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Casual black shoes: dilemma

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    Casual black shoes: dilemma

    Good evening all,

    Bit of a dilemma. I've found a nice brown dress shoe that is flexible enough to be worn casually with jeans and also with nice gray flannel trousers or whatever else I like: the Magnanni Federico in brown(cap toe, burnished at the tip, bit of a chisel.) The price was right at around 220, and I'm pretty pleased with it. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what kind of black shoes I should get to compliment my wardrobe in a similar way.

    Do such shoes exist? I bought the Magnanni Vecio wingtips and they just look too formal for jeans(which, being a college student, is mostly what I wear). Too shiny, I suppose. So I'd like some recommendations. I'm fine for splurging on some AEs(thinking perhaps McTavish?) Or are black shoes not as versatile as brown in that regard? Should I go with some black desert boots and then just keep black dress shoes with the suit?

    Any and all recommendations are appreciated. I've been struggling with this one for about two months now.


    I opted for a pair of $80 cap toes at Nordstrom Rack for black shoes. It's just not worth spending a ton of money on black footwear when you're better off with brown shoes, which you're already doing.

    If you have a black suit, you have to have black shoes. Other than that, brown shoes in varying shades and styles will suit you better.



      I think most people would consider black to be a much more formal color, and not nearly as versatile as brown.



        Thanks for the reply. So you think that I should just get a casual black shoe(I already have some middle quality Cole Haans for dress black)? Casual is what I *really* need it for, I just like the versatility to be able to wear it with flannel and whatnot. The reason that I need black casual shoes is because I have quite a lot of black sweaters, black shirts, etc, and I don't think I have the panache to pull off black upper garments with brown shoes.



          As far as black tops...

          I guess it depends on the specific combo, but as long as you don't have black directly on brown, I don't see a problem. It just has to be the RIGHT brown. So dark denim or grey pants with a black sweater/shirt and brown shoes works.

          And on the contrary, I think denim of any sort with black shoes looks goofy. The lighter the denim, the goofier it looks.



            Very interesting, I appreciate your input. What is the right brown exactly? All I wear is dark denim(after discovering Dappered). So really I guess the question I *should* have been asking is: what do I wear with my black sweaters, shirts, etc?

            Corollary: when I wear brown shoes and a black shirt, do my watch and belt need to match the shirt(black) or the shoes(brown)?



              I don't own any casual black shoes. Black captoes for dressier occasions, but all my casual shoes are varying shades of brown. I suppose this works because I don't wear black or charcoal casual pants, so even if I have a black sweater, it is still usually brown boots on denim on the bottom



                blech shoes?



                  With such a dark outfit, I think your shoes are your one chance to show some flare. That being said, you don't want sirens on your feet. A pair of darker brown shoes would work well. Something with a bit of red in them could be cool since it provides a bit of color for an otherwise monochromatic palette. Burgundy, chili, brick... Something along those lines.

                  However, I think your real chance to show some character is in the shoe's design. The design you choose would really depend on the rest of what you're wearing, though. Casual for casual. Dressier for dressier.

                  Obviously, burgundy cordovan AE MacNeils are crazy expensive, but something with that LOOK would be cool, and you can get there for fraction of the price:


                  As for the watch, convention dictates that all your leathers match. So if you're wearing brown shoes, you should also wear a brown belt and brown watch strap. That being said, if a black watch strap is what you've got, go ahead and wear it and don't give it a second thought.



                    Excellent! I'm very glad I posted, you cleared up all my questions. Thanks!



                      I picked these up from Bonobos with store credit at their Cyber Monday sale, so I got them for a steal but they still might be worth it if you can still get cheap credit or use coupons:


                      The description is wrong, they are not "Italian Toffee pebbled leather with waxed canvas laces" - the entire outer upper is made of canvas, which gives them a very casual yet dressy look. Girls compliment me on them all the time and guys constantly ask me where I got them. I usually wear them with a pair of dark jeans and a black hoodie or sweater.



                        Not a problem! I'll be curious to see what you find. :-) Can you post back here when you do?

                        And going back to matching leathers. I guess I should stress that shoes and belt REALLY should match. It's just the watch strap that's less important (unless you have the time and effort to care).



                          Also, to piggyback off of Alan's recommendation of burgundy AE, my favorite most versatile pair of shoes is the Strand in burgundy. I can't find them online but my shoe store was able to order them for me from AE last month. He even hit them with some mahogany polish to make them a little redder for my taste. He told me (and recommended) that if I keep hitting them with mahogany every now and then, I would get a color very similar to cordovan (the color)




                            Here we go with the brown shoe nazi brigade.

                            Black shoes can be just as casual as brown when necessary. Often times you can go with either color, just ensure that the color around your waist matches the one covering your feet. The color of your outerwear may come into play as well.

                            I personally find brown shoes ugly on most occasions drawing a disproportionate amount of attention to ones feet. Of course we'll have our effeminate queens here who will quickly scream blasphemy at that statement, but it really comes down to personal preference. Wear what you are comfortable with, not what people on message boards tell you to wear.



                              @frost: FWIW, the OP's question was more about which shoes to buy to go with the clothes he owns rather than what black shoes he should buy. You do draw a valid point, though. If you look uncomfortable in the clothes you're wearing, it'll show. You have to like what you're wearing. Otherwise, what's the point?