Grey pants are flexible and attractive in so many instances. At work, a classic pair of grey slacks, or even a grey pencil skirt, is unbeatable in terms of professionalism. At play, a pair of grey jeans can elevate an otherwise casual look. Grey is even a color commonly featured in things like exercise wear. However you choose to wear your grey pants; knowing what shoes to pair with them is essential.
Some types of shoes are appropriate for work, while others are not. Some shoe colors don’t match up well with grey pants, while others only work with a mediating color. However, once you’ve learned the rules, styling with grey is effortless. We’ll teach you just what color shoes to wear with grey pants in the remainder of this guide.
All About Grey Pants
Grey pants are a staple of both professional and casual wear. Grey tuxedos and suits aren’t all that uncommon, either. Why is it that grey trousers are so popular among people? The answer isn’t particularly obvious, but one reason could be the “elevating” aspect of grey, in addition to its versatility.
When someone wears grey pants, it elevates the rest of what they’re wearing. A clothing item like grey jeans can both be worn both casually and as a semi-casual outfit. Additionally, the color grey comes in limitless shades, temperatures, colors, and tones. A warm, light grey styles entirely differently than a cool, dark grey, but they both have the same elevating effect.
Grey can be worn year-round or seasonally, too. While light grey tends to be very summer-friendly and warm-weather appropriate, darker, woolen greys are great for winter and autumn. Similarly, cool greys suit winter and spring, while warm greys suit summer and autumn exceptionally well.
Not even all grey trousers are made up of “grey.” What appears to be a grey trouser could actually be made of something entirely different, such as:
- White and black fibers woven together
- Tiny pinstripes or stitching
- Several different color tweed fibers that form grey
- Intersecting colors of checks that form grey from a distance
As you can see, a “grey” suit doesn’t necessarily have to be woven exclusively from a grey thread. While many higher-end grey suits are, there are plenty of examples to the contrary. Perhaps this is part of the appeal of grey.
If you’re wondering what color shoes to wear with grey pants, the answer is that it’s entirely dependent on the shade of grey you’re working from. We’ll go into a bit more about this in the sections below.
Black Shoes with Grey Pants
The most basic (and most successful) pairing for grey pants is black shoes. Black goes with everything, and grey, in particular, is an excellent color pairing for black. Since grey pants are meant to be a bit elevated to begin with, the formality of black shoes only helps to improve that. Black shoes are the general go-to for formal and work situations, especially since black shoes will match with most or all of your outfits.
Black shoes are suited to all seasons, and they match well with both warm grey and cool grey trousers, too. If you don’t have time to plan out a complicated outfit for the day, grey trousers and black pants are undeniably your best options.
For casual situations, black shoes function much the same. Black shoes match with all styles of grey pants, from sweatpants to jeans. Pick a style of shoe that matches the level of your outfit, then rock it in black. You won’t have to worry about things matching later.
If you’re ever stuck wondering what color shoes to wear with grey pants on a given day, reach for black shoes. You can’t go wrong.
Brown Shoes with Grey Pants
Brown shoes are the next most common shoe choice for grey trousers. Since brown also comes in many shades, colors, and tones, brown has a color match for any style of grey pants.
Brown shoes are much more versatile than black because they can be worn casually, too. While black shoes always work to make an outfit more formal, brown shoes can also make an outfit more casual if you pick the right color.
However, brown shoes are more challenging to match with grey trousers, too. Since black comes in only one color, it matches with any grey trousers. However, before you choose a pair of brown shoes to go with some grey trousers, you must also decide whether that shade of brown matches the tone of your pants.
Brown shoes come in a staggering number of shades and colors. Just a few examples you may have come across in the past include:
- Light brown
- Dark brown
- Seal brown
Burgundy can also be considered a shade of brown, though many people liken it more to a shade of red.
Generally, an excellent way to play off of colors is to wear a warm brown shoe with a cool grey pants. However, you can also wear warm colors with other warm tones as long as the colors are visually distinct. If the grey and brown start to blend into one another, especially from a distance, you may need to select a different color.
Grey Shoes with Grey Pants
Believe it or not, wearing grey shoes with grey pants is not out of the question. However, just like wearing any other colors that tend to blend together, there are specific rules you must follow.
When wearing grey shoes with grey pants, it’s always best to go with dark charcoal shoes and light, ash-grey pants. Avoid wearing grey shoes that are too close in lightness to your pants, as the shape of your shoe can get lost in the form of the whole leg this way.
While it’s possible to wear light shoes with dark pants instead, this pairing is less common (and much harder to pull off). It may be better to stick with dark shoes and light pants until you feel like you have a firm grasp over your sense of style.
However, remember that grey can come in different temperatures, too. When pairing grey shoes with grey pants, it’s usually best to stick to only warm tones or only cold tones. If you’re wearing cool grey pants, pair them with cool charcoal shoes. If you’re wearing warm grey pants, wear warmer-grey shoes instead, if you can.
Blue Shoes with Grey Pants
Blue shoes with grey pants are another excellent pairing to know about. While this pairing really only works under formal or professional conditions, when it works, it works well. Blue shoes bring out the steely nature of a good pair of grey slacks, and when this look is done right, it looks incredibly sharp.
When styling with blue shoes, you can choose to either utilize warm grey or cool grey. By wearing cool grey slacks with blue shoes, you expose the steely nature of the grey color, as we mentioned above. However, if you choose to wear warm grey trousers with blue shoes instead, it makes the colors of your shoes really pop! This is because the cold nature of the blue shoes and the warm nature of the grey slacks contrast against each other.
There are many colors of blue to choose from. However, in a formal or professional setting, it’s best to stick to navy, indigo, and other dark blue shades. Bright blue shoes are best saved for casual outfits and environments where they can truly shine.
Red Shoes with Grey Pants
Red shoes work with grey pants in much the same way that blue shoes do. The only difference is that red complements warm shades, where blue complements cool tones. While red shoes aren’t quite as sharp as blue ones, they’re still incredibly stylish, and they’re exceptionally appropriate for autumn.
It’s best to pair red shoes with warm grey pants in a professional setting. However, red shoes can also pop against cool-toned grey slacks, too. Also, like with blue shoes, we don’t recommend getting too ambitious with red shoes in a formal or workplace setting. However, burgundy and oxblood shoes abound, so you have plenty of off-red shades to work with.
Purple Shoes with Grey Pants
Believe it or not, a good pair of purple shoes is an excellent pairing for a grey suit, too. This is especially true for business-class women who are fond of pantsuits, but men can pull off the look, also.
Purple isn’t a color you typically think of when thinking of dress shoes. In any case, those who don’t own purple shoes might be reluctant to buy them for precisely that reason. What if they don’t wear the boots enough to make buying them worth it? Would anyone wear purple shoes enough to justify owning a pair of them?
Only you can answer that question. However, it’s important to remember that purple isn’t just purple alone; it comes in a variety of supporting shades, and there’s likely to be at least one shade of purple that appeals to you. Consider these options:
- Royal purple
A good pair of purple shoes make an adventurous and bold statement, though it’s much more common to see women wearing this color shoe. Combinations with grey-tinged shades of purple, such as periwinkle and lilac, are particularly striking with a good pair of grey trousers.
White Shoes with Grey Pants
Until recently, white shoes were not really an option to wear with grey pants. You may be able to find dress shoes with traces of white in them, such as multi-colored shoes or patterned shoes, but pure white dress shoes are very uncommon. Instead, white shoes with grey pants are much more common in the “upscale casual” areas of fashion.
Recently, ambitious and adventurous icons have started to mate white sneakers to grey dress slacks and collared shirts, and the results are intriguing. While this is not a look that most professional environments are ready for, it’s a fashion trend that definitely has implications for the future.
Green Shoes with Grey Pants
Grey is an incredibly versatile color. By changing the tone and temperature of the grey you’re working with, you can make it match with virtually any shade. As such, green can make an excellent pairing for grey, too – specifically, in olive green.
Not all greens are acceptable for pairing with green trousers. Lime green shoes, for example, are absolutely out of the question (at least, for a formal or professional setting). Hunter green is usually too intense, too. However, muted, desaturated colors, like olive green and sage green, can pair exceptionally well with greys.
Since green is an earth-tone color, it pairs very well with other earth-tones. As such, brown-tinged greys and other warm grey trousers work very well with green shoes. They can work just as well with your standard grey trousers, too, though.
Nude Shoes with Grey Pants
The term “nude” shoes is a term popularized in women’s shoes, but it can be applied to men’s shoes, too. In this case, we mean shoes that fall into the nude color family. This can include shoes in colors like:
These shoes are a bit of an unorthodox color choice for men. Beige boots in suede instead of cloth or leather are a bit more common, and they’re a bit less professional-looking than our other options on this list. However, for women, nude shoes complement grey trousers exceedingly well, especially in the workplace. This is because nude shoes help to extend the shape of the leg, lengthening it and providing a level of elegance.
Multicolored Shoes with Grey Pants
Since grey pants are usually a combination of several different colors of fiber to begin with, they go exceptionally well with patterned or multi-colored shoes, too. Black-and-white shoes are an all-time favorite, as this will play up the individual colors in the grey suit, but other colors and shoe patterns work exceptionally well, too.
Consider the herringbone pattern. Some grey slacks are sewn in this pattern already, so theoretically, if you were able to find a dress shoe that also exhibited this pattern, you could match your boots and your slacks together with it.
Types of Shoes with Grey Pants
While which colors of shoes to wear with grey pants matters quite a bit, the kind of shoe worn plays an important role, as well. This is less integral for men as it is for women, as men’s dress shoes tend to follow similar style rules. Women, however, have several different sizes and styles of shoes to choose from when wearing grey pants.
Of course, where you’re wearing your grey pants is the first filter for which shoes will be appropriate. Are you wearing a pair of grey sweatpants out and about to the grocery store? A pair of sneakers or comfortable slip-ons would likely complete your look best. Are you wearing a pair of sharp, pressed grey slacks to work or an interview? Instead, dress shoes or high heels would likely function better with those pants.
Because of the many varieties of grey pants we see in fashion today, fashion rules on what’s okay to wear with grey pants are looser than ever. Even today, trendsetters are starting to blend the lines between professional office wear and business casual. In particularly progressive workplaces, you might see grey trousers being paired with shoes you once thought unacceptable in the name of experimentation.
The development of business-wear for women is the same way. Women are branching out with new colors, styles, and combinations both in casual and professional clothing. While high-heeled shoes, professional dresses, skirts, and pantsuits still prevail in women’s business fashion, you’re liable to see different combinations thereof than you ever have before.
That being said, as far as grey pants and slacks in women’s fashion, nude and black heels are the most popular choices. However, options like high-heeled boots and booties, wedges, and even Oxfords can match well with a pair of grey slacks from time to time.
During the summer, you might even see a woman rocking a pair of sandals or peep-toed heels with her grey slacks.
All in all, styling grey pants is all about knowing what type of grey you’re working with. While black pants couldn’t be more natural to style, since black only comes in one shade, grey can look very different from one pair of pants to the next. As such, unless you’re pairing them with black shoes, you can’t just throw a pair of grey pants together with any old boots and call it a day – at least, not if you want them to look beautiful together.
Instead, take a moment to decide just what grey you’re working with. Is the grey of your trousers warm? Is it cool? Is it made of solid grey fabric, or is it woven from white and black fibers? Is it thick and suited for winter, or thin and suited for summer? All of these variables and more will tell you what color shoes to wear with grey pants.