As most men can tell you, they know barely anything about style or fashion, never mind what matches with what, and before going out, they usually just throw on whatever they grabbed blindly from the closet. Now there is certainly nothing wrong with this sort of approach to outward appearance, as our modern culture hinges far too much on vapid looks and appearances anyway, but one should at least know what works and what doesn’t for those more special occasions like weddings, family gatherings, or other events of the sort. A man should know how to best present himself when necessary, and wearing shoes that complete your outfit is a very important facet of that. This is easier said than done, of course, as there are almost an endless number of potential combinations that can be paired together, especially when considering that everyone has their own preferences and dislikes when it comes to fashion and style. This is where this little guide can help you out, give you a boost and help you understand what to look out for. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

Black Shoes

In practically every circumstance, black shoes are the smartest version in any category, which kind of limits what other clothes you can match them with. You can consider them to be a bit like a black blazer, which looks absolutely fantastic dressed up, but if you try to match them with jeans, you will look more like a street magician. So to get started, whether you need something for a black tie or just formal work shoes, black should be your go-to for black tailoring, with grey or charcoal tailoring also being good options. Comfortable, quality shoes should be your priority when it comes to choosing footwear, which you can find easily with the help of GatsbyShoes. Just visit their website, and you will already be a step closer to completing your outfit. Despite what some others might tell you, matching black with blue is not going to bruise your sartorial ego, although you would be well-advised to avoid more celebratory shades like royal blue and instead stick to darker shades of navy. Now, casual trousers are a little more complicated. If you want to wear black shoes with brown chinos, it is best to stick to less formal styles, and the same goes for jeans. If you insist on wearing black shoes with jeans, stick to slim black denim, which will save the outfit from the brink. But only barely.

Brown Shoes

Brown is perhaps the most “forgiving” shade of smart footwear, as the vast variety of browns available means that there is a tone for practically any situation, except perhaps the very smartest offices. Brown shoes add personality to pretty much anything other than a tuxedo or a black suit and feel a bit less stuffy. The “rule” here is “the lighter the shade, the more relaxed and casual the look,”  especially if there is added detail as well. Especially for chinos of any color, brown should be your go-to, although if you really want to go the extra mile, avoid matching too closely, making sure there are at least two shades of difference between your shoes and your trousers, so it doesn’t look like you are wearing the bottom half of a onesie. Darker browns work with denim too, but you definitely want to step into a more casual style for this look, wearing things like brown worker boots or Chelsea boots. Now black jeans and brown shoes are a battlefield of differing opinions, and one not really worth walking into if you have any personal doubts or aren’t sure of what you are doing. If you are confident enough, then it is a look that can be pulled off, as long as you stick to footwear that is closer in shade to black rather than tan. Again, boots are easier to pull off with, but it is up to your personal preference.

White Trainers

Now, you usually wouldn’t associate your sneakers with anything other than a tennis match or going jogging or something of the sort, but there are actually sneakers that can act as smart shoes, making them an option that you can wear as easily with some suits as you can with jeans shorts. White minimalist trainers, free from logos and made from premium leather, can be worn with pretty much anything, as long as it is in the right context of course, as they are probably not the best thing to wear when you are going for job interviews with a law firm. They will usually pair well with any suit, even black, and look fantastic with any type of jeans, from the premium, high-quality Japanese selvedge to the shredded stonewash you can find in a thrift store. The same goes for shorts, chinos, cargo pants, or whatever pants you have; white trainers will also work. In fact, the only tricky thing you will have to deal with when it comes to white trainers is keeping them that way, as keeping them looking as white and pristine as when you first took them out of the box can be a bit of a headache sometimes, as white obviously stains very easily, so try not to wear them in winter or rainy or muddy weather, get some protection spray, and keep some wet wipes handy in your bag or desk for little touch-ups whenever necessary. If that is not too much hassle for you, white trainers are a must-buy addition to your wardrobe. Men usually give very little thought, time, and attention to what they wear, whether in shopping for new threads, in front of the mirror trying different looks, or even just knowing what goes with what. They remain blissfully ignorant. Again, not a bad thing by any means, but knowledge is power, and knowing how to dress to impress when needed is a valuable skill we should all possess, especially when it comes to shoes.