Before black shoes became appropriate to wear with everything, the traditional choice for a men’s shoe with a blue or grey suit was brown.
Look closely at this 1961 portrait of Edward Wormley, Eero Saarinen and Harry Bertoia. All three are wearing a grey suit with brown shoes.
On any given day, if you tune into “The Today Show,” you can see how the conservatively but always impeccably dressed Matt Lauer follows this rule.
I always recommend to clients who buy a grey suit that they buy both black and brown shoes (usually from Ferragamo) so they can get two different looks from the suit.
The same applies to a blue suit. GQ magazine recently advised:
Always, Always Brown with Blue
1. Learn what every well-dressed European man knows: The best way to bring out the richness of your blue suit is with equally rich brown accessories.
2. A brown leather bag only gets better with age.
3. Brown dress shoes should be dark, like the color of coffee with just a touch of cream.
Cotton poplin suit, $1,845, shirt, $420, belt, $300, and shoes, $760, by Prada. Duffel bag, $3,420, by Louis Vuitton.