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Matching Your Outfits with Your Shoes

No matter how cool a pair of shoes or a sleek new pair of pants looks on its own, you'll stick out for all the wrong reasons if they don't go together. Tall Men Shoes wants you to look good from head to toe, and that includes knowing what shoes go with what outfits. The right pair of shoes can really round out any formal or casual outfit - and for an outfit that can go either way, the footwear you choose often is the deciding factor in which way it goes.

In addition to selecting shoes based on the type of outfit, you'll want to make more specific style choices based on clothing color and other factors. We will go over the types of footwear that go with your clothing and then offer some other shoe and outfit matching tips.

Match Shoes with Apparel Type

  • T-Shirt & Shorts: Boat shoes, bright athletic sneakers or skate shoes, flashy trainers, white or light-colored casual shoes or sandals.
  • T-Shirt & Jeans: Retro hi-top sneakers, bulky sneakers, hiking boots, casual boots or stylish slip-on shoes. Smart Casual with Jeans: Suede desert boots, brown or black mocs, loafers, boots or slip-on shoes.
  • Casual Khakis or Chinos: Penny loafers, suede casual shoes, camp mocs, classic low-cut sneakers or neutral trainers.
  • Khakis with a Polo or Dress Shirt: Mocs, chukka boots, dress loafers, brogues or wingtips.
  • Business Casual with Dress Pants: Brogue cap toe shoes, monk-strap shoes, wingtips, bluchers, boots and lace-up or slip-on shoes.
  • Suits & Tuxedos: Lace-up oxfords, cap-toe shoes, whole cuts, dark dress boots and patent leather or high-polished dress shoes.

Other Tips for Matching Shoes & Outfits

  • The darker the color, the more formal your shoes will look. Black shoes are the most formal, while brown can be worn in both casual and formal settings. Bright and bold colors should generally be avoided in conservative offices and other "serious settings", though you can wear them if your company has a more casual dress code.
  • If you have a streamlined outfit (i.e. modern-cut khakis or skinny jeans), you shoes should be the same. Large shoes will be out of proportion to your clothing and end up looking like clown feet.
  • On that note, chunkier footwear generally looks better with autumn or winter outfits, in part because these wardrobes are bulkier. Summer is the time for more minimalist shoes, while spring has some flexibility. Wear sandals in warmer seasons, but only where appropriate. You might not be able to wear sandals to the office, even in casual work environments.
  • If you're wearing a monochrome shirt and pants, you want your shoes to match the color palette or be darker. Black shoes can pair with a brown shirt and pants, but brown shoes will often clash if they're worn with black clothing. (The corollary to this is that, the darker your outfit, the less versatility you have with your footwear.)
  • Try wearing shoes that are different shades of the color your clothing is. If you have a light gray short or pants, pair it with some charcoal gray shoes or black. Or get medium-brown shoes to go with your tan khakis.
  • Mixing and matching shoes can give you a different look even with the same outfit. For example, pairing chinos with low-cut sneakers or trainers projects a casual street vibe. Wearing the same pants with penny loafers gives you more of a preppy or smart casual look.