Is It Okay to Wear Dress Shoes with Jeans?


It’s funny how fashion rules evolve. For instance, consider the possibility of wearing dress shoes with jeans. Is it okay? It is in 2021. But back in 1971, it was unheard of. No one in their right mind would mix the casual appearance of denim with the formality of a good pair of dress shoes. It just wasn’t done.

It is a lot easier to pull off the jeans and dress shoes look today. Not only that, but it is also socially acceptable. But there are some caveats. Those wishing to travel this road have to follow some simple rules. Some of these are explained below, compliments of GC Tech, one of the latest entries in the men’s waterproof shoe cover market.

Don’t Neglect the Socks

The number one, most important, non-negotiable rule of wearing dress shoes with jeans is to put on a pair of socks. It is fine to wear sneakers without socks. It’s mandatory to leave off the socks when you’re wearing sandals. But when it comes to dress shoes and jeans, neglecting your socks makes you look like a hobo. Going sockless makes your shoes stick out so much that they completely take over your look.

Choose the Right jeans

Do not be foolish enough to think you can pull off a pair of dress shoes if you’re wearing distressed jeans. Skip the jeans with the rips, tears, tatters, and holes. They are far too casual. Not only that, but they also just look dumb. Leave those jeans for teenagers and the counterculture gang.

The jeans you choose to wear with your dress shoes should be clean and not too faded. They shouldn’t have any rips or tears. They don’t have to be dress jeans, but they shouldn’t be so casual as to look like you may have gotten them from the secondhand store across town.

Stay Away from Skinny Jeans

This next tip may clash with the fashion sense of many a modern person but heed it anyway: stay away from skinny jeans if you intend to wear a pair of dress shoes. Skinny jeans are already on the edge of being unacceptable for men. If you wear them with a pair of dress shoes, you are taking a risk that your shoes will stick out like the beak on a bird’s face. Your feet don’t really need that kind of attention.

Choose the Right Shoes

That pair of oxfords or wingtips in your closet might be the perfect choice for a formal event with a full suit. They are overkill for a pair of jeans. Instead, a more casual set of dress shoes will work better. The experts say derbies, brogues, and loafers work well.

Be Careful With the Shoe Covers

It is okay to protect your dress shoes with waterproof shoe covers but choose the covers wisely. Stay away from silicone and rubber. Instead, get shoe covers made from a breathable fabric that more closely matches the look of the genes. Make sure the shoe covers are black as well. Bright colors will not do. 

Don’t Turn Up the Cuffs

Modern men have a nasty habit of turning up the cuffs of their pants. When it comes to jeans, turning up the cuffs makes you look like an eight-year-old playing out in the yard. Don’t do it, especially if you plan on wearing dress shoes. Turning up the cuffs creates an informal look that will clash with your shoes. Leave the cuffs alone!

It’s perfectly fine to wear dress shoes with jeans. Just follow some simple rules to pull off the look without criticism.

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