What Color Shoes Go with a Gray Shirt?

Tom Cruise pairs a gray shirt with black shoes at the "Oblivion" UK film premiere in London, England in 2013.
Tom Cruise pairs a gray shirt with black shoes at the "Oblivion" UK film premiere in London, England in 2013. (Image: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Absolutely everything goes with a white shirt, and most footwear seems to work with a black shirt. However, when it comes to that middle ground, the gray shirt, deciding what color shoes to pair with your top may leave you feeling a bit unsure. This neutral top color pairs well with nearly anything. For the best look possible, though, consider some stellar options.


When you're donning a light gray shirt, a solid way to keep onlookers' eyes up at the top portion of your outfit while offering a solid, sleek anchor to your look is wearing a pair of black shoes. For a casual ensemble with a gray shirt and jeans, opt for black-on-black Converse-style sneakers. You can also dress things up a bit with a pair of black leather boots during the winter season or black strappy leather sandals during warm weather.


If you have a particular penchant for soft, tonal dressing, like wearing multiple shades of gray all within one outfit, then you are in luck. Visualize yourself in a pale gray shirt and a pair of charcoal-gray trousers. Skip the expected black shoes and spring for a medium gray pair of kicks to keep your look subtle. A pair of tweed loafers offers a unique finish to a menswear look while tweed flats or pumps complete a womenswear outfit.


Gray is the ideal neutral to start with when playing around with adding bold color and interesting mixtures of hues to your get-up. Start with a soft gray shirt and a pair of black slacks or a black skirt. Instead of pairing neutral shoes with your neutral look, reach for a more vibrant pair. Consider a pair of cobalt and orange wingtips, whether brogues or high-heel Mary-Janes. You'll get a kick of visual interest without overdoing it.


Perhaps you are wearing a gray shirt with beautiful detailing, and the last thing you want is to draw any attention from your top. Whether your top is tucked into a pair of neutral or colorful bottoms, you can avoid adding any extra competition to your ensemble with a pair of nude shoes. Look for footwear that matches your natural skin tone as closely as possible to achieve a convincing "nude." From oxfords to loafers, moccasins, sandals or pumps, a nude shoe will disappear while keeping the attention on the rest of your attire.

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