How do I wear colored men's shoes?
July 27, 2010 11:25 AM   Subscribe

How do I match brightly-colored casual men's shoes with various outfits?

I'm interested in getting some colored shoes (granted, with black and/or white accents), but I feel like nothing will match them. Would a like-colored polo shirt stand out too much? Will they clash with jeans no matter what? Who buys orange and blue shoes, and how do they pull it off?
posted by reductiondesign to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What kind of shoes are we talking about here? That matters almost more than the colors.

If it's a converse type of shoe- where it with anything.
posted by Eicats at 11:29 AM on July 27, 2010

This eBay search is a good idea of what my style is.
posted by reductiondesign at 11:33 AM on July 27, 2010

Wear with jeans and a shirt in non-matching, non-clashing colors. So, with your orange and blue example, you could wear those with a shirt in black, white, grey, a lighter shade of blue, yellow, or any other color that doesn't exactly match the shoes, but doesn't clash with their colors. Patterns are your friends here, too, as are t-shirts with writing or designs on them. Good luck!
posted by decathecting at 11:35 AM on July 27, 2010

Honestly, just buy them and start wearing them with things. I'd avoid trying to match them too closely (unless that's what you're going for).

The rule I've heard (for men, but it can work for women, too) is "two plains and a fancy." Your shoes will be the "fancy" so I'd wear more understated/neutral shirts/pants (although I wouldn't wear blue and orange shoes with earth tones, really).
posted by darksong at 11:38 AM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

I agree with Decathecting, but I don't think you have to limit yourself to jeans. These type of shoes are often worn with khakis and similar pants. The key is a more casual style of shirt (can be button-up, but printed/patterned; screened T's, etc.).
posted by Eicats at 11:38 AM on July 27, 2010

you're over-thinking this. just wear them! yes, with jeans. but dark jeans. don't be matchy matchy with shirt colors, is all—that tends to look gross and corny even on women.

fyi, the shoes that ebay search pulled up are conservative by nyc standards; even tech startup nerds here (the ones that are advanced enough to not just wear chucks) rock more colorful stuff than that. you will look like a preppy jerk trying to be street if you wear them with polo shirts instead of t-shirts though, or if you wear them with (ugh) khakis, which is fine if that's what your style is anyway but keep it in mind.
posted by lia at 11:48 AM on July 27, 2010

To my eye, those look like sneakers, which would fall into the "they don't match because they're not really part of an outfit" bit of clothing. If you were talking about dress shoes, that might matter, but sneakers are (in my opinion) an article of clothing that isn't expected to be matched to anything else.
posted by xingcat at 11:51 AM on July 27, 2010

Blue sneakers can go with just about anything. With orange there's much more potential for clashing, so you have to be more careful; yellow, blue, beige, grey, or white could go well.

As others have said, the expectations are pretty low for sneakers to "match" with the rest of an "outfit." If you're dressed totally casually (cheap jeans and t-shirt), no one will care. If you're a little more dressed up (nicer jeans, casual sport jacket, etc.), it's still OK for the sneakers to not quite match. A little incongruity can be good, as long as it's not clashing eyesore.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:11 PM on July 27, 2010

My friend has a pair of bright pink shoes that he wears with everything and anything. He once wore them to a wedding rehearsal dinner (he was the photographer) and the couple requested that he wear them with his suit to the wedding. Sometimes if he's dressed nice he'll wear a tie with pink accents, but in general, they don't match anything and still look great.
posted by a.steele at 12:25 PM on July 27, 2010 [2 favorites]

Those high top Diesels look pretty awesome, wear them with anything! My only advice if you're going with more than two differently colored items (hat, jacket, shirt, AND shoes - all in non-neutrals) is to acquaint yourself with some simple color theory. Play around with the schemes listed. Keep different colors within the same intensity/shade. Or for a level-up, go all monochromatic but in different shades. But if you're just going to throw on a polo with some colorful shoes, at least try to pick a complimentary color. No one will be studying your color usage but if you're worried about "clashing", an intuitive understanding of what looks good can be learned from a handy dandy color wheel!
posted by Juicy Avenger at 12:49 PM on July 27, 2010

Have you been to the Diesel website? Check out the "Collections" view on their site (or any other brand you like) to see the shoes as part of a complete outfit.
posted by xo at 12:57 PM on July 27, 2010

I'm a girl, and I wear colored casual shoes with just about anything unless they specifically clash. I see shoes as more "shape" oriented than "color" oriented, if that makes any sense. I don't see why the same wouldn't be true for guys.

The only time you have to worry a little is in a more formal context, in which case I don't think colorful shoes are apropos for dudes unless you are attending a clown's wedding or something.
posted by Sara C. at 1:20 PM on July 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

My stylish (but young) dude cousin wears these sneakers with shirts like this and dark pants/jeans.

Find one color that's the same between shirt and shoes, and then go nuts. (Or wear neutrals like a schmuck.)
posted by phunniemee at 1:39 PM on July 27, 2010

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