Dear Sharon: I’m 25 years old and work for a professional services firm. I usually wear smart shirts and trousers to work but I’ve got to admit that I’m a little bored of the usual black trouser, shoes and belt and trying to understand how to wear navy with brown to come out of my comfort zone.
Recently, I bought navy blue straight (almost pencil type) three-quarter trousers from Zara and they came with a chocolate brown belt. The problem is that I want to hold onto the belt but not sure what colour shoes to wear with it. Also, does the brown shade of the belt have to be the same as those of my shoes? Any help is appreciated. Thanks. (A. via Fashion Advice)
I have to admit that I have a love hate relationship with wearing navy with brown. Brown is the kind of color that can look so rich or rough-hewn depending on the finish. But brown can also look dead when its finish is flat and dull. Its not a mtter of matching a brown belt with a brown shoe- that would be too stodgy. When it comes to mastering how to wear navy with brown, it’s really a matter of combining qualities of brown for interest, rather than shades per se.
What works best is a brown that has some texture, like a moc croc, suede, woven, antiqued, distressed or the look of actual rugged wear.
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When it is the RIGHT type of brown worn in combination with navy, the result can be classically gorgeous. I’d style it with croc pumps or a menswear brogue in a mid to high heel with lots of cutout details and possibly a tassel.
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I created a collage above and pulled some pieces to give you the idea of how to mix texture with your navy pants. Beyond the brown shoe, I’d love to see some chunky cuffs or a bold necklace with a tortoise or wood finish. A nice tweedy jacket in a brown and navy combination will also work with jeans for a more casual vibe.
Does anyone else out there have any favorite brown shoe tips? Please share in the comments below.
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