Black Shoes – Visual Guide To Coordinating Trousers

Black Shoes – Visual Guide To Coordinating Trousers2018-06-12T22:37:16+00:00

Black Trouser Coordination Graphic - Bespoke Unit“Want to know if a guy is well-dressed? Look down.” – George Frazier, American columnist

For the well-tailored man, the suit is a cornerstone of his wardrobe. A good suit, however, is nothing without a great pair of shoes to anchor them. If you think of your suit as your house, your shoes are like your car.

You wouldn’t want to pull up to a mansion in a Ford Pinto, would you?

Though there are many other colors that a gent can wear, there’s one pair of shoes that every man, no matter what his age or station in life, has in his closet: black shoes. Black shoes are the cornerstone of many gentlemen’s closets for two reasons:

  1. They are formal enough to have you covered in basically any situation, and
  2. We are told that they go with everything.

While it’s true that certain styles of black shoes are formal enough to be worn with even a tuxedo, they do not in fact “go with everything.” As you’ll see below, black shoes pair well with black trousers, grey trousers, and jeans. That covers a lot of ground for sure, but it’s important to be judicious about your sartorial choices.

Black-Shoes-Coordination-GraphicNOTE: There are exceptions to every rule.
Use your good judgement, and feel free to leave us a comment if you have questions!

Read on for full explanations and reasoning of the above coordination suggestions. Or, click here to go see our Ultimate Shoe & Trouser Color Coordination Matrix showcasing how to match any color shoes with any color trousers.

How To Coordinate Black Shoes With Different Trousers

Best Trouser Matches – Can’t Miss


If you’re wearing black trousers, it’s not just advisable that you wear black shoes. It’s nearly a must. While the case can be made for light tan or less common shoe colors like grey, black shoes are easily the best bet to wear with black pants. As a rule, we recommend wearing black clothing in the evening specifically. It’s often too harsh for daytime wear, contrary to what we often see out on the street.


Two Pictures Of Black Boots With Grey Pants

Grey trousers with black shoes is a classic combination that will work in just about any setting. Be it a job interview, wedding, funeral, or first date, this combination will work and look handsome regardless of the trousers’ shade of grey. Our founder and creative director Paul Anthony published a wonderful article in which he paired black boots with some lovely charcoal grey trousers, but you can take a sneak peek at the picture above.

Light Grey

A light grey suit with a white shirt and black shoes is an incredibly elegant, understated uniform that looks good on anyone. Try it in the summertime when you want to lend some sobriety to what you’re wearing.


Whether casual or dressy, black shoes are a perfectly good combination with jeans. This holds true particularly if you’re out on the town for a casual dinner and drinks. Keep in mind that the dressiness of the jeans should dictate the dressiness of the shoes. If you’re wearing slim, dark denim (sometimes referred to as “dress denim”) with a dress shirt and sport coat, that would call for a dressier shoe like a brogue or a cap-toe. If your jeans are lighter in color and paired with a casual sweater and jacket, consider a black derby, or even a streamlined-looking sneaker.

Acceptable Trouser Matches With Black Shoes – Be Sagacious


There is an ongoing debate about whether or not black shoes are appropriate with navy trousers. One school of thought says that navy trousers are better served by brown shoes, while the other says that combining two such classics will result in a simple, elegant, understated outfit.

Generally speaking, we advise brown shoes be worn with navy trousers. That said, we have a realistic view of the world at Bespoke Unit and understand that there are different strokes for different folks. Some men have professional restrictions on what they can wear to the office -think government or very conservative law firms- and as such will wear black shoes. Your call.


If you’re going to wear black shoes with an Earth-toned trouser, make it a tan trouser. While it would be better complemented by brown, black and tan has its own charm and will look fine if you insist on wearing black shoes.


White trousers will take to any shoe color. Just make sure it’s a summer evening if you’re going to pair them with black shoes.


Another summery pant shade, medium blue will pair nicely with black particularly after the sun goes down. Still, brown would be better.

No-Go Trouser Matches – Avoid These


Olive trousers are Earth-toned. Black shoes are not. Opt for a brown shoe here.


If you’re wearing a lighter-colored pair of chinos, black shoes are not your best choice. Again, we suggest brown shoes.


Chocolate brown pants are a wonderful alternative to charcoal grey. They will look terrible with black shoes, so wear tan shoes instead.


If you’re wearing Nantucket Reds, black shoes are not going to work. Tan, white, or even blue shoes will provide superior style.

Links To Other Shoe & Trouser Coordination Resources

Shoe Coordination Guides
Click a shoe color to see its best trouser matches:
Black | Dark Brown | Light Brown
Beige | Burgundy | Green | Grey | Navy | Orange | Purple | Red | White
Trouser Coordination Guides
Click the trouser color to see its best shoe matches:
Navy | Grey | Jeans
Beige | Black |Blue | Brown | Light Grey | Olive | Tan | Red | White

Go back to trouser coordination main page.

Shoe & Trouser Master Coordination Matrix – FREE Download

Download PDF | Download JPEG



  1. fashion shoes suppliers April 23, 2018 at 6:34 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing this all beautiful design and good layout for black shoes information. Your shoes are so cool. I think they really suit your style. We are looking for a good pair of shoes like this. Great Post!!

    • Trevor Guilday April 24, 2018 at 2:48 pm - Reply

      Thanks for the comment and we’re glad you are enjoying the content!


  2. Black Shoes May 24, 2018 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Hello! i really liked your post. Please do share some more

    • Paul Anthony May 24, 2018 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      Thanks – we’re glad you enjoyed!

      Cheers – Paul

  3. Mark Slesarev August 3, 2018 at 5:46 am - Reply

    I really like your website , thank you for the big job you did!

    • Paul Anthony August 6, 2018 at 7:33 am - Reply

      Dear Mark,

      Thanks for the kind words, and please check back for more in depth content we have in the pipeline!


  4. Josh Holt September 15, 2018 at 6:29 am - Reply

    Very helpful post! Thanks for sharing all the beautiful designer shoes. I am looking for the best pair of shoes that suits me. Your post will really guide me in choosing the right one.

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