He Said, She Said: Black Shoes with Navy Suits, Methinks Not
Apr 29, 2010
To help keep things moving here at CHS, I have two contributors: Miss M and Beau. They don’t post often, but when they do, I am always happy to have them. As a rule, I don’t edit their content because I like to have another voice on the blog, but I didn’t agree with a few of the tips in the Men’s Style post yesterday.
Quick note to all those guys out there donning brown shoes with a blue (or navy) suit. Don’t do it, always wear black shoes with blue or navy suits. If you think I’m wrong, look at your nearest Police Officer and imagine the same outfit with brown shoes. Gross right?
First off, I believe that a navy suit with black shoes is at best, an iffy sartorial decision. And as my friend J pointed out to me, using a police uniform as a fashion example is not a good idea. In my opinion, navy suits look best with chocolate brown shoes. If you’re a woman you can also try grey shoes, but for men, your choices are brown and brown. The only possible exception would be a midnight blue suit with a dark pinstripe. Outside of that, brown shoes are essential.
A navy blazer can indeed be paired with charcoal pants, I do it all the time.
As for khakis. Unless you’re wearing a khaki suit, let’s leave those in the closet for the weekend and pair them with some chucks. Khaki just isn’t nice enough to be wearing with a wool jacket and a tie. Remember you want the material on the bottom to match the material on the top. Your favorite pair of Chinos and a blazer isn’t going to cut it for work. If you were referring to the color, and not the fabric, my apologies because that’s fine, just do it in recess because if you’re wearing a tie at work, your pants and jacket should match.
Here, my dear friend Beau contradicts himself on the topic of whether a staffer can wear mismatched slacks and jacket to work. He seems to imply that doing it with navy and charcoal is fine but khaki and navy is out of bounds.
While I think it is perfectly acceptable to wear khaki or charcoal slacks with a navy jacket, I think the suit is the crisper, more professional, and frankly, a helluva lot sexier. However, if you want to pair a khaki pant with a navy blazer, make sure that the blazer is perfectly tailored and the pants are long enough. Why? Beyond the fact that good tailoring is essential, the khaki/navy combo is the uniform of choice for Hill interns and I’d hate to see a paid staffer mistaken for one of the serfs. (Just kidding, I love my interns.)
As an aside I think blazers with gold buttons are tacky to begin with, but definitely don’t pull it out with charcoal pants.
I love navy and gold together, and navy blazers with gold buttons are a classic. Of course, you don’t want buttons to be the size of hubcaps, and the embossed gold crest on the pocket is best saved for the club or Gold Cup. So while not every navy blazer needs to have gold buttons, I don’t consider them antiquated or faux pas.
On a related note, I would also like to take this opportunity to say that I hate, loathe, despise and deplore when men wear red/burgundy shirts with black suits and/or black ties. It think this look is positively atrocious and the perfect example of why blogs like District Cut are necessary. So please, stop channeling your inner Guido and put this hideous combination to rest in the nearest trash bin.