Style Blog/Guides

What Color Shoes Go With a Navy Blue Suit?

Published on October 12, 2017 Updated April 15, 2024

By Lily Ertischek
What Color Shoes Go With a Navy Blue Suit?
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What Color Shoes Go With a Navy Blue Suit?

One of the most common questions regarding suiting centers around the age-old question: what color shoes go with a navy suit? The timeless pairing is combining a navy blue suit with brown shoes, as this elegant combination exudes a sense of refinement and cohesion. However, a blue suit with brown shoes isn’t your only option when trying to find the right footwear to complete your outfit. Whether you’re a groom putting together your wedding day ensemble, preparing for a business meeting, or attending a networking event, a navy suit is a wardrobe staple for a variety of affairs ranging from casual to formal. In this guide, we’ll help you complete your look with the right shoes to help you look and feel your best.

Key Takeaways

  • Navy blue suits and brown shoes create a timeless and traditional combination that’s appropriate for a wide range of events, from weddings to casual nights out on the town.
  • A blue suit and black shoes is a fashion-forward duo that exudes modernity by creating a contemporary look that’s smart and elevated.
  • Wearing burgundy dress shoes with a navy suit allows you to inject a pop of color while maintaining a formal and sophisticated appearance.
  • White shoes and a navy blue suit create a striking contrast that’s clean and polished, perfect for spring and summer events that prefer lighter colors.
  • Oxfords, Derbys, loafers, monk straps, brogues, and patent leather dress shoes are all excellent footwear options to pair with a navy suit.

What Are the Best Shoe Colors for a Navy Suit?

If you’re wondering what color shoes go with a navy suit, we’re here to help. The footwear you choose ties your entire outfit together, which means this key detail should never be overlooked. Typically, brown shoes are a timeless classic that pairs well with a navy blue suit. However, black dress shoes and even ivory dress shoes are great options depending on the event, season, and venue. 

Take the advice of Courtney Arrington-Baldwin, co-author of GROOMS: A Professional Stylist’s Guide to Wedding Planning for Every Budget:

“As a default, most gentlemen think that a navy suit should be paired with tan or brown shoes. In some instances, particularly for outdoor and more rustic weddings, this is a fine choice. But in more formal weddings, brown shoes might make the groom appear as if he is going to the office rather than getting married. Often overlooked by grooms and groomsmen is a black wholecut Oxford or cap toe Oxford, which can be a sharp complement to the navy suit.”

The options are endless when it comes to finding the right shoe for your navy or blue suit, as long as the shoes you choose are carefully selected. To help, let’s explore some of the common color combinations that blend harmoniously with navy blue suits.

Men's navy suit with black shoes, black belt, and navy tie
Navy blue suit with brown shoes outfit

Compare a navy suit with black shoes against a navy suit with brown shoes. Two classic looks for different style preferences or events.

Navy suit with brown shoes

A blue suit with brown shoes is one of the most popular color combinations, as these two complementary colors create a sophisticated and timeless look when paired together. The richness of the navy blue serves as a strong base that allows the earthiness of the brown shoes to shine without overpowering the ensemble.

However, brown dress shoes can come in various shades, from light tan to deep chocolate brown. The shade you choose will depend on factors like the season, time of day, and formality of the event. For example, a light tan dress shoe is a safe option for spring and summer months, as well as daytime events. They can add a refreshing contrast against a royal blue suit or blend seamlessly with the softer hues of a light blue suit

Conversely, a dark brown dress shoe is appropriate for evening, formal, and professional events that require a touch of elegance and refinement. Dark brown shoes and a navy suit create a cohesive and polished look that never goes out of style, making them a tried-and-true combination for a plethora of events.

Navy suit with black shoes

A navy suit with black shoes is a modern approach to suiting, creating a more contemporary look from the high-contrast pairing between the rich blue and sharp black. This visually striking outfit adds a touch of refinement that’s excellent for more formal occasions, such as cocktail parties, business meetings, and semi-formal weddings.

One of the benefits of the navy suit black shoe combo is that you don’t need to consider different shades. Wearing black dress shoes with a blue suit creates a smart look that’s easy to style, excellent for those who prefer a hassle-free approach to dressing.

Cool shoe color pairings for men's navy suit with white loafers and burgundy oxford shoes

Navy suit with burgundy shoes

For those looking for a slightly more unconventional navy suit and shoe pairing, consider a set of burgundy dress shoes. The deep maroon and reddish hues of burgundy leather Oxfords or loafers create a bold and confident look that complements navy blue beautifully. By injecting a pop of color with a pair of burgundy shoes, you can showcase your personality and style in a subtle but commanding way.

Despite their bold color, burgundy shoes are relatively versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. The earthiness of the burgundy also lends well to fall and winter events, as the warm burgundy tones complement the colors of these seasons to create a luxurious feel to the outfit. However, to ensure your burgundy shoes work with your navy or blue suit, make sure to coordinate other accessories, such as your belt and tie, to ensure a well-put-together outfit.

Navy suit with white shoes

Our last combination is the navy suit with white shoes pairing. If you’re attending a semi-formal or formal event, ivory dress shoes paired with a navy or blue suit offer a clean and classic aesthetic that complements the timelessness of the suit. The stark contrast between the white and blue tones creates a striking visual combo that’s both stylish and sophisticated. Overall, a navy suit with ivory dress shoes is a great option for spring and summer months that call for lighter and brighter colors, such as garden parties, outdoor weddings, or beach gatherings.

For casual date nights, post-work happy hours, or a day of errands, a navy suit jacket and a pair of crisp white sneakers is an always stylish combo that never fails. Worn with a pair of jeans or slacks, the white tennis shoes and navy blazer form an elevated casual look that blends relaxation with sophistication.

What Type of Dress Shoes Go With a Navy Blue Suit?

Along with the color, the type of men’s dress shoe you pair with your navy suit matters. There are several styles you can choose from to anchor your look, including Oxfords, loafers, and more. Take a look at some popular styles and when each option is most appropriate:

  • Oxfords: Oxfords are a quintessential dress shoe characterized by a closed-lace system where the eyelets are sewn under the vamp, paired with a low heel and rounded or pointed toe. This creates a sleek and elegant design that can be dressed formally with a suit or more casually with chinos.
  • Derbys: Derbys are slightly more casual shoes that are similar to Oxfords but feature an open-lace system, where the eyelets are sewn on top of the shoe’s vamp, creating a more relaxed look.
  • Loafers: Loafers are slip-on shoes that contain a low heel and a moccasin-like construction that can feature decorative elements like straps or metal ornaments across the vamp or more simple and subdued designs. Black leather loafers are an excellent option to wear with a navy suit, as they are both comfortable and versatile, making them popular for formal and casual wear.
  • Monk straps: A monk strap shoe is distinguished by its unique buckle closure rather than a traditional lacing system that offers wearers a stylish alternative to traditional lace-up shoes.
  • Brogues: Brogues are dress shoes that feature decorative perforations along the seams and edges, typically featuring a wingtip design with a pointed toe, and can come in various styles like Oxfords, Derbys, or monk straps.
  • Patent leather shoes: If you’re attending a formal or black-tie event, patent leather shoes and a navy suit are an appropriate combination. The high-gloss leather creates a sleek and polished look that’s popular for formalwear.
Groomsman group kneeling in men's navy suits with black shoes
Navy suit with light brown shoes for a groomsman outfit

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you choose a belt to pair with your dress shoes?

One of the most important styling tips, whether you’re planning your wedding suiting or putting together a business professional outfit, is ensuring your belt matches your shoes. When wearing brown shoes with a navy suit, wear a brown leather belt in the same shade. On the other hand, navy suits with black shoes require a black leather belt, as it helps to create a streamlined and cohesive look.

What shirt color goes with a navy suit and brown shoes?

Your dress shirt is another foundational piece for any semi-formal or formal look, and the color you choose plays a significant role in your overall appearance. Because a navy suit and brown shoes or black shoes are timeless looks, you can stick to the basics with a plain white shirt and add personality through your accessories. This combination is a classic choice for a variety of events, from weddings to networking events and cocktail parties. 

However, for more casual or relaxed functions, you can stray from a classic white shirt and inject a pop of color with a light pink, light blue, or soft yellow shirt. The key is to avoid clashing color tones. For example, navy blue has cool undertones that are relatively neutral, making this color easy to pair with a variety of colors. Conversely, teal blue or certain shades of light blue have warmer undertones that often work with complementary colors like peach or pink.

How can you accessorize a blue suit and brown shoe combination?

To complete your look, turn to accessories. The accessories you choose to pair with your navy suit and brown shoes allow you to chase your personality and unique style. As stated, your leather belt should match the shade of your dress shoes. If you’re wearing a leather wristwatch, make sure the leather band is also in the same shade.

When accessorizing with blue, draw on metallics like gold and silver. This can be done with tie bars, cufflinks, and jewelry, which help elevate your outfit and allow you to play with unique designs and finishes that speak to you. Then, wrap up your outfit with a patterned pocket square and complementary neckwear like a fun bowtie or a more subdued necktie.

Decoding The Brown Vs. Black Shoe Debate With Navy Suiting

Choosing a navy suit is an excellent option for a wide range of occasions, from weddings to galas, parties, and business events. However, one of the challenges of wearing a navy suit is selecting the right footwear. With this styling guide, you can easily curate a well-polished outfit, whether wearing a navy suit with brown shoes or a blue suit with black shoes. 

Along with black and brown dress shoes, you can reach for other colors to pair with your navy suit, such as burgundy or ivory. No matter the shoe color you choose, making sure they complement your entire outfit, including your shirt and accessories, allows you to create a streamlined look.

At SuitShop, we have an exciting collection of men’s and women’s suits to choose from for your next event. With our easy-to-use Fit Finder tool and informative Fitting Guide, you can find a suit that makes you feel comfortable and confident.

Lily Ertischek
Lily Ertischek

Lily is constantly reading, keeping up with the latest TV, and seeking out the best bites. She lives in New York City.

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