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Well-Groomed Q&A: Brown Shoes with a Grey Suit?

By Well Groomed

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Q: I’m a groomsman travelling from London to Orlando for my best friend’s wedding. The suit colour we have is a light grey TM Lewin Wentowrth 3 piece, to match the groom’s  slightly darker, tailored, grey.

The groom, and maybe the bride, insists we wear black shoes to what is supposed to be a fairly informal wedding. I’d like to wear brown shoes considering it is an outside wedding and (relatively) still summer, and the fact that its a warmer colour that really ‘suits’ the suit. How can I persuade them that the groomsmen would look better in brown shoes than black?And what is your opinion on brown vs black? –Joe

A: Joe, you’ve come to the right place. Style isn’t about rules, it’s about intention. As long as your grey/brown pairing looks intentional, not accidental, then it will read as stylish. So, don’t just choose brown shoes, mix in other brown elements like a belt, tie, or pocket square with the suits. If your friends are the kind that like nifty diagrams and stuff, then perhaps this figure will be helpful.

Can I mix grey and brown?
Need some photographic evidence for your stylishly conservative friends? Here ya go.
Obviously, in the end, it’s their wedding. Some people are just more comfortable playing it safe. So, if they still won’t bend, just suck it up and break the style rules at your own wedding. Let me know if you win the battle. Good luck!

shoe/suit cheat sheet: adapted from Esquire, shoes pictured: Kenneth Cole oxfords, image 1: Patters & Purples, image 2: Testament to Turquoise, image 3: source unknown

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