Style Blog/Style Tips

What Color Shoes Go With a Grey Suit?

Published on September 18, 2019 Updated May 20, 2024

By Courtney Baldwin
Light grey and textured grey suit for me styled with tan, cognac, and dark brown shoes for weddings and professional attire

Erin Wyatt Photography

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There is so much versatility in purchasing a grey suit.  A classic grey suit is perfect for not only weddings but essentially every formal occasion you can imagine – with exception to those extra formal, black-tie, events where you should probably wear a tuxedo.  Think of a grey suit as a workhorse investment and wardrobe essential that will carry you through many stylish moments.

One style stumper that often arises is the debate on whether to wear black or brown shoes with grey suits.  Well, the answer to this question is that both are actually good options!  One thing to consider is the level of formality of your wedding (or the wedding you will be attending) and other details that may have you lean one way or the other in terms of brown versus black. For more urban, evening weddings or events, pairing black or dark brown shoes with your grey suit would be the better choice as it is a bit more formal. Lighter shades of brown tend to fit more casual, daytime affairs or events with an outdoor component like a barn wedding or a country club setting.

Once you settle on brown, where do you go from there? Unlike selecting black shoes, once you have decided on brown for your look you still have to decide which brown.  Will it be tan, cognac, or chocolate brown?  Below we will explore the many stylish ways to wear brown shoes with gray suits and provide some style suggestions based on different shades of gray suiting.

Key Takeaways

  • Grey suits are incredibly versatile and suitable for a wide range of occasions, from weddings to business meetings and beyond.
  • Pairing grey suits with the right shoes is crucial for achieving a polished and cohesive look.
  • Brown shoes with a grey suit are a great choice for more casual or daytime events, while black shoes add a touch of formality.
  • Accessories like tie bars, cufflinks, and pocket squares can elevate a grey suit ensemble and showcase personal style.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing Shoes for a Grey Suit?

When it comes to completing your outfit with the perfect pair of shoes for a grey suit, several factors come into play. Your choice should not only complement the suit itself but also harmonize with the occasion, reflect your personal style, and adhere to color theory principles. Whether you're attending a formal event or a casual gathering, your footwear can have a big impact on your overall look. While brown shoes are often favored for daytime and more relaxed settings, black shoes lean toward formality. Additionally, considering the color of your belt can further refine your shoe selection and ensure a polished appearance from head to toe. By weighing these considerations thoughtfully, you can confidently stride in style, no matter the occasion.

Occasion and setting

Your first consideration when determining what color shoes go with a grey suit is the occasion and setting! For formal events like weddings or business meetings, black shoes are a safe bet. They exude the elegance and sophistication that matches the seriousness of more formal events. However, if you're attending an event that’s more laid-back like brunch or a garden party, brown shoes might be a better choice. They bring a cozy, relaxed feel to your outfit, blending right in with the more casual ambiance. It’s always important to keep in mind if the occasion is asking for formal vs. semi-formal attire — that way, you won’t stand out by breaking the dress code. 

Personal style and preferences

Your shoe choice should align with your own personal style and taste. Whether you're all about classic styles or like to keep things fresh and funky, let your personality shine through. Pick shoes that speak to you—whether that's sleek Oxfords, trendy loafers, or rugged brogues. As for the color, make sure it’s event appropriate while still adhering to your preferences to create an ensemble you’re confident in.

Color theory

You shouldn’t stress about matching colors perfectly, but it helps to have a rough idea. Like any color, gey can come in various tones that are either warm or cool. Warm-toned greys have yellow-ish undertones, whereas cool-toned greys appear more icy. Understanding the undertones of your grey suit can help when choosing the appropriate shoe color.

Black shoes are a tried-and-true classic, as their solid neutral backdrop match with nearly every color, including light, medium, and dark grey suits. When choosing browns shoes to pair with a grey suit, make sure the shade of brown complements the suit’s undertones. For example, light grey suits love medium to dark brown, while charcoal suits are better with deeper shades like chestnut or chocolate.

Belt Color

One of the most important fashion tips that has held true for decades is matching your belt with your shoes. As a general rule, your belt and shoes should be in sync, sharing similar colors, tones, and materials. If you're wearing black shoes, a black leather belt will keep things cohesive. For brown shoes, reach for a brown belt in a similar shade to tie it all together. It's a small detail, but it makes all the difference.

Man wearing light gray suit vest and grey suit pants with dark brown shoes posing outside at wedding

What Color Shoes Go With a Grey Suit?

When it comes to styling a grey suit, the versatility is endless, especially when it comes to choosing the right pair of dress shoes. Grey is a neutral color that serves as an great canvas for a variety of shoe colors. Whether you're aiming for a classic look or something a bit bolder, there's a shoe color to match every mood and occasion.

Black Shoes

Black shoes are like the little black dress of footwear—they go with everything. Pairing them with a grey suit gives you that sleek, modern look, perfect for special events or when you want to impress. It's a timeless combination that never fails to look sharp. In general, black shoes lend well to more formal and evening events, as they create a modern and contemporary look that’s perfect for fundraising events, evening weddings, and more formal affairs.

Brown Shoes

Brown shoes bring warmth to a grey suit, offering a more relaxed and approachable vibe. They're versatile enough to wear to work or on a casual outing like a date night or garden party. The earthy tones of brown play off the coolness of the grey, giving your outfit a relaxed yet stylish edge.

Oxblood Shoes

For those who want to add a bit of flair to their look, oxblood shoes are an excellent option. The deep, rich dark red color makes a statement without being too flashy. It's a bold choice that shows off your personality while still looking classy and put-together.

White Shoes

White shoes are for the bold and adventurous. They add a pop of freshness to your grey suit, making you stand out in a sea of neutrals. Whether you're rocking white sneakers for a casual day out or white dress shoes for a formal event, this combo is sure to turn heads and make you the center of attention.

Man posing outside in sunglasses and light grey suit with black shoes.

What Shoes Go With a Light Grey Suit?

Arguably one of the most versatile suits in men’s fashion, a light grey suit is an evergreen choice that can be worn in all seasons and most climates. Most often this color is popular for weddings in the spring, summer and fall and complement the colors of natural surroundings well for outdoor weddings. 

For a rustic outdoor wedding – think barn or farm weddings, try pairing your light grey suit with a lighter brown shoe like tan, cognac or butterscotch. A shoe, like our Theo Tan Shoe, will really help to anchor your look and play off of the other elements of the locale like wood beams, hay bushels or barrels. Choosing a complementary tie and pocket square will really help to pull it all together as well. 

What Shoes Go With a Medium Grey Suit?

A medium grey suit is another great option for the wedding day and will be a pivotal part of your wardrobe for a long time. As it relates to shoe pairings, there are really no wrong choices here because the color of the suit is in the middle, not too light and not too dark, so you can go either way with your shoe choice—lighter or darker. 

Most brown shoes—ranging from toffee to dark chocolate—will look good with this shade of grey especially for a wedding that may be more formal than a rustic outdoor wedding discussed above. Our Frankie Brown Oxford Shoe was designed to be the perfect medium shade of brown to pair well with a variety of grey suit shades. When we think of medium grey suiting, we tend to think of preppy and ivy league affairs. 

Maybe your wedding will take place at a country club, yacht club or university club. Complement your dark chocolate or toffee brown shoe selection by selecting a repp tie with navy and hunter green stripes (or another color combination in keeping with the wedding colors) and a solid white cotton pocket square. A styling hack is to consider the fabric of the suit. Every shade of grey has a bit of a texture in the fabric so take cues from the intricacies and details therein when selecting your shoes.

What Shoes Go With a Charcoal Grey Suit?

A charcoal grey suit is the best of the best for semi-formal to formal weddings that are not tuxedo affairs. The elegance of the dark, rich tone of a charcoal suit can be styled with the darkest shades of brown shoes. A good thing to consider when selecting what shade or gradient of dark brown is by looking at the color of the suit buttons. Likely, the buttons will be horn or the same smoky tone of the suit which will be complemented nicely by a great burnished brown or dark mahogany shoe option! 

What Types of Shoes Go With a Grey Suit?

When it comes to matching shoes with your grey suit, there are plenty of options to play with. From classic Oxfords to casual tennis shoes, each type of shoe brings its own energy to the table, letting you dial up or dial down the formality of your look depending on the occasion.

  • Oxfords: Oxfords are like the James Bond of shoes—sleek, sharp, and always sophisticated. They're perfect for when you need to dress to impress, whether it's for a fancy wedding or a big business meeting. Stick with black or brown leather for that timeless touch that never goes out of style.
  • Loafers: Loafers are the more relaxed cousin of Oxfords. Slip them on, and you’ll be good to go—no fuss, no hassle. They're great for those days when you want to look put together but still feel comfy. Wear suede loafers for a relaxed daytime vibe or a leather pair to step up your game for a night out.
  • Derbys: Derby shoes are another formal pairing that’s slightly more relaxed than Oxfords, bringing a casual look that’s still classy to pair with your grey suit. Wear with tailored pants for a smart-casual look at the office or throw them on with jeans for a cool weekend outfit.
  • Brogues: Brogues are all about the details. This timeless dress shoe displays unique perforated patterns that add a bit of flair to your outfit. They're perfect for showing off your personality while still looking sharp. Pair them with your grey suit to give it a bit of old-school charm that stands out from the crowd.
  • Chelsea boots: Chelsea boots add a modern twist to your grey suit combination. They're sleek, they're stylish, and they add a splash of modernity to your grey suit. Throw them on with some slim-fit pants for a sharp office look or pair them with jeans for a casual vibe that still turns heads.
  • Monk strap shoes: Monk strap shoes are for the trendsetters. With a statement buckle closure that sets them apart from the rest, you can wear these with your grey suit to add a bit of edge to your outfit and show off your unique sense of style.
  • Tennis shoes: And then there are tennis shoes—the laid-back option for when you want to keep things casual. Pair them with your grey suit for a relaxed weekend brunch or a low-key dinner with friends. Stick with crisp white ones for that clean, fresh look that never goes out of style.
Groom getting ready putting on brown shoes with light grey suit for wedding
Group of groomsmen showing off slip on suede light brown loafers with light grey suit pants

Frequently Asked Questions

What color socks go with a grey suit?

When choosing socks for a grey suit, aim to match the tone and color of your dress socks with your trousers rather than your shoes. This creates a cohesive look. For light grey suits, opt for socks in a similar shade or slightly darker. Medium or charcoal grey suits pair well with socks that closely match the trousers' color. Dark grey or black socks are versatile options for any shade of grey suit. Keep patterns subtle and understated to maintain a polished appearance. Ensure proper coverage length-wise, and you're set for a refined finish.

How can you style a grey suit?

Styling a grey suit is all about adding those little extra touches to make it pop. Here are some easy tips for accessorizing:

  • Suspenders: Swap out the belt for suspenders if you're feeling a bit old-school. Go for classic colors like black or navy, or add some personality with subtle patterns.
  • Tie Bars: Keep your tie in place and add some flair with a sleek tie bar. Match the metal to your other accessories, such as your cufflinks and watch, for a cohesive look.
  • Leather Belt: If suspenders aren't your thing, stick with a quality leather belt that matches your shoes. It's all about that seamless transition from top to bottom.
  • Cufflinks: Add a touch of refinedment with a pair of cufflinks. Keep it classic with silver or gold, or go bold with something unique.
  • Pocket Square: Jazz up your suit jacket with a pocket square. Match it to your tie or shirt for a coordinated look.
  • Watch: Don't forget a stylish watch—it's the cherry on top. Choose a strap that matches your other accessories, such as your belt and shoes, for extra style points.

What occasions should you wear a grey suit?

When it comes to choosing wedding suiting styles, a grey suit is a versatile option that can be worn for various occasions, from formal affairs to casual gatherings. Here's a breakdown of when to wear a grey suit and how to style it for different events:

  • Weddings: Grey suits are great for weddings, from casual to formal. Brown shoes are perfect for laid-back weddings, while black shoes step up the formality. Just remember, grey suits don't fit black-tie events. Instead, opt for a timeless tuxedo.
  • Happy Hours: Meeting co-workers for after-work drinks? A grey suit is the perfect transitional piece to go from the office to the restaurant. Keep it professional with a crisp shirt and polished shoes, but add a touch of casualness by ditching the tie and undoing the top button of your dress shirt.
  • Business Events: If you’re attending a big meeting or conference, grey suits are a safe bet. Pair yours with a white button-up shirt and a tie to nail that business professional look.
  • Parties: Dressing up for a cocktail event? A dark grey suit is your friend for cocktail attire. Add some flair with a patterned shirt and finish it off with classy leather shoes.
  • Prom: Grey suits can stand out at prom. Choose a slim-fit suit and have fun with a colorful shirt and tie combo. Finish the look with stylish shoes and accessories that show off your personality.

The Perfect Match: Grey Suit Combinations

Nailing the perfect grey suit combo is easy with these tips outlined in our guide. It's clear that the grey suit is a wardrobe staple that offers endless versatility for a variety of occasions. Whether you're planning your wedding suiting, gearing up for a business meeting, or getting ready for a night out, a grey suit and brown shoes or black shoes are reliable options that never fail to impress. 

At SuitShop, we understand the importance of finding the perfect fit, which is why we offer a Fit Finder and Fit Guide to ensure you look and feel your best in our suits. With our wide selection of grey suits and dress shoes, you can trust SuitShop to help you create stylish and sophisticated looks for any event. So why wait? Elevate your wardrobe with a grey suit from SuitShop and make a lasting impression wherever you go.

6 men posing their light brown and tan shoes with grey suit pants and funny socks in a circle
Courtney Baldwin
Courtney Baldwin

Courtney Arrington-Baldwin is the co-author of GROOMS: A Professional Stylist’s Guide to Wedding Planning for Every Budget. She has a seasoned background i...

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