One piece of advice you hear all the time when it comes to dress shoes is that your first pair of men’s shoes should be black. The supposed logic behind this is that you can wear black shoes with anything and that they’re more formal than brown shoes.
I couldn’t disagree more with this advice, and I’d always recommend a man looking for his first pair of dress shoes to choose a pair in brown. Let’s cut past the generalities and look at the finer points of whether you should get black or brown men’s shoes.
How Formal Do These BHD Mens Shoes need to be?
Brown is a slight notch below black on the formality spectrum, but it’s still formal enough for almost any situation, save black-tie events and funerals. You probably don’t need black men’s shoes for formality reasons.
No Shoe “Goes with Everything”
There’s this ridiculous idea out there that you can wear black men’s shoes with basically any outfit. There isn’t a shoe on this planet that will look good with everything you could possibly wear.
To say that a pair of black shoes will go with everything makes zero sense, because whether the shoes are black or brown, they’ll have a level of formality to them. Black Oxfords will look silly if you pair them with casual light blue jeans. And a black pair of loafers will look just as bad if you try wearing them to a formal event.
Brown men’s shoes are actually often the more versatile choice. They can work with a range of colors, and the right brown dress shoes can work with formal outfits and more casual clothing in a way black shoes simply can’t.
Brown Has a Variety of Shades
I don’t hate black shoes. They serve their purpose well and are a necessity on certain occasions.
But there is so much more variety with brown because of all its shades. You have your light browns, such as walnut. You have your more formal darker browns. You have browns with a gorgeous red coloring, such as merlot and oxblood.
That variety makes it easy to find a shoe in a shade that you love. With black, you have one color option. There is no light black.
Don’t let tradition and outdated advice dictate your style choices. If you’re trying to decide between black and brown men’s shoes, be bold and look for something in brown.