For an interview or important meeting, wear your gray suit with classic black pumps for a professional look.

The Right Type of Shoes for a Gray Suit

by Jennifer Blair

A gray suit is a staple In a professional wardrobe because of its versatility and polished look. The neutral appearance of a gray suit allows you to wear it with virtually any color or pattern, which means the styling possibilities are endless. That's why it's so easy to find shoes to wear with it. Depending on where you're headed and whether your suit features pants or a skirt, you can choose from several options that help play up your suit's traditional look or give it a fresh, bold look.

1. Classic Pumps

When women are wearing a suit, closed-toe pumps are the classic choice of shoe. The neutrality of gray allows for a wide range of shoe colors. For a traditional look, pair your suit with black leather pumps. If you prefer a softer look, charcoal or navy heels can also work well. For a fashion-forward look, wear your suit with patent-leather pumps -- slide toward the conservative side with a neutral shade like black, or add a pop of color to your outfit with a pair of red patent-leather pumps. If you’re wearing your suit out in the evening, satin or suede pumps in black, red or even silver can dress up your suit. Look for pumps that feature embellishments too, such as rhinestone details.

2. Modern Boots

The right pair of boots can give your gray suit a modern feel. To match the polished look of the suit, opt for a heeled style that gives you some extra lift. If you’re wearing a pantsuit, choose a pair of ankle boots; a simple pair of black leather booties work well for a classic look, but you can give your suit more personality by choosing a pair that features decorative details such as side buckles or studs. If you’re wearing a gray suit with a skirt, knee-high or calf boots are particularly good options in the fall and winter when you want to keep your legs warm. Choose a suede pair in a rich shade like eggplant, cranberry or teal to liven up your gray suit.

3. Comfortable Flats

If you’re not comfortable walking in heels, you don’t need to stumble around in pumps just because you’re wearing a suit. Flats can work with your favorite gray suit if you choose the right style. To maintain a professional look for the office, opt for flats with a bold, modern look. Pair your light-gray suit with nude flats that feature silver stud details, or slip into a pair of pointy-toed, black, patent-leather flats to wear with a charcoal suit. If you work in a more creative office, you can also finish your look with ballet flats; try a brightly colored, floral-print pair to spice up the look of your gray suit.

4. Sexy Sling Backs

In the summer, you want to stay cool, but if you work in an office, it may not be appropriate to pair your suit with sandals or wedges. Instead, step through the doors in a pair of sling backs. Sling backs leave more skin exposed than traditional pumps do, but if you choose a style with a closed front, they’re still professional enough for the office. To give your gray suit a fresh look for spring and summer, choose sling backs in lighter colors. A pointy-toed pair in a blush or nude shade can help your legs look longer if your suit features a skirt, or you may opt for a bright coral, patent-leather pair to really make a statement.

5. For The Guys

When it comes to choosing shoes to pair with a gray suit, guys have several classic options. A pair of black lace-up Oxfords offers a traditional, professional look that works well at the office. However, a pair of rich-brown tasseled loafers can give your gray suit some European flair. If you want a more modern look, pair your suit with simple, black pull-on boots. When you really want to stand out, though, play with color. Try a pair of dark oxblood or mossy-green colored shoes to really give a simple gray suit some personality.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images