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What Color Socks To Wear With Brown Shoes?

I distinctly remember back in high school when my friend broke up with her boyfriend, and I use the term loosely, because he was wearing red socks. Honestly, I can’t remember the color of his shoes that day but I do remember thinking she was out of her mind for dumping him based on a minor fashion faux pas.

What’s The Best Color Socks To Wear With Brown Shoes?

But as I grew up, I realized that there’s something about the color of socks and it really can give people the ick when you get it wrong.

Nobody wants to look as though they aren’t put together so knowing what color socks with brown shoes is important.

What color socks to wear with brown shoes

If you’ve ever pulled out your favorite pair of brown shoes only to realize that you haven’t got the foggiest on what socks to wear, don’t despair. I’m here with all the fashion advice you’ll ever need. They might only be socks but they can make or break an outfit!

Brown Shoes Are Especially Challenging

Brown shoes pose something of a dilemma for even the most seasoned fashion lovers because it’s not a color that goes with everything. You really need to put some thought into it and consider your outfit as a whole before making a choice.

A lot of people will opt for black socks, brown shoes and there’s not really anything wrong with this, as such. However, while this is a safe and subtle option, it’s not something that’s really got the wow factor and there are certainly better options out there.

If you want to stand out for all the right reasons and have your ensemble looking as though it’s been put together by a great fashion master then some of the following colors might be worth thinking about.

  • Cream: I would NEVER recommend white socks with brown shoes and I’ll talk more about that later. But cream is a nice take on this that actually helps to counter any brassy tones in a brown shoe.
  • Burgundy: Wearing burgundy socks with brown shoes creates a rustic and traditional look that many fashionistas would tell you reminds them of an aged wine barrel. This combo is perfect for formal events where you need to appear classy and sophisticated.
  • Mint green: Sometimes, you need to have a nice color boost to your outfit and what better way to do it than with your sock choice? But you have to be careful when pairing anything with brown and mint green is a safe bet.
  • Fuschia: go big or go home; that’s what they say, right? Well in the world of socks, bright pink fuschia is perfect for pairing with brown shoes if you want to make a statement.

However, there is one color that sits above all others when it comes to brown shoes and that is blue. More specifically, navy blue which is a very popular choice with brown shoes and for good reason.

There is a perfect contrast between the two colors and the style is pretty neutral so you can wear this combo for both formal and casual events. It’s also possible to wear other shades of blue but if I were you, I’d steer clear of anything too light or pastel shades.

Another great way to choose the color of your socks is to incorporate other aspects of your outfit. For example, you might match them to your tie or shirt, perhaps your jacket. This will bring everything together and make you appear much more well presented.

What socks to wear with brown shoes

What About White Socks Brown Shoes?

No, no, no. Just no! There will never be an instance where I would recommend wearing white socks and brown shoes. It just doesn’t look good. One of the main reasons for this is that white is a much more casual color and shouldn’t be worn with smart shoes.

If you’re playing sports or wearing jeans then white socks are the perfect match but when it comes to spicing up your formal footwear, white will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons.

Can You Wear Patterned Socks With Brown Shoes?

When we think about the best color socks to go with brown shoes, we normally think about block colors. But it’s important to be able to show a bit of personality when it comes to your clothing and patterned socks are a great way to do this; within reason.

You can’t just choose any old patterned socks because you still need to take into the account the color. One of the best ways to choose patterned socks is to think about how that pattern would look if you wore it on a necktie. If you absolutely wouldn’t, then don’t put it on your feet either.

There are tons of patterns to choose from but you’ll want to think about the occasion you’re dressing for. As a rule of thumb, for formal events, things like argyle and pinstripe are ideal. For something a little less in your face, ribbing is a good choice.

However, if you’re dressing for a less formal occasion then you have a little more freedom with the pattern and style of your socks. As long as you stick to the color rules I talked about above then you can’t go wrong.

What’s The Best Sock Material?

Choosing the right material for your socks is almost, if not more important than choosing the right color and pattern. This is because the material will impact your comfort and even if you look the most stylish person in the room, it’s not worth it if you don’t feel comfortable.

Socks are usually made from either cotton, wool, polyester, or nylon. There are other materials out there and it’s worth trying out different ones until you find something that feels good for you. After all, we’re all different.

However, it is important to think about the weather as this will play an important role in choosing sock material. For example, if you’re wearing your brown shoes in a colder climate, something like wool will offer warmth. However, in summer, you’ll want a more breathable material such as polyester.

Bamboo is also a popular choice since the material adapts according to the weather. When it’s warm, bamboo is very breathable whereas in the winter, it’ll hold heat in keeping your toes toasty.

If you’re choosing socks for a formal or professional event then those made from silk can often add that little something special to your outfit.

When Should I Wear Brown Shoes?

As I mentioned earlier, brown shoes are something of a fashion oddity. When worn correctly, they look amazing but it doesn’t take much to ruin an outfit with brown shoes if you’re not careful. That’s why knowing when to don those brown shoes is super important.

Ideally, you’d wear brown shoes to formal events such as a cocktail part or a wedding. Certain events may have a dress code so it’s always worth checking as this may stipulate that black shoes are a must.

However, you don’t always have to go for your formal shoes. In fact, in casual settings such as running your daily errands or hanging out with friends, there are loads of brown sneakers and boots that work very well.

What socks to wear with brown shoes

Styling Your Brown Shoes And Socks: The Dos And Don’ts

If you want to style an outfit that screams trendy then you’ll need to consider a lot of things. Spend time thinking about how you’ll dress before an event so you’re not left staring blankly at your closet an hour before you have to leave.

If you need inspiration, the internet is an amazing resource and with websites like Pinterest and TikTok, you never need to make a decision alone again. However, I’ve put together a few helpful tips to make styling your brown shoes so much easier.

But don’t ever do any of the following if you want to remain looking on trend:

  • Avoid yellow socks at all costs. Brown and yellow just don’t go well together and it’s not worth being the butt of the joke at your event.
  • When choosing a pattern, make sure that you don’t go too overboard or this can make your ensemble look really poorly put together.
  • Avoid socks that are too childish. Nobody wants to see Spongebob rearing his goofy head above your shoe line at an important event.
  • Don’t choose socks with odd designs such as toe socks. If you have to remove your shoes, your friends and coworkers may be in for a shock.
  • Remember that not all outfits need socks so consider whether this is the case before you start worrying about colors.

Video: Sock Materials

This quick video covers the common sock materials in use today.

Choose the right sock materials for the weather, and for comfort


If you’ve ever tried to pair anything brown with another color then you’ll know that it isn’t the easiest task. Wearing brown shoes with certain colored socks is a big no no and things like white and yellow should be avoided at all costs.

Generally speaking, blue is the best color for brown socks but there are some other alternatives like bright pink or cream. Just remember to let your personality shine through because that’s what fashion is all about.

Jenna Reign
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