It’s not terribly often that we see brown trousers. Whether part of a suit, a pair of chinos, or just some standalone slacks, they’re one of the rarer colors that mean wear. The last American politician to wear a brown suit to any effect was Ronald Reagan, and he was president thirty-some-odd years ago.

In this guide, you will learn how to match your shoes with brown trousers with an accent on the following points:

Either scroll down to read it all or use the links above to jump ahead. You can also learn about different shoe or trouser color coordinations with our menu below.

Green Field Jacket & Brown Corduroy

How To Match Your Shoes With Brown Trousers

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.

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Matching Shoes With Brown Trousers Overview

In a dressy situation, brown trousers are a great alternative to charcoal, and as casual pants, they’re a great fall option.

Read on for how to pair shoes with this tricky pant color. For the purposes of this discussion, we’re limiting the color to any shade of chocolate (except white, of course).

Brown-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 Brown Trousers With Different Shoes

Best Shoe Matches


Burgundy is a reddish-brown, so these are very much in the same color family as brown. This is great for dressier outfits, especially if you’re substituting a brown suit for a charcoal or navy one. The last person to do this to any great effect was Ronald Reagan, so you’ll get some rarity cool points too.


A particularly good casual option, grey shoes with brown trousers is an offbeat combination that we cosign when you’re out of the office and dressing casually.

Light Brown

If you’re wearing a brown suit or suit separates, a light brown shoe is a perfect complement. You get points for variation on a color theme, and it’s appropriate for most offices.


Navy shoes are tough to come by, but if you can pick up a pair, try them with brown pants. This is conceptually similar to pairing grey trousers with navy shoes and will work particularly well in lighter shades of each color.

Acceptable Shoe Matches


This one is seasonal and best done with the lightest shade of chocolate you can find. But not white chocolate. Don’t be obtuse.

No-Go Shoe Matches


As we stated in our article on beige shoes, this combination resembles the inside of a candy bar a bit too much for our taste. We love Three Musketeers just as much as the next guy, but it doesn’t need to be represented in our clothes. 


We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: black and brown don’t look good together. If you don’t get it, write it on a chalkboard one hundred times until you get do!

Dark Brown

Though we love dark brown shoes, it’s far too matchy-matchy with any chocolate-colored trouser. However, this is another pairing that has caused some intra-blogger trouble. We have it under “no-go” but if you think you’ve made this pairing well, please share it with us in the comments!


You are not a shrub, nor should you dress like one. Green shoes are much better with beige, blue, or tan trousers. Jeans are also a better bet. Try any of these combinations before attempting to pair green shoes with brown pants.


Orange and brown has a weirdly seventies feel to us, and we all know that the seventies were the worst decade for menswear, seconded only by the nineties. If you ever find a brown tie with a faint burnt orange pattern, fine, maybe that will work. Orange shoes and brown trousers, though? No.


Purple shoes and brown trousers are not pleasing to the eye. Purple shoes would go better with many other pant colors.and we strongly encourage you to read the article we published on it.


Brown trousers will not be done any favors when paired with red shoes. Stick to jeans and blue trousers with red shoes.

Free Printable Download For Reference At Home

Feel free to download a one-page printout of these guides for your convenience so that you can use it at home!

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What Next?

Now that you have read about the how to match brown trousers with shoes, check out some related guides below:

Shoe & Brown Trouser Color Coordination Guide
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"A handy reference. This guide has helped me decide on tonight's outfit, thanks."
Rating: 5.0 ★★★★★

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