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I have a black merino wool sweater which I love, but I can't seem to figure out how to wear it in a casual setting. If I were to pair it with dark jeans, what colour shoes should I wear? Black seems to me to be too dressy with jeans, but brown shoes might seem a bit weird with the black top. Is this a no-win situation? Should I just restrict the black sweater to more formal occasions, pairing with grey trousers and such, where black shoes would work?
 

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In many parts of Europe black shoes are the one type of footwear you NEVER EVER wear with blue jeans. Black boots and black trainers are okay but never black smei-formal/formal shoes

Suggestion: Black jumper, khaki or cream chinos or light to mid (i.e usual) blue jeans or even green or rust jeans, brown shoes.

I find that very dark blue denim just looks cheap and wrong.

I regularly wear dark green, navy blue and black jumpers with blue or black jeans with dark brown brogues or with a pair of white adidas or with my cherry red boots.

Don't be afraid of brown shoes with black trousers, as long as they match in their level of style (smart, casual, scruffy etc.)

But the one thing I never ever wear with blue jeans is black shoes!

I know quite a few gentlemen's and style books cover this & I never
understood why until I'd read this and then tried it. It just looks cheap and wrong to me.
 

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I have two black sweaters, a crewneck and a v-neck, that I wear with jeans. I also black and grey tweed jackets that I wear with jeans and when wearing any of these items I also wear black shoes.

Having said that, I don't particularly care for the way a shiny dress shoe looks with jeans. Jeans are inherently casual and while they can be dressed up for casual social occasions with certain shirts and jackets, they are still casual; therefore, I much prefer a more casual shoe. At present I like this when I need a black shoe, the Adidas Stan Smith. It's an all leather upper shoe originally designed for tennis (edited because I originally said basketball, duh!) many years ago.

https://img411.imageshack.us/my.php?image=79584370285mh8.jpg

Although dismissed by many here, a couple of months ago GQ magazine addressed this very subject and their suggestion was just this type of black shoe for dressing up casual wear or for dressing down slightly more formal wear than jeans.

Black boots are also a viable option.

Cruiser
 

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Interesting thread. I have often worn black casual shoes with jeans (driving mocs, dull calf Tommy Bahama beefroll loafers, or J&M robber-soled split-toes). Though I think brown probably does look a little better than black with jeans, you can pull it off if you're wearing the right shirt and/or sweater. For example, I think brown shoes with jeans would look odd if you're wearing a black turtleneck sweater and a black sports coat.

Interesting that black shoes with jeans is considered verbotten on the other side of The Pond.
 

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Black and brown are almost NEVER ok to mix IMO. The only time I can justify mixing black and brown is black shoes/belt with a khaki suit.

In the situation described above I'd just go for a more casual black shoe. Cruiser's Stan Smith idea isn't bad, but there are other viable options as well. Someone mentioned boots earlier - I say black Chelseas would look fantastic. Black Wallabees might not be too bad, either. Certainly black penny loafers would look great. Just don't do brown - that would be a crying shame for any forumite.
 

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I don't hate black shoes with dark jeans. If you don't want too formal of a shoe, wear a black shoe that is more casual - loafers or bluchers, for example (or certain sneakers, as Cruiser pointed out - that changes the overall look of the outfit, though, so it depends on what you're going for).

If you don't want to wear black shoes and brown looks weird, go with burgundy. It's more casual than black and looks fine with black clothing.
 

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At present I like this when I need a black shoe, the Adidas Stan Smith. It's an all leather upper shoe originally designed for basketball many years ago.

https://img411.imageshack.us/my.php?image=79584370285mh8.jpg
Cruiser, your only defence now is to claim to be French or German or Japanese or something. Anything but American (if indeed you are American):icon_smile_big:

Stan Smith was one of the greatest tennis players the US has ever produced.
And Adidas Stan Smith's, which first appeared I think in the 60s, are tennis shoes not basketball shoes! Shame on you :icon_smile_wink:
 

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a couple thoughts:

First, on black:

(1) consider black loafers. Something of a classic look that can be quite sharp.

(2) next consider black suede

If neither works for you, then you have a few other options:

(3) cordovan (esp. a dark #8, like #8 polished with black for a few years). It's not as potentially clashing as a dark brown and the black, but is still dark for the overall look.

(4) if you want to go with brown, go with a lighter shade. I wear whiskey LHSs with dark jeans and a black sweater frequently, and because the color is so light, it avoids the clashiness that can happen with a darker brown.
 

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I wear my black wool sweater with my dark blue jeans and black bluchers. They are a matted black so not shiny, and a loafer would look great too. I agree that a shiny black laceup would be too formal for jeans. You could always go barefoot and not worry about it!
 

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^

Good point - whiskey would be the only acceptable shade of brown to match with a black sweater. I plead again, don't use any other shade of brown - PLEASE.
 

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Cruiser, your only defence now is to claim to be French or German or Japanese or something. Anything but American (if indeed you are American):icon_smile_big:

Stan Smith was one of the greatest tennis players the US has ever produced.
And Adidas Stan Smith's, which first appeared I think in the 60s, are tennis shoes not basketball shoes! Shame on you :icon_smile_wink:
Yeah, I went back and changed that. Duh! I do know better. Actually I also have a pair of Converse All-Stars which was originally a basketball shoe and they were sitting on the floor beside me as I was typing that reply. I guess I was looking at my All-Stars while talking about my Stan Smiths. Also I am aware of the fact that many basketball referees wear this, and other similar, tennis shoe. I know one high school referee who wears the Stan Smith shoe.

Let me say that I did notice this and made the correction BEFORE I read your post, but let me thank you for pointing out my mistake for the world to see. :icon_smile_big:

Cruiser
 

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a couple thoughts:

First, on black:

(1) consider black loafers. Something of a classic look that can be quite sharp.

(2) next consider black suede

If neither works for you, then you have a few other options:

(3) cordovan (esp. a dark #8, like #8 polished with black for a few years). It's not as potentially clashing as a dark brown and the black, but is still dark for the overall look.

(4) if you want to go with brown, go with a lighter shade. I wear whiskey LHSs with dark jeans and a black sweater frequently, and because the color is so light, it avoids the clashiness that can happen with a darker brown.
+1.

The bottom line is this: With a black sweater, black shoes will always look great. There are plenty of more casual, yet nice black shoes to wear. Choose the ones you like the best.
 

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I find that very dark blue denim just looks cheap and wrong.
Really, I had no idea. I wonder who's wearing the millions of pairs of dark wash denim?

But the one thing I never ever wear with blue jeans is black shoes!

I know quite a few gentlemen's and style books cover this & I never
understood why until I'd read this and then tried it. It just looks cheap and wrong to me.
Why exactly is it wrong?
 

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Really, I had no idea. I wonder who's wearing the millions of pairs of dark wash denim?

Why exactly is it wrong?
It can look awful. As for articulating the reason it's likely the contrast between the formality of a black dress shoe and the informality of denim, especially given EofO's preference for washed denims.

Still, as I said before, there are ways to do it.
 

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It can look awful. As for articulating the reason it's likely the contrast between the formality of a black dress shoe and the informality of denim, especially given EofO's preference for washed denims.

Still, as I said before, there are ways to do it.
The OP never mentioned black dress shoes. He just said black shoes. I thought he might try a penny loafer. Even in black they don't look formal.
 
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