼

  • Who was the Arbiter Dentarium in the 1930's? It wasn't Prince Choppers.

  • I'm the groom and my wedding is around the corner. I'm wearing a grey pinstripe suit with a burgundy bowtie. The wedding is casual and in the mountains and I prefer Brown dress shoes because black is too corporate/funeral, etc. However my suit is darker so I wanted an opinion… can I go any shade of Brown given the subtle white pinstripes. You can Google the suit. Ralph Lauren grey pinstripe vested suit. Appreciate any opinion or feedback on what would look best but not too formal even though it's my wedding.

  • Do you have a women’s gazette? I love your advise for my hubby, and I would like to dress to compliment each other.

  • Why should we avoid black with denims? Wouldn't black shoes go well with black jeans?

  • What brand are those burgundy shoes at 6:53 min?

  • Hi, I really appreciate your videos it is really informative but I have one comment if you allow me, the videos mostly are too long. Regardless of how important and useful the information I think the youtube is loaded with similar videos and I believe the best videos are those that delver the message in the shortest time.

  • This guy knows how to dress classically but it's a bit too dandy for these days. Anyone know of anyone that can give tips on how to dress business casual? Most women around my parts thinks wearing a sport coat and dress shoes is "too fancy" and not masculine/attractive. Not I care what they think but I don't want to look feminine at the same time.

  • Which shoes are at 4:27 ?

  • Burgundy is such a beautiful color and just bought my first pair of dress shoes…ever…yeah, just got into it. My closet is basically Jean's and Chinos but bought Double Monk for them…now the dress game will increase ten folds.

  • Nice info.

  • I don't really like a very close up video to the face

  • This guy talks so slow, waste of your time. Set it to 2 times speed, thank me later!

  • I’m glad I can find a channel that is very mature and with someone who knows what quality is. Thank you

  • Rafael, I love your video!!! I'm a bit concerned about your collar gap. Is this normal Rafael?

  • My issue is that I'm color blind and I have a difficult time dressing myself because of the color shades and just can't tell the colors apart.

  • I didn't see where you touched on light grey outfit.

  • I wear them on my feet? Right?

  • hey lets do an episode completely in German it would be fun..

  • He is teaching fashion?
    Look at his shirt combination with suit naaaaa

  • I like suede a lot but I avoid buying them because I do not know how to clean or take care of them can you do a video about the best way to care for a suede shoe leather

  • If you have limited funds, buy black leather shoes (Oxford Or Brogue). They will go with suits, smart trousers and even jeans. Then you only need to buy black socks.
    Don't ever buy suede, looks terrible if it gets wet and looks old and scruffy very quickly; so economically a waste of money.

  • Thank you i love shoes great job

  • I really appreciate the straightforward and human approach to this channel.
    Other channels in this category tend to be very commercialized and geared much more to people with a low IQ.
    In other words competitors of GG are kinda cheezy if you ask me and this seems solid , genuine , and professional.
    A real gentleman at work .

  • ty

  • I like your get-up today. My first good pair of dress shoes I bought black captoe Oxfords in London, on my way to Cambridge. They look good even with a Tuxedo get-up. I anticipated the advise of Gentlemen's Gazette! (Although I love to wear them with white socks, to show the world I'm not a snob.)

  • Raph, you should really do an event at Kosicheks in Lansing Michigan. Certinho!

  • Thanks Raphael another must watch vid 🤟🏼🕶

  • Highly enlightening video. Thank you 🙏

  • If I were rich enough to have a personal stylist, I'd hire myself. Love those Tan shoes…
    And I'd hate to think that if I worked in a law firm or bank the Boss would fire me for wearing Tan shoes.

  • OK- I like this bright outfit.

  • My shoemaker used chocolate brown leather for my shoes instead of tan. So now I have to go around and check what works good with this type of color

  • Fair warning, you’re still going to be judged for wearing brown shoes with a suit in some parts of Britain

  • I love tan shoes tho…..

  • How to wear brown shoes:

    Step 1: Put on brown shoes.

    Congratulations. You are now wearing brown shoes.

  • I love Brown so that i can combine Brown shoes with Brown suits really made me happy, i didn’t think that worked!

  • Just bought my first real dress shoes today and after watching this I'm glad I bought a pair of black oxfords.

  • Do you like the look of black laces with brown shoes? Any other lace/brown-shoe combos to seek or avoid?

  • This is a great video. Meaty.

  • suede is evil. it always looks aged and scuffed no matter what to me .

  • Great suggestions and advice to knowledge seeking sartorially inspired reader. Thanks.

  • I have a pair of chocolate brown and white spectator wingtips and I have say, they go with everything except black, even with charcoal at a stretch. And the ladies love them! It is odd, I find black spectators rarely work while the brown ones just have a wonderful understated loudness.

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