No brown in town. Chances are you’ve heard this phrase at some point in regards to dress shoes and tailoring. The phrase can be traced back to Edward VIII. It was a fancy way of saying you should never brown shoes with navy in a formal situation or wearing your tweed in the city.
So should we stick to this time honoured tradition?
Style “rules” should be taken as no more than beginner’s guides in the modern age. They say rules are meant to be broken and this one certainly fits the bill. Brown shoes with navy can definitely work with the right tones. Brown shoes can even work with black if you style it right. The trick is to not have too much contrast between the tones. Dark navy? Dark Brown. Light navy? Light brown.