Most of us think that being well dressed means wearing high-end, branded pieces. Sure, that can help, but dressing well does not necessarily mean spending so much, or attending the latest fashion shows.
All it takes is a talent for general mixing and matching. There's one part that some men still find tricky: matching the right pants with the right shoes.
But if coordinating colors and style is not your area of expertise, or you just don't have that particular sartorial incline, worry no more. With the help of J-em Sta. Ana, a professional stylist, we've put together a complete guide to getting your pants-footwear game locked down.
On color combinations
Shoe and pants color combinations play by the same rules of the color wheel and the color theory. Of course, you should also consider matching your shoes with your belt or top, but in this case, let’s just focus on pants and shoes.
"The general rule is white pants go with anything except black. The best colors for white pants are tan, light brown, and dark brown," Sta. Ana says. For black pants, anything works except white and brown colored shoes.
"Pants that are in shades of blue, light gray, charcoal and green can be combined with any shoe color—even the same color," she added. "The only exception is green, which you can't pair with the same hue, as the shoes may blend too much with the pants."
Now, there are exceptions. Sometimes maroon pants don't go with maroon shoes, or the browns and grays just won't mix. This is only a general guide, but if your confident in your personal preference, then go for it.
On style combinations
Chinos = Loafers or Boat Shoes
Consistently stylish throughout the year, chinos are a staple item for any man's wardrobe. Finding the perfect pair of shoes for this piece can be a constant struggle, however, especially when you are in a rush.
"If you want a preppy vibe, go with a pair of loafers. If it's summer, go for boat shoes," recommends Sta. Ana. A pair of lace-up boots can look great for that mountain-man feel, but avoid smooth high gloss patent leather shoes—save those for your suit or tuxedo.
Jeans = Sneakers or Boots
Simple sneakers will always look great with jeans. But if you want something more badass, swap those sneaks for a pair of Dr. Martens boots. A pair of white trainers will never go out of style, which pairs well with wide-legged jeans.
In general, jeans are so versatile that they actually look great with almost any shoe in your wardrobe—from lug soles to loafers, and even sandals. Let the style of your top guide you, and avoid shiny, dressy shoes that are obviously intended for formal, dressier outfits. Cap-toe oxfords and a baggy pair of jeans are not a match made in heaven, either.
If you're wearing skinny jeans, avoid chunky shoes as it creates a silhouette that will make you look like a kid playing dress up with your dad's footwear.
Joggers = Sneakers, Trainers, Desert Boots
The jogger pants trend is still at an all-time high—everyone from students to basketball stars are wearing them. In fact, they're one of the new staples in the modern Filipino's wardrobe. They're great alternatives to wearing thick denim, too, but pairing them with the right shoes can be quite a struggle.
Jogger pants already give off a youthful vibe, so avoid slip-on shoes or sneakers without laces, as these can make you look like you’re trying to dress like a five-year-old. Go for sneakers or trainers instead for a sporty look. And if you want to dress your joggers up a bit, go with desert boots, which are casual enough for pants but dressy enough to elevate your ensemble.
Corduroy or Casual Trousers = Brogues or Derby Shoes
Trousers and corduroy pants are the nicer pairs of pants that are not part of a full-on suit. To make these smart-casual pieces work, pair them with brogues, derby shoes, or any footwear that's dressy but has sportier details (e.g. rubber soles).
If you want to look more casual than smart, wear them with simple sneakers, and a neat oxford shirt to keep things fresh.
Suit Pants or Slacks = Your Shiniest Oxfords, Derby Shoes, Slick Boots
This is where you take out your shiniest leather shoes and oxfords. Derby shoes, which are similar to oxfords but have the lacing sewn outside of the shoes, are perfect for a formal look. While oxfords are still a better choice, derby shoes are are a great alternative on rainy days due to their more rugged construction. Make sure, however, to go with something with minimal lacing.
If you want to show off your sartorialist side, go with a pair of slick city boots, but avoid something with sporty details. Shinier materials and sleeker designs usually indicate dressier shoes, as do less bulky heels and soles.
Rule of thumb: while there are certain rules that some may abide by when it comes to men's fashion, these are breakable if you can bend them the right way.
For professional styling advice, you may reach J-em Sta. Ana via 0977-852-9983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.