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Men's business attire question

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Pencil Dick, May 28, 2012.

  1. Pencil Dick

    Pencil Dick Member

    Navy suit, white dress shirt, red tie. I've always worn black dress shoes with navy.

    Today, the Jos. A. Bank salesperson tells me navy suit/red tie combo works best with a dark brown or oxblood shoe. I disagree (I have oxblood, but not brown).

    Your thoughts?
  2. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    You are fine with a pair of black shoes, especially a nice pair of lace up black oxfords. I'd have to see the exact suit, but you can wear almost anything with a true Navy blue suit -- black, brown, oxblood/burgundy.

    I'm not a fan of the oxblood, but you are fine with them.

    The black shoes are going to be more formal, so if it is for something businesslike, you really can't go wrong with them, although you might look like you stepped out of an Air Force recruiting center with the Navy suit and the black shoes.

    The brown shoes are a more casual look, and depending on the business function, you can run the risk of being too casual--although I wouldn't wear a Navy blue suit to anything that was formal anyhow, so the point may be moot.

    But both are fine with a Navy blue suit.
  3. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    Each fine with navy in comfort-zone situations, but black is the safe choice for job interviews. Probably doesn't make a difference anymore in many industries, but on askandyaboutclothes.com (where the advice is usually sound because uninformed posters get shouted down quickly), the lawyers and Wall Street types always advise black balmorals (what the Brits call an oxford) so the candidate does not appear to be a loose cannon.
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Brown does not go with black/navy. Period.
  5. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    FRANK RIDGEWAY! FRANK RIDGEWAY! PLEASE COME HELP THIS MAN! (sorry for the yelling; just trying to get Frank's attention.)
  6. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

  7. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Damn. I straight missed that. Oops.
  8. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    Brown shoes are for that occasion when you just want to do a bit informal, out of the ordinary. I have some brown suedes and some light brown monk straps that I wear with navy suits to just lighten up the occasion. No way for an interview. The black is the always safe choice.

    If you have a Nordstrom nearby, I recommend going in with your black shoes on and getting a $2.50 shoeshine, one of the best deals in any city in the US, shoes get shined and make them look $100 more than you paid for them (of course help the guys out and tip generously.)
  9. JR

    JR Active Member

    I think that if you're wearing a white shirt, I'd go black shoes like Frank suggests.
    And if it's a white shirt with French cuffs, black absolutely.

    I think a brogue works as well but not sure if Frank would agree.

    And as qtlaw says, get them polished. Nothing worse than scuffed up shoes to destroy an image

    And make sure the heels aren't worn down. If they are, replace them.
  10. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    I've always heard that brown shoes with navy suit looks more European. So, if you're trying to be a soccer writer, go ahead.
  11. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I wear black Allen Edmonds wingtip balmorals for job interviews, but I am not not all that concerned that newspaper editors are going to nitpick on that. I would wear the more traditional black captoes if someday I can acquire a quality pair at a price I'll pay. I've built my shoe collection gradually and usually when a bargain presents itself.

    Most say you shouldn't wear a blucher with a suit, but I've read that black Florsheim longwing bluchers (nicknamed "gunboats") were part of the uniform in IBM's heyday and that's what people wore to interview there, in black. Over the past few years I've acquired vintage, made-in USA Florsheim gunboats in black, brown pebblegrain and No. 8 shell cordovan (horse) and I would not hesitate to wear any of them with a navy suit, although probably only the black ones for a job interview. Really, those old gunboats are so solidly built that if someone didn't see them as serious business shoes, you could just kick him in the shins until he offers you the job.
  12. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    I tend to agree with the Jos. A Bank salesperson. But if you're going with black shoes, they better be nice ones because otherwise you're going to look like a bus driver.
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