Brown Shoes?

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.

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Comments (108)

Mar 27, 2010 - 11:58am

Black shoes with a blue wso/">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 wso/">suit.

-------------------------------------------------------- "I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcom
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Mar 27, 2010 - 1:15pm

Dark red/brown shoes are fine. Americans look ridiculous most of the time in any case (no fashion sense; oversized, non-form-fitting wso/">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 wso/">suits. If it's a wso/">black suit with wso/">pinstripes, that's still a wso/">black suit.

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

Charcoal wso/">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.

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Mar 30, 2010 - 10:15pm
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 wso/">suit...my office is business casual.

Mar 30, 2010 - 10:16pm

why are brown shoes frowned upon in Finance? (Originally Posted: 02/07/2013)

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.

Mar 30, 2010 - 10:17pm

They aren't.

This to all my hatin' folks seeing me getting guac right now..
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:18pm

Cruncharoo:
They aren't.
Frank Sinatra - "Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy."
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:22pm

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 - 10:25pm

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 - 10:28pm

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 - 10:31pm

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.

I am permanently behind on PMs, it's not personal.

Mar 30, 2010 - 10:32pm

Wearing brown shoes is like masturbating on an airplane.

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:35pm

Flake:
Wearing brown shoes is like masturbating on an airplane.

So 100% acceptable?

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:33pm

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 - 10:34pm

happypantsmcgee:
I wear brown shoes like 95% of the time

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

Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into SWANSONS.
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:37pm

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 - 10:41pm

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.

Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis - when I was dead broke man I couldn't picture this
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:42pm

Should I avoid brown shoes as a summer intern? (Originally Posted: 05/26/2012)

Hi,

I have dark gray and navy suits and I think they look great with brown shoes.
However, I think it looks kind of informal and wouldn't want my employers to think I'm overconfident, arrogant or something.

Have you seen any summer interns wear brown shoes with their suits?
Do you think it's appropriate?

Thanks.

Mar 30, 2010 - 10:44pm

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.

I hate victims who respect their executioners
Mar 30, 2010 - 10:46pm
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.jsp?productId=396245&c…

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 - 10:48pm

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 - 10:49pm

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 - 10:50pm
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 - 10:51pm

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 - 10:53pm

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 - 10:54pm
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 - 10:55pm

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

I hate victims who respect their executioners
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Mar 30, 2010 - 10:58pm

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 - 10:59pm

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 - 11:03pm

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 - 11:04pm

its fine

------------ I'm making it up as I go along.
Mar 30, 2010 - 11:05pm

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 - 11:07pm

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 - 11:09pm

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.

I may not be on the Jedi Council, but I sure am great with the Force.

See my WSO blog posts

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Mar 30, 2010 - 11:15pm
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 - 11:10pm

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_SF270_1_40000000001_-1

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 - 11:21pm
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_SF270_1_40000000001_-1

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

Mar 30, 2010 - 11:11pm

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

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Mar 30, 2010 - 11:14pm

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 - 11:23pm

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.

"History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme."
Mar 30, 2010 - 11:29pm

Brown shoes as an SA (Originally Posted: 02/03/2013)

Just wondering what everyone's thoughts are on a summer intern rocking chili/walnut oxfords.

Thinking something along the lines of this:

http://www.Amazon.com/Allen-Edmonds-Mens-Park-Avenue-Walnut/dp/B0059VXLXS/ref=sr_1_4?s=shoes&ie=UTF8&qid=1359898717&sr=1-4&keywords=allen+edmonds+park+avenue

Also, are loafers just a no for interns?

Mar 30, 2010 - 11:31pm

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/Esquire1937brownshoes.jpg

Mar 30, 2010 - 11:35pm

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 - 11:39pm

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?
"After you work on Wall Street it’s a choice, would you rather work at McDonalds or on the sell-side? I would choose McDonalds over the sell-side.” - David Tepper
Mar 30, 2010 - 11:43pm

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 - 11:46pm

Brown Loafers? (Originally Posted: 06/06/2010)

For FT in NYC...
brown loafers = HOT or NOT?

dark or light? maybe both?

and mandatory to have a matching belt / bag too?

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Mar 30, 2010 - 11:48pm

Can bankers or traders wear brown shoes instead of black? (Originally Posted: 08/15/2006)

Can bankers and traders wear dark brown oxfords instead of black ones?

Mar 30, 2010 - 11:49pm

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

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