Black Trousers – Visual Guide To Matching Different Color Shoes

Black Trousers – Visual Guide To Matching Different Color Shoes2018-06-12T22:37:49+00:00

trousers-blackIf you’re reading anything on this website, you probably have a pair of black trousers. They might be from a suit, they might be from a tuxedo, or they might just be a pair of black chinos you picked up to wear to the office.

There’s not usually a lot to say about black trousers, but there are some myths that we’d like to debunk, which are as follows:

They are appropriate for daytime wear. This is not, in fact, the case. Black is really only a good look after the sun goes down, and more for social events or dates. For daytime wear, we suggest navy or grey, but at night, a black tuxedo is one of the most classic outfits in the Western world.

They go with anything. Another common but unfortunate misconception, black trousers are actually relatively limited. While in-depth analysis about full outfits is beyond the scope of this article, read on to learn about how to properly pair black trousers with various shoe colors.

Black-Trouser-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 Trousers With Different Shoes

Best Shoe Matches


Easily the most popular and best shoe to wear with black trousers, black shoes are a workhorse that every man needs in his closet. Keep casual black shoes around for casual black pants and dressy black shoes around for dressier trousers.


You don’t see grey shoes all that often, but when you do, they play nicely with black. This is definitely an unorthodox pairing, so be judicious about when and where you wear it. Paul, showing a gumption that’s rarely seen at formal events, paired grey slippers with a tuxedo. He still has friends and associates willing to be seen in public with him, so clearly he did something right.

Acceptable Shoe Matches


Purple shoes with black trousers? I know, it sounds crazy. Under normal circumstances we would question the wisdom of this being an acceptable pairing, but then Paul went and did this. Our hats are off.


It’s rare and almost costume-y, but white shoes with black trousers can work for eccentric, fashion-forward men. If you were around during the early 2000’s, you’ll remember that The Hives wore this combination quite often.

No-Go Shoe Matches


Beige is an Earth tone whereas black isn’t. This combination is drab, boring, and we don’t recommend it.


Burgundy shoes are better paired with navy or grey trousers, where they can peacefully coexist in an office context. Black trousers do burgundy shoes no favors, and the end result is just kind of funny-looking.

Dark Brown

Despite the fact that it seems to be more ubiquitous than it should, brown with black is never a good color combination. Some pairings are “can’t miss.” This one is “must miss.”


Again, green is an Earth tone, and Earth tones do not tend to do justice to black. Steer clear of this combination unless you either:

  • Lost a bet, or
  • Have a gun to your head.

Light Brown

Paul and Mike had a well-documented tiff over whether this combination was even acceptable, and “no-go” won. Duke Ellington’s “Black And Tan Fantasy” can’t even save this color combination.


Navy trousers with black shoes is one thing, but navy shoes with black trousers is another. This combination will serve more as a distraction than anything else.


Nope. Nope nope nope. It’s not Halloween, and even if it were, you shouldn’t do this. Unless of course you want to dress up like a man who can’t dress himself properly.


Black trousers and red shoes are not something you’ll ever pull off. We suggest you not even try.

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


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