Are bold shoes suitable for work?

bold shoesbold shoes
bold shoesbold shoes

Are bold shoes suitable for work?

Deciding on what to wear to work can be a tiresome process, especially if you are in a highly corporate environment. Selecting the perfect pair of shoes to match your work outfit can prove confusing but below are some helpful hints about wearing bold shoes to the workplace.


Rarely-seen red

Red men’s shoes are always a statement piece, and if paired with the correct outfit do not look clownish or inappropriate. Pairing red shoes with something bland will only make them stand out, but matching the rest of your outfit too much can make it clash.

Look for monochromatic colours to pair with red, but you can also opt to go even bolder if your office environment allows for it. Choose colours that contrast well with red, such as navy or blue. Avoid purples as these will clash too much and will result in a ‘loud’ outfit. If you work in an environment that is highly corporate, look for darker shades of red such as burgundy brogues or maroon boat shoes.


Brightly bi-coloured

Another trend that is being seen in men’s shoes is bi-coloured brogues, wingtips and monk shoes, where the leather is divided into separate pieces. The contrasting panels come together in this type of shoe like the pieces of a puzzle, and are usually in similar tones and hues.

Popular colours for bi-coloured beauties are blues, greens and indigoes as these are easy to pair with a smart-casual outfit. Avoid matching your trousers to these shoes, and rather opt for black or charcoal trousers which highlight the shoes and also balance their brightness. Some designers opt for bright reds and oranges for their bi-coloured options, which are perfect for those who enjoy something different.


Pattern and print

There are some shoes on the market that simply stand out: those with bright and zany patterns, from polka dot to zebra print and beyond. Oxford shoes with block-coloured spots are the pocket square of the feet, while camouflaged derbies are a chic alternative to the bomber jacket.

Patterned and print-covered shoes should be worn only for smart-casual offices, as they may be considered too inappropriate for other office environments. You could try matching your shirt to your shoes by choosing a colour that is found in the pattern or doing the same for your trousers. Pattern matching is not advised, so rather opt for monochromatic choices or subdued block coloured shirts and trousers.


All laced up

If you are a more conservative person and do not want to choose an entire shoe that is bold or brightly coloured, you can opt for coloured laces. Laces are easy to swap out and can enhance an outfit in a subtle manner, without going overboard on colour.

You could opt to match your laces to your tie, if you wear a tie to work, or look for unique and eye-catching colours such as acid green, cherry red or even turquoise. You will be able to inject some personality into your outfit and still look professional enough for work. Be sure to look for laces that are waxed, as these will last longer.


Wonderful white

White shoes are often overlooked, but they are highly versatile. White brogues or oxford shoes will work well with coloured chinos and are more casual than black shoes, without looking unprofessional or tacky.

If you are working in  a more relaxed office environment, you can wear a pair of white boat shoes with jewel-toned trousers in colours such as emerald green, amethyst purple or ruby red. You could also keep your trousers neutral, such as tan or dark brown, and opt for a brightly coloured shirt instead. Be sure to keep your white shoes as clean as possible, as any dirt or scuffs will detract from their uniqueness. You could also look into bright laces, as discussed above, for an extra element of visual interest.


Terrific tan

You may be thinking to yourself, “I already know how to dress for brown shoes, tan is not far off from brown”, but you would be wrong. Tan shoes are available in a wider range of tones than you might think, ranging from very light to much darker.

Tan shoes can be worn with both formal and corporate looks, although they are better matched to grey or charcoal trousers than black ones. Darker tan will easily match with black or brown trousers while a lighter tan is ideal for pastel coloured trousers or shirts for summer. If you are able to wear jeans to work, and have lighter tan shoes, choose a mid- to light-blue denim that is slim fit rather than baggy to make the most visual impact.


Put your best foot forward

Wearing brightly coloured or bold shoes to work does not take away from your professionalism, it simply allows you to express your personality in a more visual way. Bi-coloured brogues are a good option for those who are starting out with experimenting with colour, and patterned oxfords or derbies are ideal for the more experienced dresser. If you are unsure about wearing an entire bold or coloured shoe but still want a point of interest on your outfit, coloured laces are the way to go. Remember to have fun when choosing your shoes.

bold shoes