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Are brown shoes with a gray suit appropriate for an interview?

Black shoes and a black belt with a grey suit. I know that there is currently a fashion to wear brown shoes with a lot of different color pants but to me, brown shoes should only be worn with either brown or green pants.
 

oc_in_fw

Fridays are Fishtastic!
Contributor
Black shoes and a black belt with a grey suit. I know that there is currently a fashion to wear brown shoes with a lot of different color pants but to me, brown shoes should only be worn with either brown or green pants.
Now that you mention it, I am seeing that a lot. I am in a tech field, but we have a lot of office and sales types here. I think the brown shoes with black or blue pants just does not look right at all. Of course, my fashion sense isn't too keen
 
In Italy there's no doubt for this: black shoes with a grey suite. Also we couple the shoes color
with the belt (black belt in this case), while socks are always and only blue or black, depending on the shoes color (black in this case). Shirt color is almost always light blue, except for ceremonies where it must be white. Tie is almost outdated, but still used in formal environments, it should go in accord with the shirt, while still contrasting it a bit (i.e. not the same color).

Other cultures might be different though, this is what is considered elegant here.
 
Retired from banking earlier this year. Always chose black for gray suit applications. Love brown shoes better, but brown with gray is an offense to the eye.
 

ChefJohnBoy-ardee

Contributor
I've rocked a gray suit with brown shoes to two interviews. Granted in the culinary world people are happy when you don't don't show up in jeans and a t-shirt.

I got the charcoal suit to wear with bourbon or maroon shoes. It does nicely with a multitude of tie and shirt combos.

If I were to go for a formal office where I would be wearing a tie daily I would go with black shoes. So, keep that in mind with knowing what to where a step above the place you'll be working if you to get it.
 
Gentlemen, thank you for your advice. I ended up going with black, and I believe the interview went well. Thanks again :)
 

Doc4

Stumpy in cold weather
Moderator Emeritus
Gentlemen, thank you for your advice. I ended up going with black, and I believe the interview went well. Thanks again :)
Good!

I am personally a big fan of brown* shoes with a lot of different suit options, but for interviews I'd always go with black.





* including in that tan, burgundy, &c ...
 
It depends on the area of the country, and how formal the dress expectations are for the particular job one is interviewing for.

In California almost anything goes nowadays. But I don't disagree that black is traditional and is safer.

To overdress is not good either. I would observe how the workers dress for the job you are interviewing for, and then dress slightly above for the interview.
 
Always a good idea to dress conservatively for the interview. So if in doubt, wear black shoes, belt, and socks.

Once you start working there, you might be able to mix it up a bit once you see what the others wear. My last job I wore a light grey suit with brown shoes/belt to my interview and got the job. They didn't say anything about the colors but once I started working there I promptly got a navy suit because that's what everyone else wore. And always black shoes there. Polished shoes were so important there (military) that I would keep my nice dress shoes in my desk and change to boots to walk outside in snow/rain.

At a previous office, everyone wore gray or charcoal suits (finance), and many would wear brown shoes/belt with it so I got some brown shoes and a gray suit because of that. Our one British team member would rock the crazy colorful vests/socks and a bow tie but he was kind of a colorful character in other ways too. For my interview there I wore a charcoal suit and black shoes to keep it simple. White dress shirt and conservative navy blue or burgundy tie.
 
I think you have your answer already - but I'll just agree with others that it depends on the role/company/geography.

I see guys sporting this style all the time in my area. I haven't picked up a light gray suit but thinking I may. My wife will not sign on for this look, but I kind of like it.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I agree that black shoes is the more conservative and, therefore, safer choice. I would wear gray socks with gray slack or suit trousers.

The appropriateness of brown shoes with various colors of suits comes up all the time. I had most often read that in England one wears black shoes in the city and brown only in the country. Also that traditionally in the States black shoes with gray and blue suits--I would not wear a truly black suit, charcoal gray is great though--but in certain geographic areas notably among Boston Brahman, brown shoes with a blue suit were traditional. (I also think I have seen someone pull up illustrations from old magazines clearly showing gentlemen wearing brown with all sorts of colors of suits. Then there is the Cordovan option, which I would argue goes with any color of suit. I am not sure everyone agrees.

I have come to wear brown and tan shoes with gray and even blue suits. I think both work okay, although, to me, are less of a statement with gray. But for an interview, I think black is safer.
 
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