What’s with brown shoes

Why does everyone say u shouldn't wear brown shoes with a suit.... if you are wearing some colors (like a navy suit)brown shoes look better. Is the only option black or what else can u wear

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Comments (22)

Jun 24, 2021 - 1:31pm

Wearing brown shoes with a grey or navy suit is totally fine. But would caution wearing lighter brown / tan shoes with a darker suit as the contrast might be too strong and lighter shoes in general are less formal than darker shoes. Obviously never wear brown shoes with a black suit. On a related note, WSO seems to have this weird rule against wearing black suits in the office. Nothing wrong with a black suit and would recommend it for your first one since it is the hardest to fuck up and can wear pretty much any tie (not that this is common any more).

Jun 24, 2021 - 3:13pm

They aren't just for funerals and nowadays you'll stick out just by wearing a suit. Seems like most just wear a formal shirt or a Patagonia vest. But you do you.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 30, 2021 - 10:08am

This is just plain incorrect. You will absolutely stick out with a black suit. All of your male coworkers will be in navy and shades of grey while wearing pastel shirts. People probably wouldn't notice if you just wore black pants, but a black suit jacket will grab the wrong kind of attention. Most wear vests when they know they do not have an important meeting on a given day, but assuming you're a half decent analyst you will eventually have an important meeting that requires a suit. 

To those reading; stick to navy and one or two shades of grey. You can wear brown shoes, the darker the "better" as far as office attire goes. I'm pretty sure brown shoes have been okay on Wall Street for awhile; I believe it's mostly a London thing to be against brown shoes. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2021 - 10:17am

Wrong kind of attention? Listen, no one cares if you wear a black suit versus a charcoal grey suit, as long as you look professional. Doesn't sound like you work on Park Avenue or anywhere in NYC. If you did, you would know that very few people (especially junior people who aren't working in originations) wear suits. This is particularly true now that we are in the summer.

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Jun 30, 2021 - 10:29am

Lol. Not that this should matter for such clearly simple office attire advice, but fine, I've been at a top BB for three years and have literally never seen a black suit on dudes, not even interns. This is just silly and bad advice. There is no good reason why a white collar worker should pick a black suit over a navy/charcoal grey suit if he had to pick just one or two. 

Finance is conservative and competitive by nature, and any person who doesn't know you personally well is always sizing you up, especially old school MD's. Appearance and the way you carry yourself matters. There's just no reason to tell a kid who maybe only has money to buy one or two suits that black is the right option. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jun 30, 2021 - 10:49am

The fact that finance is very competitive is why black suits are perfectly fine. Would point you to the people on this same thread talking about London attire lol.

*MDs aren't going to be threatened by an analyst making $85-100k salary because they are wearing a slightly darker suit lol.

  • Assist. VP in IB - Cov
Jul 13, 2021 - 8:42am

Will agree with the "no black suit" guy. Just don't, why stick out for the wrong reason? Get navy and grey like everyone else. At my NYC BB, junior bankers went to meetings pre-COVID and not a single one wore a black suit. Also, if you're going to weddings, grad parties, etc, you don't want your only suit to be black. Don't bother getting a black suit ever unless it's like your 7th suit or you're John wick

Sep 8, 2021 - 9:09am

Black is just not a versatile color at all for a suit. For most people in most situations it just looks too severe and will have way too strong of a contrast between it and whatever tie / shirt you wear. Imagine wearing a black suit outside during a wedding, it just won't work -- you'll look like a waiter. If you wear it at work it looks too severe. Just stick with solid navy, charcoal gray, or medium gray. I'm having a hard time thinking of a situation where black would be the clear better option than navy. Maybe if you're at some cool club somewhere but even still.

  • 1
Sep 8, 2021 - 5:37pm

The only men who wear black suits during the day are undertakers and limo drivers - and clueless summer interns who were raised by single mothers. The crappy clothes shows what happens when you grow up without strong male authority figures.

Jun 29, 2021 - 11:31pm

The Brits are all about no brown shoes etc. The city of London and canary Wharf is practically black shoes only. Business Insider did a funny piece on this a few years ago. They took photos of those areas and virtually no one in a suit had brown shoes. 

Jun 30, 2021 - 8:20am

I worked in both Canary Wharf and the City, I have never seen any dude in my dept with brown shoes. Rule is more strict there, I guess. I bought a pair of brown shoes but never used them.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jul 12, 2021 - 12:20pm

Much more common in the south. I've seen a lot of people in Charlotte wear them. I do, but I will probably stop just to play it safe in New York. I know it's totally frowned upon in London, and they have a saying "No brown in town"

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 23, 2021 - 11:22pm

No brown shoes seems to be a UK thing. In the US, brown shoes are perfectly fine, generally with navy / dark blue suits as opposed to charcoal / gray ones. You can also wear brown shoes with chinos if your office is more casual. Darker browns are imo more conservative and versatile but medium browns are perfectly fine too. 

Jul 30, 2021 - 4:07am

Brown shoes are perfectly fine. Black can be a bit boring sometimes.

Style and Trends: https://styleandtrends.net/
Sep 8, 2021 - 9:10am

It's fine and this is more UK focused advice. Just as long as they're a very dark brown / burgundy. The whole "light brown shoes and medium blue suit" look just isn't good.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Sep 8, 2021 - 5:36pm

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