Blue shoes are, without a doubt, a winner in any wardrobe. It’s been said that blue is basically black’s punchier cousin – a dependable way to add color to an outfit while still keeping it subtle. Blue goes well with sedate pastels and earthy tones, but pops perfectly next to vibrant color too.
That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s a total free for all when it comes to what to rock your new blue shoes with. There are some basic guidelines that we think will help you assemble an outfit that you can add blue shoes to with confidence.
Accessorizing for Blue Shoes
Whether you’re going formal or casual, earth tones or flashy bright colors, you always want to make sure your shoes aren’t the odd man out in color. Going all blue is a bit overwhelming and tacky, so avoid going overboard with the matchy-matchy. If you’re wearing a pair of blue denim jeans with your blue shoes, you should be fine, but could still benefit from a blue accessory just to keep it cohesive. If your outfit doesn’t have any blue but the shoes, you definitely need to grab yourself some sort of accessory.
If you’re the sort of person who likes jewelry, a touch of blue in necklace, earrings, or bracelet (pick two – don’t go all three!) brings just enough matching color to an outfit to balance it out. Make sure the tone of the blue matches your shoes fairly closely, or you risk looking a little disjointed.
Belts are another great way to add just the small stripe of matching color that frees you to go for non-blues in the rest of the outfit. Belts are great because you can find formal belts and casual belts, depending on the occasion, and you can also go for feminine-coded super thin or super wide belts, or more gender neutral belts. If you can’t find a belt with a blue material you like, you can also look for a brown or black belt that has a matching blue buckle! You can read our full article about pairing belts with shoes here.
If you’re feeling like rocking a more masculine outfit, you can bounce a bit of blue higher up in your outfit with a bowtie or a necktie. The necktie will be better suited to traditional business environments, but the bowtie tends to have a little more whimsy and personality, and is perfectly acceptable for most weddings and social affairs.
Watches are a great little tool for adding some understated style to an outfit, especially if you’re not really the kind of person who feels comfortable in a tie or in feminine jewelry. Watches are extremely versatile for different gender presentations and, if you own a watch with interchangeable straps, or have a decent collection of different watches, can work wonders for unifying your ensemble. A blue watch goes a long way to balancing a pair of blue shoes, and blue watches exist that are suitable for formal as well as casual gatherings.
Outfits for Blue Shoes in Formal Settings
For extremely formal settings, you’ll sadly have to shelve the blue shoes entirely. But for a standard formal environment, like a job interview, a wedding, or an important meeting, you can absolutely pair blue dress shoes with a respectable, well put together outfit.
Blue Shoes, Light Blue Shirt, Tan Jacket, Grey Pants
Consider tans and greys over blacks – black is very heavy, and the combination of black and one splash of color makes you look more like a waiter than a CEO. You can pair a light grey pair of slacks with a pale blue button-up, a tan blazer, a light brown belt, and a darker blue necktie. It makes a light, summery outfit that is well suited to sunlight and happy occasions.
Blue Shoes, Grey Three-Piece Suit, Blue Bowtie
For colder weather, go for a mid-tone grey suit, with a white button-up, a grey vest, blazer, and dress pants. Accessorize with a dark brown belt, a blue bowtie, and a watch with blue or dark brown straps.
Blue Shoes, Blue Blazer, White Button Up, Red/Tan Pants
You can offset the blue of your shoes with a blue blazer, which frees you up to pair your pants and tie. When your jacket provides the balance of blue needed to really rock blue derbies, you can wear tan slacks with a dark brown belt and a white button-up, and omit the tie altogether. Or you can liven things up and pair your blue shoes and blue blazer with some red pants, and then really bring it all together with a red and blue striped necktie.
Outfits for Blue Shoes in Casual Settings
Freed from the more restrictive rules of formality, blue shoes can pair with all sorts of outfits. Pair them with some dark navy jeans and you basically can’t go wrong. Using the rules of accessorizing to make sure the shoes aren’t the only blue part of your outfit, you can wear them with just about anything as long as you promise not to mix black and brown.
Blue Shoes and Sun Dresses
For skirts and dresses, blue oxford shoes are a subtle addition to a blue sun dress, but a more exciting and vibrant complement to orange or yellow, especially with a blue belt, watch, or earrings. Blue shoes are fun because they work well with any pattern that has a blue element to it.
Blue Shoes, Dark Denim, Patterned Button-Up
With a pair of dark or black denim jeans, add a blue belt and a pale plaid dress shirt – popped open at the top button, if you’re sitting outside on a patio – and you’ve got an outfit that says relaxed but well-dressed.
Blue Shoes, Jeans, T-Shirt
Formal blue oxfords can absolutely be worn for everyday casual, as long as your everyday has one or two slightly “tailored” aspects. We won’t pretend they wouldn’t look bizarre with sweatpants and a sweatshirt while you’re running out to get emergency cereal milk, but you can absolutely leave the house in just a white t-shirt, blue jeans, and blue oxfords.
Keep It To Three Colors
A good rule of thumb for rocking the blue shoes as part of your everyday wear is just to make sure the rest of your outfit matches itself, and that you’ve got one other blue item. Have a glance at yourself in the mirror and if you’ve got four or more colors on, including the blue, you have made a mistake. Bring it down to three, preferably two, and then you’re good to go.