How To

How to buy dress shoes for your wedding

By on January 29th, 2021

A common question we are asked by our wedding clients is how to buy dress shoes that will match with their new custom suit. While the possibilities are near endless, there are a few key guidelines that can help you to decide.

In the context of weddings, the place to start to ask yourself how formal your wedding and attire is. Dressy black tie weddings, where you will wear a tuxedo, will most often require a black shoe that is well shined. Or traditionally, in patent leather (the glossy finish style). On the other hand, a more casual ranch wedding in the mountains will be a little different. You could wear a shoe with more “stuff” on it, meaning detail stitching or brogue designs. Maybe even cowboy boots.

Also, regardless of what color you wear, keep in mind that the darker you go, the dressier things get. A light brown shoe will be relatively casual looking, but a dark brown will be more formal.

How to have some fun

For a more colorful suit such as a royal blue or green, you throw caution to the wind and have a little fun. For instance, one of the more underrepresented shoe colors is what is commonly called Oxblood (i.e. a brownish-burgundy shade). Pair this with a burgundy suit and you’ll surely turn some heads.

Or, a more subtle approach is to have your shoe shine professional shine the toe with another color. Note that this coloring eventually wears away, but it does take some time. If you’re in the Denver area, here’s where we recommend for this advanced treatment.

And now, for a few examples

That all being said, here are some of our recommendations. The shoes I’ve linked to are by Allen Edmonds, which are of great quality. And if you were to use a shoe tree, you should easily get 10 – 15 years out of them. However, regardless of the brand name, these three styles are pretty common. I’m sure you could find similar styles with your go-to brand.

If your wedding is formal, but not quite black tie attire, here is a nice and clean style / the most dressy.

This is a “cap-toe” style with more detailing on the toe. Most of the Oxfords in my own closet are of this particular style. A touch more casual than the above, but not by much.

And then with more of the brogue styling, you have this type of shoe. The most casual of the bunch. If your wedding is primarily outdoors on a farm or ranch and overall casual, then these are going to match the aesthetic and look great.

Parting thoughts on how to buy dress shoes

Just as many grooms are shopping for a wedding suit that will be versatile enough to wear for many years to come, many of our clients like to invest in a pair of shoes that will last. So depending on how you will wear them, maybe those reddish Oxblood shoes with your burgundy suit won’t be as versatile as a darker brown.

Also, most fine quality dress shoes are made of calf leather. If you’d like to consider a more sustainable or vegan option, there seem to be more and more suitable shoes everyday.

Further reading

If you would like to learn more about where to shine your shoes before your wedding, read this.