Wear It Well Together: Matching Shoes To Pants


By Mark Johnson

Published October 2015

If you’ve ever seen the inside of a fashionista’s wardrobe, you may be forgiven for assuming that the range of shoes available to men is extremely limited – even non-existent. However, that is simply not the case!

Men have a good selection of shoe styles to choose from, and if you want to create the right impression then it’s essential you combine shoes and pants appropriately in your outfit.

Here, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite pants and shoes combos, which will never let you down.


See Also: Fall Ideas: Outfits And Outerwear


Oxfords with dress pants

Also works with: chinos, suits and corduroys

Plain Oxfords are a fantastic choice for formal events, and it’s worth getting a decent pair that will serve you well at all of those weddings and black tie dinners you’ll attend over the years. Choose black so that they will work in even the most formal of settings.

There are various types of Oxfords to choose from. Instead of the plain version, you could opt for a cap toe, which features a subtle line detail across the front of the shoe; both of these options should work well at formal events nowadays.

However, Oxfords that feature broguing or wingtips are not suitable for formal events.


Bowling shoes with jeans

Also works with: jeans, corduroys, cargos and chinos

The bowling style shoe is wonderfully stylish, and manages to look both retro and modern. The bold red, white and blue shades of the traditional bowling shoe were popular in Britain in the 1960s mod era, which expanded to the US soon after.  And here are some cool jeans for shorter men to try them with.


Fashion For Short Men: Wear It Well Together. Matching Shoes And Pants.

However, if you want to go for a more subtle look today, keep the shoes in a muted shade. You could even opt for just one dark color for the shoes themselves, and add a pop of bright detailing by adding white laces.



Brogues with chinos

Also works with: jeans and dress pants

Technically, any shoe that features ornamental perforations is a brogue, but generally speaking men’s brogues are either an Oxford or a Derby shoe, I like these ones. Brogues can feature detailing just on the toe caps, the sides of the shoes, or all over, and it’s really a matter of taste and personal style as to the level of broguing you prefer.

Fashion For Short Men: Wear It Well Together. Matching Shoes To Pants.

Though brogues aren’t appropriate for formal events, they can form part of a semi-formal outfit. For instance, half or quarter brogues – which feature less detailing – can look good with dress pants at a business event, or at the office.

Sven Raphael Schneider from The Gentleman’s Gazette offers an in depth look at brogues and how to pull them off here.


Sneakers with corduroys

Also works with: khakis, jeans and cargos

Sneakers are a classic choice for loungewear, and they look great with pretty much any casual trouser. Just be sure not to team them with formal wear, as this is pretty much universally acknowledged as a sin against the gods of style.


Espadrilles with shorts

Also works with: jeans

Boat shoes are a great choice when you want to keep cool in the summer months, but I personally prefer the look and style of the Espadrille. However, both types work well with shorts.

The lightweight material will keep your feet cool, and also allow you to wear them without socks, which is vitally important. I hate to sound judgemental, but trust me on this one: wearing socks with summer shoes is always a terrible idea!


And what about color?

Justin L Jeffers from The Fine Young Gentleman has a useful chart which offers advice on which color pants will work with which color shoes. This is really useful and helpful, but should really be used as a guide rather than a rulebook.

Short Guys Wear It Well Together. Matching Shoes And Pants

As Justin says, “there are exceptions to everything… it is mostly a subjective view on what I have seen done well and not well over the past few years.”



I hope that this post has proved useful, but remember, it’s only meant as a general guide. There will always be debates in the world of fashion over which garments work well together, but the most important thing is that you feel comfortable, and you think that you look good. Saying that, no socks with summer shoes, people!

Do you have any tips about which shoes and pants work well together? Let me know in the comments!


About The Author

This post was contributed by Mark Johnson from ForTheFit.com. For The Fit sell a range of clothes for short men, specially tailored and proportioned so that you don't have to put up with badly fitting clothes and those annoying tight bits and baggy bits! Mark is a fashion aficionado and loves clothes that look effortlessly good.


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