Wondering which shoes to pair with those khakis and chinos? It all depends on the outfit, the occasion, and the look you're going for.
The good news is that because khakis are so versatile, they can be worn with a huge variety of shoe styles. But remember, khakis aren't suit pants, and they aren't jeans. Therefore the trick in wearing khakis successfully is to avoid shoes that are too dressy, or too casual.
Here are a few of the best shoes to wear with khakis.
Weather permitting, sandals are a fabulous choice for keeping khakis looking casual. But choose your sandals wisely, lest you get into that dangerous territory where you just look confused.
Bright colors are a definite "don't," as are most sandals with rubber straps.
Instead, look for sleek, stylish sandals like thongs and slides with smooth uppers in black, browns, dusky blues, muted greens, earthy shades or even whites.
Trendier styles, such as those with frayed edges, toe rings, or hardware can really lend an edge to khakis, but should only be worn in very casual settings.
Aside from wearing them with flip-flops, the quickest way to take khakis to their most casual level is by pairing them with sneakers. But even if you're going for a laid-back look, there's no need to be sloppy about it.
Unless you're under 21, in a band, on a skateboard, or have several tats and piercings to support your rebellious ways, it's best to avoid wearing certain sneakers with khakis. Ratty high tops, skate shoes, and puffy white trainers are just a little "too" casual for most occasions.
Instead, look for laid-back slip-ons, earth-toned retro styles, or anything with a bit of European flair. Avoid heavy velcro-straps, big logos, bright colors, and anything that's too "busy" with stripes or patterns.
There are very few casual shoes that don't work with chinos and khakis. Whether you prefer a lace-up oxford or a slip-on shoe, the main thing to remember is that you want a shoe that works with the rest of your outfit, not one that overpowers it.
To keep your shoes from stealing the attention from the rest of your outfit, avoid styles that have a lot of fussy detailing, wild prints, or features that make them seem overly clunky.
When it's a casual look you're going for, you don't want your shoes to seem like a try-hard. Look for simple, attractive styles in a color that complements the rest of your ensemble.
As I said above, khakis are not a substitute for suit pants. However, they can be brought to a level that is quite appropriate for many business settings and dressier occasions.
While most dress shoes will work well with chinos, I prefer to see really shiny black dress shoes saved for suits and other dress pants. But a pair of khakis is the perfect complement for all those trendy dress styles that might be a little too trendy for really formal settings. They're also great for pairing with different materials and textures.
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