I only put black shoes on a man about 25% of the time. Sometimes even less because brown and tan shoes are always a more chic, friendly, and fun choice. Plus, brown shoes complement more outfits and pant colors than black shoes do.
Brown Shoes Vs. Black Shoes
All my clients love the transition to the brown dress shoe lifestyle until it comes time to pick the right sock. It can be difficult to know what socks to wear with brown shoes, especially because they are often being paired with unexpected pant colors like navy and grey. Whereas black dress shoes paired with back slacks simply need black socks, you can’t just wear brown socks with brown shoes and then throw on some navy slacks. Why? Because black is always black — there is no dark black and light black (although there is the faded black, but it’s rare in shoes). But brown is never the same color. You have dark brown, darker brown, light brown, lighter brown, tan, and so on. This would not be a big deal if stores had an array of brown socks to go with the different hues of brown shoes, but for some reason, stores have an endless selection of beige instead. I hate pairing beige socks with brown shoes. In general, beige is not a nice color — it looks like your feet are saran-wrapped in old panties, or you have prosthetic ankles. Before I discuss the alternative to beige socks with brown shoes, let’s talk about the basic sock rules.
The Sock Rules – How To Pick Out The Right Color Sock
Here’s how to know what color socks to wear…
- Pick a sock that matches or complements the color of your shoe.
- Pick a sock that matches or complements the color of your pants.
- Pick a sock that matches the color of your shirt or tie, and is in contrast to the color of your pants and shoes, aka the sock that pops.
- Pick a patterned sock that incorporates both the color of your pant as well as the color of your shoe. (This is my favorite option.)
What Socks To Wear With Brown Shoes
With these rules in mind, I have created a collection of socks to wear with brown or tan shoes, both casual and dressy. Keep in mind, a brown sock does not have to match a brown shoe perfectly. Contrasting browns is a great look as well. As for the printed sock options, they will go well with a pant that shares any of the colors in the print.