When it comes to dressing up for a formal event, it is important to consider every aspect of your outfit. From the fit of your suit to the accessories you choose, each element plays a crucial role in creating a polished and put-together look. One of the key components of any formal outfit is the shoes you wear. The right pair of shoes can elevate your ensemble and tie everything together seamlessly. In this blog post, we'll explore the various types of formal shoes and highlight popular colours to help you select the perfect pair for your next event.

Brogues: Classic Sophistication

Brogues are a classic choice when it comes to formal footwear. These shoes are characterised by their decorative perforations on the leather upper and are perfect for adding a touch of sophistication to your outfit. They come in various styles ranging from wingtip brogues with intricate detailing to more understated styles like quarter brogues. Brogues typically look great with suits in neutral colours like grey or navy but can also be paired with bolder hues for a more fashion-forward look.

Derby Shoes: Versatile and Stylish

Derby shoes are another popular option for formal occasions. Unlike Oxford shoes that have closed lacing, derby shoes feature open lacing which gives them a slightly more casual feel. However, they are still considered appropriate for most formal events and can easily be dressed up or down depending on how you style them. Derby shoes in classic colours like black or brown are versatile options that can complement almost any suit colour.

Chelsea Boots: Sleek and Modern

If you're looking for something sleek and modern, Chelsea boots are a great choice. These ankle-length boots have a clean silhouette and often feature elastic side panels that make them easy to slip on and off. Chelsea boots can add a contemporary edge to your formal attire and work well with slim-fit suits or tailored trousers. Opt for Chelsea boots in shades like black or tan for a timeless look that will never go out of style.

Loafers: Laid-Back Elegance

Loafers are another stylish option for those who prefer a more laid-back approach to formal dressing. These slip-on shoes are comfortable yet sophisticated and come in various designs including tassel loafers or penny loafers. Loafers in shades like navy or white can add an unexpected pop of colour to your outfit while still maintaining an air of elegance.

Choosing the Right Colour Smart Shoes

When it comes to choosing the right colour for your smart shoes, it's important to consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Brown is a versatile hue that pairs well with earth tones like beige or olive green, making it a great choice for both casual and dressy outfits. Black is a timeless classic that exudes sophistication and pairs beautifully with dark-coloured suits like charcoal or midnight blue. Tan is an elegant option that adds warmth to lighter suits while navy offers a modern twist on traditional shoe colours. White may be unconventional but can make a bold statement when paired with monochromatic ensembles.


Choosing the perfect pair of formal shoes to match your suit doesn't have to be a daunting task if you know what styles and colours work best together. Whether you opt for brogues, derby shoes, Chelsea boots, or loafers in shades like brown, black, tan, navy, or white, remember that confidence is key when it comes to pulling off any look successfully. Experiment with different combinations until you find one that makes you feel comfortable and confident so you can step out with style at your next formal event!

chris basford