The Best Suit Shoes For Different Occasions

Suiting up? Whether you’re going to a wedding, christening or party, finding the best suit shoes is the key to feeling comfortable and looking dapper in equal measure.

The saying, “You can tell a lot about a man by his shoes” is very true. Even if you splash out on a tailored designer clothing, if you haven’t picked the right suit shoes, your look will be tarnished.

Before you buy a pair of quality suit shoes, you should always consider 3 finer details:

  • Material – if you can see the grain on the leather material, you’ve found a winner. Avoid any shoes that have a hint of a chemical smell, as it’s either made from poor quality leather or a fake plastic.  
  • Fit – leather suit shoes won’t have a lot of break in them, as they’re designed to hold their shape and last for a very long time. So, if they don’t fit properly when you first try them on, go for a different size. If you want more advice on this, check out our previous blog.
  • The colour – you can pick the most beautiful suit shoes going, but if you don’t find a pair which compliments your suit, you’re in big trouble. You can read more about colour-matching here.

As well as these three factors, you have to think about the style of your shoes. After all, if they look crap, you’re not going to look very sharp!

To give you some inspiration, we’ve included some of the best types of suit shoes for weddings, christenings and other formal parties.

Oxford shoes

Classic in design and a staple in every gentleman’s wardrobe. Since the 1800s, Oxfords have made a perfect pair of suit shoes due to their sleek and timeless appearance.

The beauty of the Oxford shoe is that it’s so versatile. If you’re thinking of wearing a tweed suit, brogue Oxfords are perfect. Whereas, if you’ve bought yourself a slim fitting smart three-piece suit for a wedding, a regular black or brown pair will make the ideal suit shoes.

For everyday use, you can even wear them with a pair of jeans or chinos for a smart/casual vibe.

Derby shoes

Grenson Derby suit shoes

Looking for the best suit shoes to wear to an outdoor party or winter wedding? Then look no further than the Derby. Similar in design to the Oxford shoe, the only distinctive difference is that the lacing is sewn on the outside of the shoes instead of the inside.

The Derby comes in all types of styles – brogue, cap-toed, wing-tipped and in different types of leather and linen.

What makes the Derby the best type of suit shoe for an outdoor party or winter wedding is that they’re less formal than an Oxford, they can be worn with dress shorts and they’re more accustomed to deal with rainy days.

Loafers

Heading to a beach wedding or engagement bash? Then a pair of loafers can hit all the right notes. Sure, they might not be as classic in style as a pair of Oxford suit shoes, but their slip-on nature makes them an extremely comfortable alternative.

If you do want to pull off this look, ditch the necktie. Loafers are made for more relaxed suiting-up occasions.

Formal pumps

Known as the Opera pump, these trendy numbers are a formal version of the loafer made from shiny black patent leather.

However, you should only sport this style of suit shoes when you’re attending a black tie or white tie event, as the shiny patent leather is too overpowering for a regular ensemble.

Monk straps

Our final type of suit shoes to consider for your formal occasion is a pair of monks. You can get designs with one, two or three straps available in an array of colours and leathers. They can even be made cap toed or wing-tipped for a unique finish.

Monk strap shoes are a brilliant way of drawing attention to yourself. So, if you have a drab or standard suit, this can elevate your look and create a talking point. You can even match the clasp of the shoes with your belt buckle, wristwatch and cufflinks to add a classy finish to your outfit.

Monk strap shoes are great for all types of occasions.

Want to learn more about different styles of shoes? Then read our gentleman’s guide to shoes for men. Or to shop for our Timeless collection of Oxfords and monk straps, visit our online store.