Red pants are not easy to work with, nor do they necessarily get a lot of love. It seems that it’s now defunct, but this blog hilariously dished out a lot of Haterade towards red trousers and the men who wore them.
They have a well-deserved preppy reputation, and you are free to interpret that as you wish.
I personally love red trousers and own a pair. They have to be worn casually and pretty sparingly, though. It’s one thing to be a guy who wore red trousers that one time, it’s quite another to be The Guy Who Wears Red Trousers.
This is once-every-two weeks-at-a-maximum territory, so when you do wear them, make sure they’re paired with some killer shoes. We’ll show you how below.
NOTE: 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 Red Trousers With Different Shoes
Best Shoe Matches
Nantucket reds pair perfectly with beige shoes. Beige is an excellent color in its neutrality, as it lends the red stand front and center without competing for attention. Even better, the neutral pants offer a blank canvas for shirts and accessories.
Light brown shoes are a natural pairing with red trousers. This is perfect for a summer evening out and the brown lends a touch of dressiness to the ensemble. In the correct season, you can wear this anytime, day or night.
Red and blue are primary colors, which look good when placed next to each other. Though you’re mixing two “niche” items, the overall effect is still positive. Make sure to keep yourself grounded and wear a simple, understated top.
Red trousers with white shoes is a very New England-inspired summertime combination. Slip-ons like the ones below will make things a bit dresser, whereas a white buck or casual driver will be more casual.
Acceptable Shoe Matches
Dark brown would be a fine pairing, but the color gives off too much of an air of formality when juxtaposed against a casual trouser like red. Feel free to do this, but other colors would likely be better.
So long as it’s not a Christmas-y green and red combination, you’re good. Blue-red (not yellow-red) trousers will go best here with blue-green (not yellow-green) shoes. The importance of judging color shade here cannot be understated.
Purple is the combination of blue and red at its most basic, so depending on the shade of red, this would work beautifully. Exercise restraint and judiciousness on this one, gentlemen.
No-Go Shoe Matches
It’s sad and we have no idea why they’re forced to do so, but it seems that the dress code for male sales associates at Macy’s is all black but with a red tie. It looks silly, and wearing black shoes against red trousers will look just as silly. Avoid this.
There’s a time and a place for dressing monochromatically and even using analogous colors. This is not one of them. Burgundy with red trousers is too much red, and we suggest that you try something else.
Orange shoes with red trousers will look clownish. These are analogous colors on the color wheel, which is the opposite of complementary. That makes things a lot more difficult to coordinate and we don’t recommend doing it here.
Red on red will do you no favors. Steer clear of this combination.
Links To Other Shoe & Trouser Coordination Resources
Shoe & Trouser Master Coordination Matrix – FREE Download