Can you wear brown shoes in the evening?
Dear Antonio, can I wear brown shoes in the evening? I know all the rules, no wine before nine, no brown after six, but do the rules cover all possible situations? No brown to a club, no brown to an informal social meeting, no brown to a museum, say, at 7:00 p.m. I understand that I should only wear black shoes for an opera, formal meeting, or at a decent restaurant with dinner with an important client, but what about less formal events? Thank you in advance. Vlad.
My quick answer is that yes, you can wear brown shoes in the evening. There are three factors that you're going to want to pay attention to when you're choosing really not just the color of your shoes, but the entire color of your outfit.
Watch this Youtube video Can You Wear Brown Shoes In The Evening?
I'm going to leave out your natural colors and tones. These are three things independent.
How formal is the occasion, and you bring that up in your question.
If you're going to the opera, if you're going to something that's a formal event, you want to wear darker colors. And so, in that case, black shoes will suit most events.
However, dark brown especially if what you're wearing is, let's say, a navy suit, look fine and it can be pulled off in the evening.
2. Time of the Day
You want to look at the time of the day, and you did mention this as well. In the evening, you're going to see darker colors; during the day, lighter colors. So we've talked about the formality of the event and the time of the day.
3. Time of the Year
Is it summer? Is it winter? Usually with hotter temperatures with warmer temperatures, you're going to see lighter colors, so just look informal wear.
You'll see that whenever you're looking at black tie and smoking jackets, even dinner jackets, all that stuff right there, you're going to see lighter colors during the summer, so it's perfectly fine to have a dinner jacket instead of going black and black with your tux to actually have a white jacket with black bottoms with black shoes.
We're not saying white shoes there, but what we are saying is that because of the weather, we're seeing lighter colors. So you'll see white box, you'll see spectators.
This is summer wear and it's associated with the season. If you're going to an event that's in the summer, that's during the day and is informal, that's perfect for light-colored shoes to include tans, browns, like that.
If it's during the winter, if it's a formal event, and if it's going to be in the evening, these three factors lean me towards black shoes. Anywhere in between, well, this is left open to interpretation. So if you're going to an evening pretty formal event but it's during the summer and you actually take into account that,
“Hey, I have light colored hair, light colored skin. I'm going to be wearing a lighter colored suit,” you could pull that off because of the weather especially if it starts, let's say, around 5:00 or 4:00 p.m. and then goes into the evening. So it also depends on when — and this is kind of the wild card, is when do the event start and when does it end.
If you're going to a wedding event and it's starting, let's say, two or three in the afternoon, maybe even a little bit later, you can still wear lighter colors into the evening despite it going until 2:00 in the morning.
There isn't exactly a right or wrong answer. There are guidelines and hopefully that helps. You figure out your unique situation.