How to Wear a Light Grey Suit with Brown Shoes – A Style Guide

How to Match Your Light Grey Suit With Brown Shoes?

Most of the men’s suits are black or other dark colors, and this is understandable, as they are very versatile and easy to wear. You just cannot go wrong with a black suit. But if you have graduated from mastering the black/dark-colored suit, it may be time for some variation in your wardrobe. That is when you can start researching and getting your hands on a grey suit. When looking for a new suit, you are looking for something that:

  • Fits your well
  • Flatters your complexion
  • Can be easily worn several times throughout the year

Grey suits, paired with brown shoes, come in various shades, each with their own styles. Whereas dark shades of grey can be styled easily and worn just like a black suit, lighter shades of grey require more attention. In general, light-colored suits are seen as being less formal than dark-colored suits. On top of that, one must pay attention when choosing the shirt, and the other accessories, from ties and shoes, bags, and jewelry.

When styled right, a grey suit can be easily taken from the office to the after work with friends, on the same day. And in this fast-paced world, the modern man is looking for exactly this kind of wardrobe addition. Something that is easily styled and worn for various occasions.

What kind of grey suits are out there?

Before diving into the world of light grey suits, let us start from the beginning. And see what kind of grey suits are out there in the world. With so many shades of grey and materials available, you are bound to find infinite choices. Let us have a look at what light grey suits you can have:

  1. Plain light grey
  2. Patterned light grey

It is generally agreed that light grey suits are the most casual. One of the easiest ways to style a light grey suit is with a simple white shirt, for the office during the day. For going out for drinks in the evening, get rid of the blazer and roll up the sleeves for a casual look. Light grey suits are not only suitable for casual occasions, but also they should be mostly worn when the weather is warm (from the end of spring and all throughout the summer until the beginning of fall).

If you are not afraid to make a statement with your clothing, a patterned grey suit is one way to go. Here, there are endless possibilities, as you are mixing patterns and various shades of grey. For a formal look, pair a striped dark grey suit with a crisp white shirt and a black tie. For something more casual-chic, check out a checkered mid-grey suit with a bold masala tie, a light grey shirt, and brown shoes.

We have so far briefly covered the colors and patterns that a grey suit can come in. But we cannot continue without also mentioning the materials that a suit can be made of. Again, there is a lot of variety, so we would just get started with the most common ones.

  1. Wool
  2. Cotton
  3. Linen
  4. Polyester
  5. Silk

Wool is the most popular suit material out there. It does not wrinkle, it is soft, and, being a natural fiber, it is breathable. In general, you can wear a wool suit all year round, but for hotter days (from the end of the spring till the end of the summer), you may want to opt for lighter materials.

Cotton is another suit material. Compared to wool, it wrinkles more easily, but it is lighter, so you can wear it from spring to mid-autumn.

Linen is a great material for summer, as it is very lightweight and allows you to stay cool in hot and humid weather. However, they require more maintenance as linen wrinkles and stains very easily.

Polyester is a widely used material for clothing nowadays due to its affordability, but the quality is not the best. While polyester is not suitable for hot weather, as it is not breathable at all, one piece of advice is to go for polyester blends, such as polyester and wool or polyester and cotton.

If you are into attending fancy events, silk suits are a great addition to your suit collection. Silk is comfortable and breathable, which makes it suitable for all year round wear.

Now that we have shades of grey and materials, let us have a look at how you can pair them throughout the year and make you shine on any occasion, no matter the weather.

WeatherOccasionSuit material
Cold weather (mid-autumn to the beginning of spring)formalWool, polyester-wool blend, silk
casualWool, polyester blends
Warm weather (mid-spring to the beginning of autumn)formalCotton, silk
casualLinen, cotton

How to wear light grey suits with brown shoes

Grey and brown are often thought to make a perfect combination together. Just like there are so many shades of grey, there are as many shades of brown. While grey shoes are easily paired with white or black shoes, knowing how to pair grey with brown can pay off. The lighter the brown shoes, the more suitable they are for casual outfits. Thus, the darker shades of brown are more suitable for formal events.

As light grey suits are most suitable to wear from mid-spring to mid-autumn, when the weather is not very cold, there are still a lot of ways to style them. For a summer event, check out a light grey linen suit paired with a white shirt and brown loafers. For a chilly mid-autumn day, go for a light grey wool suit with a black turtleneck and brown monk shoes. For a casual day, with temperate weather, style your light grey cotton suit with a white t-shirt and brown sneakers. For a day in the office, swap the shoes for brogues.

What colors go well with light grey suits and brown shoes?

Light-colored suits, including light grey suits, are sometimes not suitable for very strict business environments, where black suits are the norm. However, in less formal environments, and all casual ones, a light grey suit is perfect. The cut of a suit blended with light colors brings elegance and comfort in one outfit. One can say that pretty much any color goes well with light grey, but one must still pay attention when combining more than two colors or patterns. On top of this, make sure you have a look at what shirt colors go best with your complexion so that your best features are emphasized and you do not look washed out.

  1. White and light colors
  2. Shades of red
  3. Black and dark colors
  4. Patterns

White and light colors

Let us start with the easiest way to wear a light grey suit. And that is by pairing it with a white shirt. You cannot go wrong with a crisp white shirt for more formal events. For a softer look, and less formal occasions, you can explore shades of white (such as cream, eggshell, ivory) and for a more casual vibe, try out some pastels such a light blue or light pink. It will soften your look while still looking sharp.

Image source: suitsharks


One of the most popular colors to pair with light grey suits is red and its various shades. There are many shades of red out there, from crimson and scarlet, to oxblood and berry. When going shopping for a red shirt or vest, make sure to also wear your light grey suit, to be sure that it all goes well together. If you like other colors, such as green, yellow or purple, better go with their pastel counterparts.

Black and dark color

Last, but not least, black and other dark colors go great with light grey suits. Except for black shirts, you can also go for any shade of dark blue. For the bold ones, you can also check out a darker turquoise or a deep green.


If you are a fan of patterns, you will not be stopped from wearing them with light grey suits! Classic shirt patterns, such as a checkered one or stripes, can look great against a grey suit. Match the colors in the patterns either to the color of the suit, to the collar of your tie!

As always, fashion is a journey made of continuous trial and error experiments, where you will be able to try out as many ideas as possible and make bold choices. Even if you settle on color combinations that look best on you, never stop looking for different ones!

What accessories can make your light grey suit and brown shoes pop

We have so far discussed what types of grey suits are out there and their materials, as well as how you can style them and what colors go best with them. But no outfit is ever fully complete without accessories. And when it comes to a great suit (especially a light grey one), this is your opportunity to go for some bold-looking accessories, and really upgrade your outfit!

  • Ties and bowties
  • Pocket square
  • Cufflinks
  • Watches and jewelry
  • Sunglasses
  • Shoelaces
  • Dress Socks
  • Shoes

If the event is a rather formal one, you will go for a tie or a bowtie. For white or black tie events, where the suit must be black, the accessories should stay classic too. But for your usual formal event (such as weddings), it is your time to shine and bring out colorful accessories! If you have an all-grey suit and a white shirt, make it pop with a red bowtie or a blue paisley tie.

The pocket square has no other purpose but to be decorative. Made of silk, cotton or linen, the pocket square is folded and kept in the jacket’s breast pocket. It is often matched with the color or pattern of the tie/bowtie. But if you are not wearing a tie or a bowtie, the pocket square can contrast by itself with the rest of the light grey suit. As you want it to attract attention, you could virtually go for any color or pattern you want.

Staying with suit and shirt accessories, cufflinks are another way to add classy accents to your outfit. Made of various materials (leather, metal), cufflinks can subtly elevate your outfit, and in some cases, such as black tie events, they are a must.

Watches are a must-have accessory for men, most often with a leather strap or a metallic one, depending on the style you are going for. If you are looking for a watch to cover all your styles, one with a black leather strap is there for you from the most formal to the more casual events. If you are a fan of metallic straps, you can wear them for pretty much any occasion (except black tie events, when a black leather strap is more appropriate). Other types of arm candy for men can be subtle but high-quality bracelets, be it made of precious metals (gold, silver) or leather.

Sunglasses are often associated with more casual and sporty outfits, and especially summer. But let us not forget that protecting our eyes and skin around the eyes, is important all year round. The most classic sunglasses are wayfarers – go for the original black Ray-Bans; you will have a pair of sunglasses that will be with you when you wear your light grey suit at a wedding or when you are dressing it down in summer with a linen suit. Another style of sunglasses, also versatile, are aviators, with a simple frame and dark lenses. For the boldest amongst us, check out round glasses with clear frames. While they may not work for the most formal of the events, they can be a great way to shake up a boring suit and shirt outfit.

Another important but overlooked accessory is shoelaces. By default, the shoe manufacturer decides their color, so they are almost always blending in and you barely notice them. But you do not want your outfit to be boring, do you? How about switching it up and go for a bright color for your shoelaces? If the outfit is all in the same colors (light grey suit with light-colored shirt) and no other accessories, go for some bright shoelaces – how about some blue or purple? If you have other accessories, like a bowtie or a pocket square, you can color match them with the shoelaces.

Creating your outfit is more than putting the clothes on and having them fit. And sock and shoes are such important accessories to your outfit and are so often overlooked when choosing an outfit. Keep reading to see how you can maximize their look and use and take your outfit to the next level.

What color men’s socks go best with light grey suits and brown shoes?

Similar to the ties, bowties and pocket squares that we mentioned before, socks are other accessories that can be used to create contrast and attract attention. But unlike them, they are essential to your outfit (unless you are wearing boat shoes in summer and you may be able to skip them). You can either allow the socks to blend in, or stand out. If you want your dress socks to blend in with your light grey suit, choose fun socks that are the same or similar shade of grey. If you feel this is too plain and boring, check out some fun socks in various shoes of grey and in classic patterns such as argyle, stripes, or polka dots.

If you want your socks to stand out and to make a statement, similar to the pocket squares, they can be any color and can even be in crazy patterns! You may start from plain bright socks in red, purple or green, and slowly build it up towards colourful classic patterns or even crazy sock patterns such as zig-zag or puzzles. As long as the whole outfit works well together in terms of color, do not be afraid to experiment.

What style of brown shoes goes with light grey suits?

Together with socks, shoes are at the top of the list when it comes to importance (which is pretty obvious, no?). When it comes to light grey suits, you can absolutely wear them with brown shoes – both light-colored shoes, as well as dark-colored. Think of anything – from tan suede Chukkas and camel boat shoes, to burgundy brogues and coffee brown shoes. As always choosing the style and color of the shoe must match the occasion, the weather and the color scheme that you are going for. Here’s a brief look at what shoes you can wear with light grey suits:

  • Summer shoes (boat shoes, loafers)
  • Boots (Chukkas, Chelsea, laced up)
  • Dress shoes (brogues, monks, oxfords)

These are the three main categories of shoes and every man should have at least one pair in each to take him from summer to winter and back.

Summer shoes like boat shoes or loafers go great with light grey suits. Pair your light grey cotton suit with a white shirt and loafers for a summer day in the office. Or wear your light grey linen suit with a white tee and boat shoes (you can even skip the socks here!) for a sunny summer day in the city.

Boots are definitely needed when the weather gets rough. But that does not mean you have to give up on style! There are many stylish boots out there. For the office, Chelsea boots are the most advisable, whereas the more casual ones are the Chukkas.

Dress shoes are actually the most important category, as they may be worn all year round and they are suitable for 90% of the events in your life. A pair of brogues can stick with you from your friend’s wedding or a fun night out, to a serious business meeting at the office.

The light grey suit and brown shoes combination: the star of your wardrobe

Most men are assigning the top place in their wardrobe to the black suit and black shoes combination – the all-year-round, standard outfit. But how about changing the status quo and pay more attention to light grey suits paired with brown shoes? While you do not have to have a room full of grey suits and brown shoes, having a few of each can do wonders for your wardrobe and lifestyle. Check out this table for some inspiration to get you started!

SeasonType of light grey suitType of brown shoes
SummerLinen, cottonBoat shoes, loafers, sneakers, espadrilles
Spring and Autumn (the warmer days)Cotton, polyester-cotton blendsDress shoes (monks, brogues etc)
From mid-autumn to the beginning of springWool, tweed, polyester-wool blendsDress shoes, boots (Chelsea boots, lace-up boots)

As you can see, having around three light grey suits, and three pairs of brown shoes (one summer, one dress, and one boot), that can be worn all year round for various occasions and weathers, should be just enough to get you started on this fashion journey.

Final tips

Now that you have your suits, keep in mind these tips to make sure you are getting your best experience out of wearing them.

  • Well-tailored
  • High quality
  • Color scheme
  • Accessories
  • Confidence and attitude

Very important when getting any suit it having a well-tailored one. IF you cannot find the holy grail of suits when shopping, make use of tailored services. Nothing looks better than a man with a suit that fits him like a glove.

On top of having a suit that fits you, you should have a look at the quality of the material, how it behaves when you are moving, if there are any loose threads, or if the material starts to fall apart at the stitches. After you have covered these, you now have on your hands a well-tailored, high-quality suit that will last you for decades.

In order to build outfits that will go with your light grey suit, it is best to actually wear it when you go shopping for shoes, shirts and even accessories. This will allow you to pick colors, styles, and materials that go well together. When choosing colors, have a look online at what colors go best with your complexion. A well-planned shopping spree can prove to be very productive and result in countless combinations for outfits.

Accessories should not scare you, but rather excite you! You do not need to have tons of accessories, but having a few staples does not hurt. You can always start with classic accessories such as brown shoes and slowly build towards bolder colors. When choosing brown shoes, make sure they do not only match the shade of light grey of your suit, but also they feel comfortable, the sole is flexible and there are no loose threads. Do not be afraid to play with accessories and do not be afraid to make a statement. 

Last, but not least, confidence and attitude are the best accessories you can have. Look at yourself in the mirror and compliment the way you look. This will boost your confidence. Do not forget to also exude confidence, by smiling, keeping a straight back and shoulders relaxed but pulled to the back.

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