How To Wear a Blue Shirt and Brown Shoes - A Style Guide

blue shirt brown shoes

Blue Shirt and Brown Shoes Combo Tips of Best Dressed Men

Having been around for hundreds of years, the shirt has evolved and changed a lot to become what it is today. The shirt goes back all the way to ancient Egypt, cca. 3000 BC. In the Middle Ages, they were usually worn by men as undergarments. In the Post-Renaissance Era, the different buttoning rules for men’s and women’s shirts started. In the 18th century, men’s shirts were in fashion, especially with frilly details. In the 19th century, with the industrial revolution creating lots of wealth, men’s shirts were becoming fancier and more sought after. At the beginning of the 20th century, high collars were very in fashion, and towards mid-century, the white shirt becomes the uniform of office workers.

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The blue shirt is the cornerstone of every man’s wardrobe. Its essentiality comes from how versatile it is. Nowadays shirts are being worn beyond the stiff business/office environment. These days, there is a plethora of materials, colors, patterns, and cuts, and there is always a shirt for every occasion or weather.

With a lot of choices, there also comes a lot of confusion from the overload of information. 

  • What should you wear to your best friend’s wedding on a beach? 
  • What shirt can you wear all day at the office for important business meetings that you can also wear to an after-work with your friends? 
  • Are you invited to a fancy charity gala and feel like your usual white shirt does not really work? 
  • What about cold weather - what shirts are out there that make you look good but also keep you warm? 
  • Or what works best for hot and humid summer days? 

These are all situations that most men have found themselves in over the decades. Looking for the perfect shirt after receiving an event invitation usually starts with a mild moment of panic, then a frantic search through the wardrobe, followed by a rushed shopping trip to get the missing shirt that would match the occasion. We would all like to avoid such situations that not only make us stressed, but also make us spend more money in the long run. You may also end up with a wide collection of shirts, with some that you may not wear ever again.

blue shirt brown shoes
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The best way to build a solid shirt collection is to be structured about the whole process and prioritize which types of shirt are most important, based on your lifestyle. This article will help to shed some light on what shirts are out there, and offer some tips on how you can style them for you so that you can get started on having a shirt collection that you love.

What types of blue shirts are out there?

As we already mentioned before, there is such a wide variety of shirts out there and there is not only one, but several out there for you, no matter your style. Unsure about what you can wear when going out, attending your high school reunion or going to your friend’s wedding? Well, for each of those occasions, there is definitely an appropriate shirt.

  • Oxford button-down shirt
  • Linen shirt
  • Dress shirt
  • Formal shirt
  • Denim shirt
  • Chambray shirt
  • Flannels shirt

Oxford button-down shirt

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Oxford button-down shirt’s name comes from the Oxford cloth, which is rather popular when it comes to casual dress shirts. Compared to other shirts, the material is thicker but very resistant. You can style blue Oxford button-down shirt with chinos and brown wingtips for a casual chic look. With its cozy material, the Oxford button-down shirt is excellent for colder weather.

Linen shirt

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When it comes to warmer weather, you can switch to linen shirts. Linen is a great material for hot weather because it is light and breathable. You can wear your pastel blue linen shirt, with rolled sleeves, with your favorite jeans and loafers.

Blue dress shirt

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Image source: blakescott

The dress shirt is another great shirt for every man. Such a shirt can be worn for any event, from business meetings to going out. Thanks to its versatility, you can wear it formally (with a suit and tie) or more casually, with jeans or even shorts. 

Blue formal shirt

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The formal shirt is the fancy cousin of the dress shirt. Also known as “tuxedo shirt”, it is worn under tuxedos and is paired with ties or bowties, as well as cufflinks. Such a shirt can be worn to important events, such as weddings or charity galas.

Blue denim shirt

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Denim shirts are not often a favorite amongst men, but it is a shirt worth giving a try. When pairing it with jeans, make sure both are made of high-quality denim. Alternatively, if you love the material, and you’re feeling brave, you can match the charcoal denim pants with brown shoes.

Chambray shirt

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Chambray shirts are an alternative if you like the look of denim shirts, but would like something lighter. Indeed, the difference between these two types of shirts is the way the material is woven. The denim shirts end up being thicker, whereas the chambray shirts are lighter and softer, making them easy to style.

Blue flannel shirt

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Image source: ratioclothing

Going into fall and winter, flannel shirts are great casual alternatives. It comes in various colors and patterns and can be worn by itself or over a t-shirt. A black and red plaid flannel shirt with jeans and lace-up boots are perfect for the cold weather.

We have briefly mentioned before that for each occasion there is a shirt to be worn. This brief table below is compiling the main types of occasions and what shirts go with them. When it comes to office and casual, one can wear pretty much the same type of shirts. However, the way you style the shirt makes it work for either an office environment or a casual one.


Types of shirt



Office / Casual

Dress, linen, chambray, denim, Oxford button-down


Flannel, denim

Tips for going shirt shopping

When getting a new shirt, it is crucial that it fits you well. No matter the high quality of the material or the stitching, if a shirt does not fit you, it will not look good on you. These are some things to look for when going shirt shopping:

  1. Collar
  2. Sleeves
  3. Shoulders
  4. Chest

The collar should not be too loose, and not so tight that you cannot breathe. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to have around one inch of space between your neck and the collar (when it is closed).

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Having the right length of sleeves is important for the tailored look. For a perfect fit, the sleeves should end at the wrists. They should also not be too tight and not too loose either (both along their length and at the cuffs); otherwise, it just gets uncomfortable. Have a look at the shoulders too - the sleeves should start at the widest points of your shoulders.

Check how the shirt fits in the front and on your chest. The shirt should close comfortably, and neither look nor feel too tight. That is, the buttons should not look like they are pulling away, and your upper body movements should not be restricted by the tightness of the material.

Whereas these tips can help you guide towards choosing a well-fitting shirt, the overarching idea is that the shirt should feel comfortable and allow you to move freely. A well-fitting, budget shirt of moderate quality is going to look a million times better than an ill-fitting, expensive shirt.

In the end, the ultimate goal is to have shirts that look great, are of great quality and will last you a long time.

Which brown shoes go with the blue shirt?

Brown and blue actually go really well together, even if many men are skeptical about this combination. With so many shades and types of shirts available, there is an equal amount of shades and types of brown shoes too. It may sound overwhelming, but it can actually be quite easy and pleasant to pair your blue shirt with brown shoes into a stylish outfit.

Let us start with the main shades of brown shoes.

  • Light brown
  • Medium brown
  • Dark brown
  • Burgundy brown

Light brown can be any dark beige, tan or camel shade. Being light-colored, they may need extra care as they can stain and scratch more easily than darker brown shoes. Light brown shoes go well with a light-colored outfit, and especially in summer. Pair your tan loafers with beige chinos and a pastel blue linen shirt. For colder weather, you can wear camel Chukka boots with dark jeans and a blue plaid flannel shirt.

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Medium brown can be actually that shade of brown that comes to your mind when you think of “brown shoes”. Medium brown can anything from copper or bronze, to caramel or walnut. Pair your copper brown boots with dark wash jeans and a blue chambray shirt.

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Image source: Bold Society Shoes

Dark brown shoes are the brown shoe formal alternative to black shoes, as they can be worn in more formal or business environments. Dark browns, such as chocolate, umber, or hickory, go great with navy blue or midnight blue shirts. Go to your next business meeting in a black suit with a navy blue shirt and chocolate brown dress shoes.

blue shirt brown shoes
Image source: Bold Society Shoes

Burgundy brown is a medium dark brown with a red tint to it - such as mahogany or sienna. Due to the red in it, burgundy brown is much warmer than your usual brown, and it softens your outfit, especially if it is a business one. Just like dark browns, burgundy browns (if very dark) can be worn in formal environments. How about a dark blue suit with a lighter blue shirt and burgundy dress shoes? For a more laid back outfit, pair the same shoes with cuffed dark wash jeans and blue denim shirt.

blue shirt brown shoes
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What socks work with brown shoes and blue shirt?

Now that we covered the shades of brown out there for shoes, let us dive deeper into the world of men's socks. This usually an underestimated accessory is recently seeing a boom in popularity. That is, men are now paying more attention when it comes to dress socks and are choosing their colors and patterns with purpose. Wondering about the world of socks that goes beyond black and white socks? Thinking of stepping up your fashion game, but you would like to start small?

Socks come in so many colors, just like any other item of clothing, and so many patterns that you are bound to find ones that match your taste and style.

  1. White, black
  2. Grey, navy
  3. Bright colors
  4. Patterns

White and black are the classic sock colors. You would wear black socks pretty much all year round, as well as to all formal events (when you would wear a black suit anyway). White socks are dedicated to very casual summer outfits, as well as sports (think tennis).

The next step from black shoes is trying grey or navy socks. These are great for formal outfits, and wearing navy socks contrasting with brown shoes is a great way to add some style and fun to your outfit.

Bright-colored socks are where it’s at if you really want to stand out! This is what we are talking about when we mentioned the rising popularity of unique socks. Men are more and more into bright colors when it comes to socks and also, they are not afraid to play with colors. When it comes to very formal or business outfits, bright-colored socks are not ideal. However, for more casual events (such as going out or going to a friend’s wedding), colorful fun socks are absolutely acceptable. When wearing bright socks, make sure that they either complement or contrast the outfit. For example, if you are wearing dark blue pants, you can go for socks in any shade of blue. Or, if you want to really contrast, check out burgundy or mustard socks. In both cases, you can definitely wear brown shoes!

blue shirt brown shoes

Patterns would be the next step in completing your sock collection, and they are actually suitable for everybody. When we think of patterned socks, we may imagine crazy funky colors and patterns. But actually there are many classic patterns that go great with suit, blue shirt and brown shoes such as argyle, dots or stripes, in dark colors.

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For the bolder, switch it up with bright colors when it comes to classic patterns. Or go for something completely innovative such as puzzle patterns, checkers, or even novelty socks! Stand out by wearing black jeans, navy shirt, brown brogues and a pair of blue zig zag socks!

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When choosing the best socks to go with brown shoes and blue shirt it is important to look at the outfit overall. If it helps, wear brown shoes and blue shirt while dress sock shopping to help you visualize better.

Take your blue shirt brown shoe combo to the next level

Be it formal or casual, a blue shirt and brown shoes can be taken to the next level by using the appropriate accessories. Some people associate accessories with extra formality, but in general, it just means the outfit feels more complete and not necessarily more formal, but more put together. Some of the accessories you can sport with your brown shoes and a blue shirt include:

  • Bowties
  • Ties
  • Tie clips
  • Cufflinks
  • Belts

Normally, bow ties are worn with tuxedos, in formal occasions, weddings, or ceremonies. But recently there are more casual options available made of cotton or wool, that you can wear for a retro outfit vibe. Compared to the bowties, ties can be worn for more relaxed formal occasions or even casual with dress shirts in the office.

If you are a fan of ties, you may want to consider tie clips. The purpose of the tie clip is to keep the tie from being blown by the wind when you are outside. Other than that, a tie clip adds a touch of class to your outfit. Usually, they come in gold or silver and can be worn both to formal events, as well as in the office.

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Cufflinks are essentially used for closing the cuffs of a shirt, most often a formal one. How to wear cufflinks, you ask? You could also wear them with less formal outfits, such as dress shirts or Oxford button-downs. For a black-tie event, you might wear a pair of silver cufflinks, whereas, for your daily workday, you can go for other colors or materials.

Belts have been and will always be a major accessory for every man. They not only hold the pants in place, but their presence gives the outfit a sharper look. This is especially important when wearing your shirt tucked - and having no belt on, especially on a pair of pants with belt loops, it just feels incomplete. While they do not have to match the shirt, they do have to match the shoes.

Styling a blue shirt with brown shoes is easy

As mentioned before, the only thing that shoes have to match is the belt. Otherwise, everything else should just go well together. The advantage of shirts is that they can set the tone for the outfit, as it is often the first thing that people see when they meet you.


Types of shirt

Types of shoes


Formal shirt

Dress shoes


Dress, linen, chambray, denim, Oxford button-down

Dress shoes, brogues, loafers; boots for colder weather (Chelsea boots, brogue boots)


Dress, linen, chambray, denim, Oxford button-down

sneakers, loafers, boat shoes, espadrilles; boots for colder weather (Chelsea boots, Chukka boots, lace-up boots)


Denim, flannel

Sneakers, lace-up boots

When it comes to very formal outfits one must wear white shirts, but for less formal and more business-like environments, shirts in various shades of blue can go with almost any color of suit or pants. For both cases, the shoes must be dressy. However, for the more relaxed business meetings, especially in warm weather, you may wear loafers.

Hot summer days call for linen shirts instead of your usual dress shirt. Pair a pastel blue linen shirt with white denim pants and brown loafers. If you are going for casual-chic on a summer weekend, replace your long pants with shorts. 

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If you love blue denim and are not afraid of going for the Canadian tuxedo, make sure that both your shirt and jeans are made of high-quality denim. Wear your all-denim outfit with brown brogues or sneakers, depending on the weather. For warmer days, you can swap your denim shirt with a chambray shirt

brown shoes blue shirt
Image source: blakescott

Into bold combinations for a casual-chic vibe? Wear a cobalt blue shirt with rolled-up sleeves, paired with checked pants and brown monk shoes. Or how about a blue floral shirt? While they may seem challenging to wear, they go well in summer, when paired with a light grey suit and brown loafers.

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Image source: blakescott

How many blue shirts do I need to match with my brown shoes?

Blue shirts represent a big chunk of a man’s wardrobe, as it is something that has to be worn and changed daily. Whereas jackets can be worn for days in a row, shirts have to be rotated and enough of them to not use wear them down too fast individually. That is why it is very helpful if a man has at least 10 shirts. If you have an office job where a shirt is required, this should be the minimum amount of dress shirts. On top of that, one may add then some of the summer shirts (made of linen), colder weather shirts (Oxford button-down) and the more casual shirts (denim, chambray, flannel) for the weekends.

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While this is not mandatory for every man, it may serve as a rule of thumb when creating your wardrobe. Having a few dress shirts, linen shirts, and Oxford button-downs, followed by one denim, one chambray, and one flannel is a great way to get started.

With such a varied shirt collection you can be sure that no matter the occasion, you will have a shirt to match. Be it a job interview or a business proposal pitch, be it a funeral or a wedding, a hot summer day or a cold Saturday morning, you will be dressed appropriately and look smart. Above everything else, no matter what you wear, make sure to do it with confidence, a straight back and a smile on your face.