Help! What colour shoes should I wear?

What colour shoes should I wear with a black suit? That was the question worrying some folk recently. As many of them will be fighting their way through the January sales in the hunt for sartorial bargains, it seems an appropriate opportunity to probe into this profound dilemma.

I always wonder who makes these rules about what colour shoes you are allowed to wear with your suit…after all why should anything be right as far as clothes go? Why not wear one brown shoe and one black shoe? Or even no shoes…We are continually bombarded with all this stuff about tie widths, collar styles, the inevitable socks and sandals scandal and we swallow it whole.And then, of course, what was essential in 2007, is blasphemy in 2008 and Heaven help us if we are not doing what is right this year when 2009 dawns.

Be very careful about what you buy in the January sales. If it is old-fashioned, the wrong colour for example, you could become a social outcast or worse.It is as if some powerful dictator – someone much more to be obeyed than Prime Minister, God or the Mrs – has all the answers and, if we fail to do as we are told, we will somehow be committing some unforgivable crime.So, for what it is worth, why not wear what the fuck you want? ‘Cos in the end, who cares?

God! Bowing down to social convention! There does seem to be an increase in our masculine anxieties about making fashion “mistakes”. We never question why various colour combinations are errors in the first place. If you can wear a white shirt with a black suit then why not white socks? And why not then put on your favourite brown shoes? Or your pink ones!

Where will we end up if we really think that we should continue to follow these prescriptive rules? Are we not men? Why not look back in history at some portraits if you lot really are so offended by unusual colour combinations…say take a look at the 16th Century no brown and black fears there…. even pink and orange rules OK.

Fashion, if I dare intrude in this area, should be an act of self-expression not a uniform decided on and imposed by others. So be brave, tear up that rulebook and be yourself for a change.


  1. “All dress is fancy dress, is it not, except our natural skins?”

    I’m inclined to agree with Shaw – although I am not suggesting that everybody should go around naked. In this weather it would be ridiculous. In other weather, it would be plain disgusting!

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