How to Wear Grey Pants with Brown Shoes - A Style Guide

grey pants brown shoes

Can You Wear Grey Pants with Brown Shoes? A Fashion Investigation

Of course you can! In fact, many TV and movie stars have rocked this look in their time – just think of actors like Sean Connery, who always looks stylish, or Jude Law, who can really rock dressy trousers! Wearing brown shoes with your grey pants is a great way to stand out from the crowd and spice up pants that could otherwise be thought of as a little dull, drab or uninspired. Choose the right shade of grey pants and you can dress them up or down for almost any event by pairing them with the perfect pair of brown shoes and accessories to express your unique sense of style.

 grey pants brown shoes

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Does grey really go with brown?

We’ve all been taught black shoes go with black pants– so the idea of wearing gray pants with brown shoes might seem a little daunting. But it’s not so much about the color of the trousers, or the shoes, it’s more about the tone or hue. Even a black belt and brown shoes go together, as long as you get the tone right!

Generally speaking, all shades of grey, from charcoal grey to stone grey, pair well with brown shoes. If you’re opting for charcoal pants with brown shoes, choose a pair of shoes in a dark brown shade – this color combination works well for more formal events. If you’re on the hunt for an outfit for the office, a light grey suit with brown shoes is the ideal choice.

With so many different shades of brown to choose from, including bronze, burgundy, tan, and mahogany, you can mix and match until you find a combination that works for you. Some men are more comfortable in a more casual, tan-colored brown shoe, while for others a mahogany or burgundy hued shoe ticks all the right boxes. You could even add some quirky style with a pair of brown wingtip shoes with colorful laces from Bold Society Shoes.

gray pants brown shoes

Once you’ve chosen the right grey pants and brown shoes, don’t be afraid to experiment by switching the other parts of your outfit such as your shirt, socks and other accessories, depending on the occasion.

Fifty shades of grey pants – which are the best with brown shoes?

Nobody says you have to stick with plain charcoal gray pants when you’re pairing them with brown shoes. This is your chance to play around with different shades of grey, and be bold with patterns and fabrics too.

brown shoes with grey pants

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Here are a few different styles and colors you may wish to consider:

  • Dark gray pants with a chunky pinstripe
  • Medium gray pants with a fine pinstripe
  • Checked grey pants 
  • Grey tweed pants 
  • Charcoal gray pants 
  • Light grey pants 

As you can see, there are plenty of different options to think about, and you can also look for different styles of pants, anything from classic suit pants to modern skinny styles, and pants with cuffs.

brown shoes grey pants

Image source: mensuitsinstagram

Styles like checked and striped trousers can look modern and on-trend when paired with the right pair of brown shoes, and you can choose between polished leather shoes or buffed suede, for something different.

You’ll even find bespoke suits and pants with more elaborate patterns if you prefer something more unique than your usual gray pants you’ll find in stores. You can wear any shade of grey with brown shoes – it all depends on the shade of shoes you choose too, from tan to burgundy or bronze.

How to choose the brown shoes that go well with your grey pants

So, you’ve chosen your grey pants and now you’re wondering just how to select the right brown shoes to complement your amazing trousers! The good news is that brown shoes come in a huge variety of different styles, so you’re bound to find the right pair. Think about when you want to wear the shoes – for example, is it for an event with a dress code, or are you looking for something more casual? It’s also a good idea to consider the time of year, as you may want to select dress shoes for winter and something more casual like loafers for the summer months. Here are just a few of the different styles available:

  1. Boots (either smart or more casual)
  2. Dress shoes
  3. Loafers
  4. Boat shoes

Every man needs a pair of dress shoes, so if you’re wearing your dark grey pants and brown shoes to an event, pick up a pair of brogues, Derbies or Oxfords. It’s well worth spending money on a high-quality leather pair as they’ll last a long time. You don’t have to stick to wearing them with your grey pants either, as they’ll match any suit or trousers you have in your wardrobe, and can even be worn to smarten up a pair of jeans for a date. And dress shoes don’t need to be dull either – shoes from Bold Society Shoes’ Wingtip collection add a pop of color to any outfit.

grey pants with brown shoes

Image source: Bold Society Shoes

Brown shoes don’t need to be just one colour either. Why not opt for a pair that include a couple of contrasting colours to add some interest to your grey dress pants?

brown shoes with gray pants

Image source: Bold Society Shoes

One thing that’s definitely not recommended is pairing your grey dress pants with sandals. Yes, it can be hot in the summer months, but sandals will ruin the smart style of your outfit and make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. Ditto for socks with sandals – just don’t go there! For dress shoes in the summer months, loafers and boat shoes are both excellent choices. It’s ok to skip socks in the summer months, but do make sure you’re wearing leather shoes so that your feet can breathe.

During the winter months, boots can look stylish with grey pants and will keep out the chill, as well as keeping your feet dry. Brown leather lace-up boots are a great option for a more casual vibe, while for the office, leather Chelsea boots or ankle boots with a zip are a sleek, put-together choice.

If you’re struggling to work out which shoes are best for which season, check out our handy table.

Season

Type of brown shoes

Spring

Brown derbies or loafers 

Summer

Loafers, boat shoes, brogues

Fall

Brogues, boots, loafers (with socks)

Winter

Chelsea boots, lace-up boots, brogues or derbys

What colors go best with grey pants and brown shoes?

Grey and brown may not be the most interesting color combination, but you can add other colors when it comes to your shirt and other accessories. That’s the beauty of starting with simple grey pants and brown shoes! Start by experimenting with darker colors before adding lighter shades and playing around with patterns. Here are a few ideas for colors and patterns to try:

  • Black
  • Burgundy
  • Dark green (bottle or olive green)
  • Navy
  • Mustard
  • Pastel shades
  • White
  • Neutrals (beige, ecru, different shades of grey)
  • Bright colors (red, royal blue, hot pink, lime green, etc.)
  • Patterns (paisley, check, stripe, etc.)

Play it safe by pairing a black or white shirt with your grey pants. If you’re heading to an important meeting or event, a collared, long-sleeved shirt is obviously going to be your best option. For something more casual, a short-sleeved shirt is the way to go. You can always add interest with a patterned tie in navy, black or white, if you like.

grey pants black shoes

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If you’d prefer your outfit to be a bit more colorful, opting for dark colors lets you play it safe while being a little more interesting. Opt for burgundy, navy blue, dark green or even a slightly bolder olive-green shirt with light grey or charcoal grey pants.

For a classic style, light grey trousers with a pale blue, long-sleeved shirt is hard to get wrong. You can add a patterned tie with checks or stripes, for an individual touch that never strays too far from the classic. This style also works great with a tweed suit during the winter months.

grey dress pants brown shoes

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If you’re feeling more confident then you can opt for brighter colors like mustard, or pastel shades of baby blue, salmon or mint. These aren’t for everyone though, as they do draw attention while complementing your gray pants nicely.

For a really individual look, experimenting with pattern, both in your pants and your accessories, is a great idea. Pinstripe pants are a bold fashion statement, and when a dark grey pinstripe is paired with a bold blue shirt, a purple tie, and brown brogues, you may find you attract more than a few compliments!

brown shoes gray pants

 Image source: Mensuitsinstagram 

Which socks and brown shoe models to pair with grey pants?

When it comes to pairing the right shoes and socks with your carefully chosen trousers, shirt and tie, this table will help to give you some ideas:

Pants

Shoes

Socks

Slate grey pants

Burgundy shoes

Pale pink or beige striped socks

Charcoal grey pants

Burgundy or cognac shoes

Purple or navy-blue polka dot socks

Light grey pants

Tan or light brown shoes

Beige, black or brown striped socks

Pinstripe grey pants

Light or dark brown shoes

Striped socks

Of course, the color of shoes and socks you choose will largely depend on the shirt you’ve chosen too – for example, you could choose to wear pale pink socks to complement a pink shirt, or navy-blue polka dot socks as a contrast against a white shirt, paired with charcoal grey pants.

Elevate your grey pants and brown shoes with stylish socks

There’s nothing worse than a man wearing mismatched socks – except, perhaps, somebody wearing sports socks with their designer trousers. They say clothes make the man; well, socks make the suit! If you’re wondering ‘Do brown shoes go with grey pants?’ then the answer is yes, but be careful which socks you’re wearing. Here are a few things to think about when choosing the right socks for your outfit:

  1. Would plain or patterned be more appropriate? Choose plain for formal events such as a funeral, wedding, or corporate event, while for days at the office you can probably get away with patterned, depending on your job.
  2. Do you want your socks to stand out or blend in? For dark grey pants with brown shoes, choosing socks in a neutral shade like black, brown, or grey means your socks will coordinate beautifully with what you’re wearing. For a pop of color, burgundy, navy blue, or cream will add some personality without being outrageous.
  3. What are your plans for the day? If you’re hitting the gym after work, packing a spare pair of sports socks is a great idea, as wearing white athletic socks with your grey pants and brown shoes isn’t the most stylish choice

gray pants with brown shoes

Socks are a great way to express your uniqueness without going over the top, and that’s where socks from Soxy come in. From colorful patterned socks to neutral socks for the office and sporty socks for the gym, there’s a huge range to choose from so you’ll have the most stylish feet in the room.

The devil’s in the details: Choosing the right accessories for a grey pants brown shoes combination

Accessories are your opportunity to add a little fun and personalization to your outfit. Even the most somber charcoal pants and brown shoes combination can be spiced up with accessories. So, what accessories could you add to your outfit?

  1. Ties/bowties
  2. Belts
  3. Socks
  4. Bags
  5. Watches or jewelry
  6. Sunglasses
  7. Hats

Ties and bowties

Colorful or patterned ties, bow ties, and pocket squares add a little contrast to any outfit. With charcoal grey pants and brown shoes, you could add anything from a simple neutral colored tie to pastel colors such as pale pink or baby blue and even bright, bold colors like purple, magenta, and lime green. Don’t be afraid to use bold, deep colors like navy blue, bottle green, and burgundy too, particularly if you’re attending a formal event, as these will add a touch of class to your outfit.

gray pants black shoes

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A pale pink shirt and brown shoes look great with a contrasting deeper pink pocket square. Or why not opt for a pale blue shirt with brown shoes and darker navy blue tie and pocket square?

can you wear brown shoes with grey pants

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Patterns like paisley, checks, and stripes are all a great way to add interest to an otherwise neutral outfit. For example, charcoal grey pants and pale blue or white shirt can look great with a paisley or checked patterned tie. But you can even play around with clashing patterns by mixing and matching with a checked tie, striped trousers, and white shirt combination, if you’re feeling really bold!

Belts

When it comes to belts, it’s best to keep things fairly simple. So forget those chunky, cowboy-style belts or anything with too much detailing and instead opt for a chunky or skinny plain leather belt in black, dark grey, brown or burgundy to add a touch of style to your pants. The simpler the belt, the more you’ll be able to wear it – a black belt goes with anything from jeans to a suit.

Socks

Soxy’s huge range of patterned and colored socks might make it tricky to choose the right style, but it’s not hard at all! Tie together gray pants and brown shoes with Soxy’s striped socks, which come in a range of colors including black and white, grey, brown, and navy blue.

grey dress pants with brown shoes

The key to choosing the right socks to complement your outfit is to choose a pair with colors that either contrast with or complement your pants and shoes. For a bolder choice, you could opt for pattern mixing – for example, wearing pinstripe grey trousers with striped grey socks. This is a great way to start out experimenting with patterns and colors before going all out and choosing a colorful pair of socks like Soxy’s Lawyer Socks.

grey pants brown shoes what color shirt

The table above has some great suggestions if you’re stuck when it comes to choosing the right pair of socks or shoes to complement your gray suit.

Jewelry

Not all men are fans of jewelry, but if it suits your personal style, then why wouldn’t you rock it? Keeping it simple to complement your outfit is key. What about a plaited or slim leather or beaded bracelet with a stainless-steel clasp?

dark grey pants brown shoes

Image source: hetarikijewelleryinstagram

Bags

When choosing a bag to rock with your pants, it’s best to think about how you’ll be spending your time. For work or an important meeting, a leather briefcase or satchel in black, brown or navy blue is a sleek and professional choice – these types of bags can look funky and modern too! A dark-colored fabric laptop bag is also a great choice if you’re going to be carrying your laptop.

grey pants and brown shoes

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For travelling, leather holdalls not only look stylish but ensure you’ll have space for all your essentials. When choosing a bag, opt for one made with high-quality materials such as suede or leather, to ensure it will last.

can i wear brown shoes with grey pants

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Watches

Watches are a very personal style statement and whether you’re wearing one that was a gift or have chosen it yourself, it speaks volumes about your style and personality. With grey pants and brown shoes, accessories can either be simple or colorful. A sleek, black watch with a metal strap keeps it simple and adds a touch of class to your outfit.

black shirt grey pants brown shoes

 Image source: menwithstyleinstagram

Sunglasses

While perhaps not the best accessory for indoor events (nobody wants to be THAT guy), sunglasses or shades are a great accessory for hot summer days when you’re having lunch at the park or on your way to meet clients. Aviator styles are a cool retro option to pair with your grey pants, or opt for a classic black framed pair of shades for classic style. For something a little more on-trend, a round, horn-rimmed tortoiseshell pair of sunglasses is a colorful option to add to your grey pants!

gray pants and brown shoes

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Hats

Choose your hat carefully if you decide to wear one, as they can easily make or break your outfit. With dress pants, you’re going to want a smart hat, so stay away from sporty, casual styles such as caps or knit hats. A smart, formal style hat like a fedora or trilby is a great option, depending on the occasion. You can either choose a hat in a complementary color, such as gray, brown or black, add some contrast with a pastel or neutral shade like white, ecru, or pink, or be bold with a daring hat in magenta, burgundy, green or red. Of course, the color of hat you choose will depend largely on the occasion you’re attending, whether that’s a wedding, a corporate event or just the office!

gray dress pants brown shoes

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Don’t sacrifice comfort for style

It’s not all about color and design – when pairing charcoal grey pants with brown shoes, you want to ensure you’re comfortable too. Investing in high-quality accessories will ensure you’re comfortable and stylish. Buying socks from Soxy ensures you’re choosing high-quality socks that will last. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • A reinforced heel and toe area, so the holes are a thing of the past
  • Reduced shrinkage thanks to pre-washing
  • Combed cotton manufacture for ultimate softness; our socks adapt to the shape of your foot
  • No more slipping socks thanks to our engineered elasticity

And there are many more too, like lots of cool colors, designs, and patterns to ensure you’re wearing socks that are an interesting part of your outfit, not just another boring accessory.

It’s all about the attitude

Carrying off brown shoes with your grey pants is more about your attitude and state of mind than your style choices – even though those are important! Walk tall, think positive and embrace your individual style and you’ll look great whatever you’re wearing.