Brown Shoes?

Banker88's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,835

I'm not talking about wearing brown shoes to an interview, but does anyone wear them to work? If so, do brown shoes match with navy or charcoal pants? And which type of brown (dark brown or walnut? - use this as an example: http://tinyurl.com/y8hfhq7)
If you own any brown shoes, please share which ones and when you wear them.

Comments (108)

Mar 27, 2010

Yes, they are worn at my bank. I think brown shoes pair better aesthetically with navy and charcoal pants than black shoes.

If I'm playing it safe, I'll pair my black oxfords with a my charcoal suit.

I personally like Magnanni. If you want Italian quality, but don't want to pay Italian prices, go Spanish. I own these and love them:

http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/2983369

Mar 27, 2010

Black shoes with a blue suit it utterly ridiculous. Only in America do people do that. In Europe you'd get looked at funny for not wearing brown shoes with a blue suit.

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom

    • 1
Mar 27, 2010

Dark red/brown shoes are fine. Americans look ridiculous most of the time in any case (no fashion sense; oversized, non-form-fitting suits and baggy shirts; ugly shoes). Why is it that American women are supposed to appreciate fashion, but American men are considered 'gay' for having any sort of dress sense? Being able to match colours and understand aesthetics doesn't make you gay. It makes you clever. 'Clever,' is a bit strong. Not being able to match colours makes you a moron (unless you're colour blind).

Wear black shoes with black suits. If it's a black suit with pinstripes, that's still a black suit.

If you're wearing a blue suit, wear red/brown shoes with a matching belt.

Charcoal suits can go either way.

Unless you're feeling daring, stick with dark brown or black socks. Some people in Europe wear 'larry' socks (red, yellow, baby blue). This, I feel, is suspect. Easter-coloured socks make you look like a fucking clown.

You're welcome.

Mar 27, 2010

So if wearing brown shoes with a navy blue or charcoal suit, is it always the dark brown type? What about cordovan or walnut?

Mar 27, 2010

Then what do you wear black shoes with?

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Mar 30, 2010
Banker88:

I'm not talking about wearing brown shoes to an interview, but does anyone wear them to work? If so, do brown shoes match with navy or charcoal pants? And which type of brown (dark brown or walnut? - use this as an example: http://tinyurl.com/y8hfhq7)
If you own any brown shoes, please share which ones and when you wear them.

I like the ones in the pic...a nice cap toe is very versatile. I personally dont like the ones that you linked to. I've never been a fan of balmorals.

My go to shoes are Crockett and Jones Brecon ankle boots:
http://www.pediwear.co.uk/crockett/products/2065.php
And I have various longwings, shell cordovans, chukkas, cap toes, etc...i only have a couple pairs of black shoes. and they are only worn when I wear black (which is very rare) or gray.

I should note I rarely have to wear a suit...my office is business casual.

Mar 30, 2010

They aren't.

Mar 30, 2010
Cruncharoo:

They aren't.

Mar 30, 2010

Wish I had some MS to throw at you.

Mar 30, 2010

Maybe in London; not in the States.

Mar 30, 2010

From a general sartorial standpoint, black shoes and a near-black navy are considered more conservative in manner. The lighter you go, with both the navy and brown shade of your shoes, the less conservative and more "flashy". Banking being what it is, a conservative-tendency develops. Or at least for interviews and probably the SA/Analyst level.

Mar 30, 2010

SWAGGED OUT, BRUH!

Mar 30, 2010

Wear brown shoes in London and nobody will say anything, but in our English way we will silently judge you to be odd.

Mar 30, 2010
Asatar:

Wear brown shoes in London and nobody will say anything, but in our English way we will silently judge you to be odd.

ur from london? why dont ur posts have an english accent?

Mar 30, 2010

square-toed, any color, is a mistake. should be fine otherwise.

Mar 30, 2010
Bull-Market:

Nice roundtoe wingtips or normal oxfords?

What's the matter?

If you are wearing a Nice fitted suit and your tie is the right size for your shirt collar etc etc?

What's wrong. Brown shoes give a nice colour pop to any outfit with the rich texture they usually have.

Brown Oxfords + navy Fitted suit= swagged out.

The least you can do is get this in the right forum....moved to Business Fashion Forum...

For the record, I wore brown shoes when biz casual for IB and PE...

Mar 30, 2010

No brown shoes after dark

Mar 30, 2010

The traditional rule is to never wear shoes lighter than your suit, so unless you were wearing a light gray suit (already aggressive for a junior person in banking), most brown shoes aren't appropriate.

I did it during both my SA gigs and got ribbed a bit, but the offer came in so it all worked out.

Mar 30, 2010

Wearing brown shoes is like masturbating on an airplane.

Mar 30, 2010
Flake:

Wearing brown shoes is like masturbating on an airplane.

So 100% acceptable?

Mar 30, 2010

I wear brown shoes like 95% of the time

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Mar 30, 2010
happypantsmcgee:

I wear brown shoes like 95% of the time

That's cause they're shit kickers. Literally.

Mar 30, 2010
Mar 30, 2010

The only rule that comes with wearing brown shoes is to wear a belt that is the same shade of brown as your shoes. As long as you do this, you're fine.

Signed,
A guy who often wears brown shoes with colored laces.

  •  Mar 30, 2010

thanks for share

Mar 30, 2010

Anyone who says you can't or shouldn't wear brown shoes with a suit is most likely someone who can't coordinate their clothing or some old geezer posting on Styleforum.com.

It's completely acceptable, particularly with a dark navy suit. I actually can't stand black shoes with a navy suit, and I'd much rather go the way of burgundy or dark brown shoes.

Mar 30, 2010

Brown shoes like this should be fine: http://imgur.com/oLx9Q
I would avoid something like this, however: http://imgur.com/pn5L9
Do you plan on wearing only one pair of shoes for the entire summer? A pair of high-quality black captoes is a great investment that could last you ~10 years or so.

Mar 30, 2010

My understanding is that you should have a pair of black shoes and a pair of brown shoes. But like the poster above said, don't get carried away. That goes for just about every piece of clothing you buy though.

Mar 30, 2010

I have one pair of black shoes, tried a few days ago my suits with brown shoes (not mine) and liked it.
I was thinking to go for these in brown:
http://www.colehaan.com/colehaan/catalog/product.j...
I can't really spend more than 150-200 (they have a nice discount of 50 bucks on these ones).

Mar 30, 2010
WallStreetStandard:

I have one pair of black shoes, tried a few days ago my suits with brown shoes (not mine) and liked it.
I was thinking to go for these in brown:
http://www.colehaan.com/colehaan/catalog/product.j...
I can't really spend more than 150-200 (they have a nice discount of 50 bucks on these ones).

I recommend dropping another $100 or so -- look into Allen Edmonds. While the shoes you linked aren't exactly terrible, there's a huge quality difference between a pair of $150 shoes and a pair of $300 shoes.

Mar 30, 2010

they have allen edmonds discounted to 120 all the time at nordstrom rack

Here's the thing. If you can't spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, you are the sucker.

Mar 30, 2010

Allen Edmonds' are too stiff......You can usually find a good pair of Bruno Magli shoes on sale for $300 - $350 and they are way better quality than Edmonds'

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

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Mar 30, 2010
cplpayne:

Allen Edmonds' are too stiff......You can usually find a good pair of Bruno Magli shoes on sale for $300 - $350 and they are way better quality than Edmonds'

Most BMs are priced at 1.5x that of AEs; they also have a huge quality range.

While many guys will eventually graduate from Allen Edmonds at some point, they're still far-and-away the best entry-level grown up shoes available.

Mar 30, 2010

Would tasteful brown shoes be a major faux pas on a first day?

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Mar 30, 2010
UncleMilty:

Would tasteful brown shoes be a major faux pas on a first day?

Really...?

Whatever, I'll take the bait. Brown shoes are fine, as long as it isn't some ridiculous alligator skin material. Just make sure the color of your belt matches the color of your shoes (if you wear a belt).

Mar 30, 2010

My rule of thumb is always wear black shoes to your interview, review, first day and any event in which you're being scrutinized (unless you're an older BSD.. then you can wear whatever you want).

Other than that, I think brown shoes with navy pants look fantastic. As long as you look good without looking ridiculous, then you should be fine. It's very possible to stand out in a 'good way' if you do it tactfully. Little things like a tie bar can do this as well.

Mar 30, 2010
rothyman:

My rule of thumb is always wear black shoes to your interview, review, first day and any event in which you're being scrutinized (unless you're an older BSD.. then you can wear whatever you want).

Other than that, I think brown shoes with navy pants look fantastic. As long as you look good without looking ridiculous, then you should be fine. It's very possible to stand out in a 'good way' if you do it tactfully. Little things like a tie bar can do this as well.

Do not wear a tie bar unless you're a rainmaker. Ever. Otherwise, good comment

Mar 30, 2010

Johnston & Murphy for cheaper alternative to the AlleMonds Park Aves... Can't go wrong there as an SA or first year FT guy. Tie bars are just stupid in general IMO, and if it's your first day show a little respect for the job and wear a goddamn suit, black shoes, and don't give that wet noodle handshake that all the Asian kids give during their interviews.

/rant

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  • BeenPrepping
  •  Mar 30, 2010
Mar 30, 2010

Guys, he's an SA he doesn't need Allen Edmonds.

Mar 30, 2010

If he's in NY he should check out Century21 - just picked up a pair of black AEs there for $110 - freaking steal.

Mar 30, 2010
Whgm45:

Guys, he's an SA he doesn't need Allen Edmonds.

Simple black shoes will last him for the next ten years or so. Why wouldn't he buy them now?

Mar 30, 2010

already bought the Cole Haan shoes I showed above :(
But, I def should visit Century 21... I had the impression that they have stuff from the beginning of the century :)... however, I keep hearing that ppl buy good quality stuff for really good discounts

Will go there next time I buy a suit or shoes...

Mar 30, 2010

Can try Ebay as well. If you know your size and how the shoe fits you can find some good deals

Mar 30, 2010

Cuz he said he can't afford it?

Mar 30, 2010

I had a pair of Bruno Magli's that were just not that great of quality. Not impressed and would not buy them again. The only shoes I will buy for the immediate future will be Churchs. They are pricy, but worth it. Go into their boutique in NYC (used to have one in DC and H-Town but they closed) and take a look at them. They are several orders of magnitude better than CH or AE and if you take care of them they will last forever.

"Takeing care of" = never wear on consecutive days, always have cedar shoe trees in them, polish a couple times a month, and get them re-soled about every five years.

Mar 30, 2010

its fine

I'm making it up as I go along.

Mar 30, 2010

Brown shoes all day errday. Work in Europe though and the common conception around my office is that black shoes are very formal - like funeral formal. Shades of brown depending on the mood. That said, started work in New York and I think brown is fine as well there for an intern.

Agree with FutureHornetDriver, Churchs are a solid investment.

Mar 30, 2010

Btw guys, dark brown shoes is the shit!!!
everybody is wearing them and they are so much better than black shoes with navy/gray/charcoal pants
I just love the ones I bought.

Mar 30, 2010

no one should have problems with dark brown . . . lighter shades might be considered more casual but dark brown is a safe bet. Look at the people that you work with or meet and see what colour shoes do they choose. If brown is common, it is much less likely that others will notice what they already see frequently, and more importantly care about the shoe colour.

Mar 30, 2010

Do you have any navy/blue/midnight suits?
If yes, then what other than brown shoes would go with them?

If you said black, please re-consider.

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Mar 30, 2010
Disincentivy:

Do you have any navy/blue/midnight suits?
If yes, then what other than brown shoes would go with them?

If you said black, please re-consider.

Brown shoes go with khakis, as Illini stated. Black shoes go with dark suits, even some gray ones. I have a Hart Schaffner Marx gray plaid suit and I wear with it black shoes. Brown ones just wouldn't look right for it.

Mar 30, 2010

The color and styling of those shoes would be a bit too much. I'd go for something more conservative.

Also, $250 for cole haans is not the smartest move.

I recommend you buy yourself a pair of Park Avenues from Allen Edmonds. You'll wear them for a long time.

http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF27...
These go on sale very frequently so do not buy them at retail online. You can get them for $250 in the summer, when your SA stint starts.

Mar 30, 2010
Rana Clamitans:

The color and styling of those shoes would be a bit too much. I'd go for something more conservative.

Also, $250 for cole haans is not the smartest move.

I recommend you buy yourself a pair of Park Avenues from Allen Edmonds. You'll wear them for a long time.

http://www.allenedmonds.com/aeonline/producti_SF27...
These go on sale very frequently so do not buy them at retail online. You can get them for $250 in the summer, when your SA stint starts.

This post fucking rocks. All you need to know. Cole Haans can be had for < 150 if you look around.

also:

allen edmonds (usa) > johnston & murphy (usa) > cole haan (mexico)

Mar 30, 2010

Agree with above. Dark brown, nothing to close to caramel, etc.

Mar 30, 2010

Brown goes ok with light or mid gray, but not anything darker.

If you haven't bought those shoes yet and have a wardrobe full of dark or gray suits, go with black. Brown shoes are usually for khakis.

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Mar 30, 2010

just make sure it matches your purse, honey

Mar 30, 2010

Those are touch light, but I am a sucker for wingtips. Some people think they are a bit showy for SA's - they may be right, it depends on your group. Your safe bet is dark brown cap toes like the AE's mentioned above, though you can certainly go cheaper (Johnston and Murphy for example).

Mar 30, 2010

Are you going to be in London? Remember, never wear brown in town

Mar 30, 2010

Are you going to be in London? Remember, never wear brown in town

Mar 30, 2010

"Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In twenty years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you. That's not a threat, that's a fact.

Mar 30, 2010

And now that I've just looked at them, besides being brown, anything with the wingtip design and the perforations is kinda "aggressive". Plus, they are dress shoes with Nike Air Tech in them. Not to be the asshole to rain on your parade, but I didn't even know they had this. Dress shoes are about aesthetics, you can still have nice/comfortable dress shoes without incorporating the same features as the shoes LeBron wears when he's on the court.

  • BeenPrepping
  •  Mar 30, 2010

Would the park avenues be acceptable in brown?

Mar 30, 2010

Don't you have any white shoes?? I always wore my hugo boss white loafers during my SA stint. Puts out the waspy vibe.

Mar 30, 2010

bump

Mar 30, 2010

Yes, the park aves will be acceptable in brown. It's a very conservative shoe.

Mar 30, 2010

Those Park Aves are incredible. Anyone know a shoe with the same design but in a cheaper bracket?

Mar 30, 2010

Brown shoes are a no-no for ANYONE.

Mar 30, 2010

It doesn't matter what you wear.

However...
1. "no brown in town". This applies to the City more than Wall Street, and some Americans apparently "get away with" wearing brown shoes with navy (at least between themselves). Light grey can also work for an academic look, but I always felt people who wore lighter greys before their hair had greyed looked a bit off. Personal taste.
2. if you must wear brown, don't wear grain (that kind of bumpy feel on the calf) which is terribly casual, suited only for the golf course or a walk around your grounds. Go for nice, smooth calf. Polish it with wax (Sapphire is good and not expensive), not Kwikwax or whatever other horrors you find in 7/11. And there are more interesting colours... maybe that shoe can come alive with the right amount of careful care with cognac and deeper brown waxes applied in careful alternate layers. Think Berluti. With the shapes from C&J or John Lobb.
3. you can probably get away with it if the rest of you is elegant naturally. Think AA or Esquire in the 40s, not James Bond (who, after Connery, has tended away from timeless looks towards whatever was in fashion at the time). If not, you'll just look like somebody who doesn't know about "no brown in town". If you are known to be a tasteful dressed, you can bend the rules and still look very professional, which is after all the idea. I would say it is easier to get away with a pocket square than brown shoes; pulling both off takes serious balls.

Edit: for once, I disagree with the pros: http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Esquire1937brow...

Mar 30, 2010

I wore brown wingtips with a suit that was two sizes too large for me and still got a top SA, don't listen to these clowns telling you no. Know your stuff and be likeable, no one gives a shit what you wear.

Mar 30, 2010
Starpoints:

I wore brown wingtips with a suit that was two sizes too large for me and still got a top SA, don't listen to these clowns telling you no. Know your stuff and be likeable, no one gives a shit what you wear.

Of course you can wear whatever you want, it won't make any difference at all to whether you get an offer or not. You'll just look like a dick.

Mar 30, 2010
Starpoints:

I wore brown wingtips with a suit that was two sizes too large for me and still got a top SA, don't listen to these clowns telling you no. Know your stuff and be likeable, no one gives a shit what you wear.

but what's the point of intentionally testing this theory? you know you looked like a dick, why do it?

Mar 30, 2010

On a similar note: http://asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com/2010/12/dressi...UBS.html

"The basics of dressing for success at UBS are, well, basic. They can be summed up by looking at the two men in the illustration and realizing that the guy in back is a banker and the man in front is a client."

Mar 30, 2010

Very similar to the ones I have, I don't think anyone had any problems with them. A lot of guys had more flashy/noticeable shoes and it wasn't an issue

Mar 30, 2010

Nobody gives a shit what u wear.

Just don't wear Hermes ties or anything as an intern. An don't act like your the shit, and you will be fine.

Mar 30, 2010

If it looks good, wear it. Pay no attention to those who stress the "unwritten rules" of Wall Street fashion. Dress for success, but don't go overboard.

Mar 30, 2010
turtles:

If it looks good, wear it.

you realize he's talking about brown shoes with a suit, right?

Mar 30, 2010

I'd hardly classify a $100 Hermes tie as "overboard".

Now a $3000 Breitling is different.

Mar 30, 2010

Yes, you can wear brown shoes. Just don't dress like a clown and do your job right.

Mar 30, 2010

If this ain't an i-banker, I don't know what is.

http://www.a-gentlemans-row.com/wp-content/uploads...

Mar 30, 2010
BTbanker:

If this ain't an i-banker, I don't know what is.

http://www.a-gentlemans-row.com/wp-content/uploads...

Based on the colour, USAF? The rest of the outfit definitely fits in with current ROE :P

Mar 30, 2010
EURCHF parity:
BTbanker:

If this ain't an i-banker, I don't know what is.

http://www.a-gentlemans-row.com/wp-content/uploads...

Based on the colour, USAF? The rest of the outfit definitely fits in with current ROE :P

That's my associate on his way to discuss potential takeover targets for Clown r Us. He had 12 pitch books in that bag!

Mar 30, 2010

Depends on your workplace. Most people don't care, some have nothing better to do.

Personally I've never thought brown shoes were even remotely out of place. I've seen dark burgundy and navy blue dress shoes around and no one cares.

My advice for an SA it might be a good idea to play it safe. If everyone in the office wears nothing but light blue shirts, charcoal suits and are constantly choking themselves with their tie, you better jump on board.

Mar 30, 2010

I would go with lace-ups, they set the men apart from the boys. But, you should also own a pair of the loafs in dark brown. Belt should match the shoes, bag is not a big worry... :)

Mar 30, 2010

Of course they can, don't you know Ferragamo makes brown shoes as well.

Mar 30, 2010

brown shoes = make sure your socks match your pants and wear a brown belt.

Mar 30, 2010

What about crocodile skin boots?

  •  Mar 30, 2010

alot of bankers have fat noses

Mar 30, 2010
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