Brown Pants + Black Shoes = Fashion Faux Pas?

Warning - Long, rambling plea for help to follow…

I just started student teaching last week - Yay! In anticipation for this joyous event, I purchased several hundred dollars worth of clothing. Included in my purchase were black and brown slacks and a pair of black Birkenstocks. I have little to no arches in my feet, so the added support of the Birks is essential.

Now here comes my conundrum… I really want to wear my brown pants (they’d match so nicely with a lot of my tops, especially the tan and brown ones) but I only have the black Birks. How horrible would it be to just wear the brown pants/black shoe combo? Mom says not to worry; I say that I need a pair of brown shoes. But then this would require me to spend yet more money on another pair of good shoes.

I considered putting good arches in a “bad” pair of brown shoes, but then my feet and knees are killing me at the end of the day. I unfortunately know this from experience.

What say you fashionistas of the Dope? Should I take the plunge and do the brown shoes/black pants combo or shell out for a pair of brown shoes?

Thanks in advance, DC.

Wear whatever you want. Seriously. Other teachers aren’t going to even notice - they’re too busy. Wear the Birks.

An addendum to my question, if I may…

What about wearing a brown shirt with black pants… what then?

Also, what to do about socks and belts? What are the rules regarding them?

I’m new to this, so please help!

Thanks, DC.

Thanks, ggurl. Mom said something similar as well. The thing is that I have been told over and over again to treat this experience as one long job interview, so I want to look the part as best I can. The principal and vice-principal are in and out of the hallways and my classroom all the time, so they will see me every day.

Take care of your feet! It’s more important to be comfortable than to be stylish. I wear black sandals with brown pants, and I’ve never been arrested by the fashion police. I think black and brown look fine together, but maybe I just have bad taste. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well I sure hope you don’t have bad taste, MagicEyes, because then, so do I. For a bridal shower today I wore a tan top, brown pants, and black shoes.

Generally as long as you’re going lighter to darker top to bottom you’re OK. Brown shirt with black pants IMHO depends on how dark a brown it is. Personally I don’t like a dark brown shirt with a black pant. As far as belts go, match them to the pants. A slash of a different color around your waist looks really bad. Your socks shouldn’t even be visible since your pants should break over the tops of your shoes, but match them to the shoe.

Of course if you saw how I dress you might choose not to pay the slightest bit of attention to anything I say on the topic of fashion.

How dark is the brown? Although I agree with the people who are saying feet are more important than fashion, I think the lighter the brown, the more acceptable it is to wear black against it.

I always say a pair of white Go-Go boots is never wrong in any occasion - even after Labor Day. It makes a statement.
But where did this “black/brown = bad” concept begin?
I personally hate all brown shoes - don’t know why; no rational reason - but they always look like something bought in a thrift store in Romania.

It’s technically wrong, but i do it a lot because it’s one of the least offensive fashion mistakes. I haven’t found the perfect brown shoes yet. But I’m LOOKIN’!

I think black shoes with brown pants will be fine - as Otto said, as long as the feet are darker than the pant, you’ll be A-OK (otherwise way too much attention is drawn to the feet and they look big).

I would NOT wear a brown top with black pants, particularly if you have brown pants to wear it with instead - that being said, tan or beige would be great with a black pant.

Match your belt to your pants and you’ll be fine.

I’m a stickler for the “rules,” such as they are. I suggest investing in some brown shoes at some point, but until you do, the black shoes are okay. As an interim measure.

Ravenman, I am planning on doing exactly this. I asked Mom to buy me a pair of brown Birks as an early Christmas gift and she said yes. Yay! In the meantime though, I’m just sticking with my black shoes.

You know, since posting my OP, I’ve been keeping a close eye on other teachers’ pants/shoes combo. I’ve come to the conclusion that I have nothing to worry about. I even saw someone wearing black cropped pants with brown shoes! :eek:

Thanks for the advice everybody. If I get Birks, I’ll post a link to pics so everyone can ohh and ahh over them. :slight_smile:


If black shoes with brown pants are a faux pas, I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell the Iowa State Patrol.


Just so this isn’t a drive-by smiling, I’m going to add a shameless plug to my other student teaching-related thread over here in which have requested lesson help.


Oh, but you know who will?? The kids :slight_smile:

My students not only can list EVERY article of clothing I own, they can run betting pools on what day I’ll wear them.

I was taught to wear black shoes with all shades of brown. Brown shoes go with pants in shades of green/blue.

Yes, I wear green pants. Corduroy. More of a dark olive green. But more green than olive. And a yellow polo.

I need a life.