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Colour matching for shoes and jeans

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Matching shoe colors with jeans are a whole different ball game than matching shoe style with jeans style.

There are a lot of guides on how to match your shoe colors with your dress pants.

Jeans and shoes color combinations play by the same rules of the color theory and the color wheel.

Of course there are many nuances involved like matching  your shoes with your top or belt but all in all, there isn’t much to it than your good ol’ regular color matching.

These are some guidelines to help out with wearing your casual or formal/dress shoes with your different shades of jeans.

Pro TIp:

For those who are looking to match burgundy oxford boots.

If you don't get the joke, just google sasha grey. At your own discretion.
If you don’t get the joke, just google sasha grey. At your own discretion.

1.) COMPLEMENTARY COLORS

As they are directly opposite each other, red and green are complimentary colors.
As they are directly opposite each other, red and green are complimentary colors.

Complementary colors are colors that are directly opposite each other in the color wheel. For example, red and green are complimentary colors.

Desired Look:

Complimentary colors when used together create a very vibrant and youthful look.

Wear complimentary colors for your shoes and jeans if you want to stand out and give off an energetic, radiant and youthful look.

Warning:

If not managed well, complimentary colors can be jarring. Proceed with caution. If you’re a beginner, i would advise going for the split-complimentary color shoes and jeans combination first. (Below)

Green pants/jeans with reddish brown shoes. Notice the lack of socks to break the jarring contrast.
Green pants/jeans with reddish brown shoes. Notice the lack of socks to break the jarring contrast.

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Good complimentary of bright green with dullish red- brown
Good complimentary of bright green with dullish red- brown
blue-green jeans with dull brown suede bucks shoes.
blue-green jeans with dull brown suede bucks shoes.

2.) SPLIT-COMPLIMENTARY COLORS

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Split Complimentary colors are a close cousin of the complimentary colors. Instead of the direct complimentary, we use the adjacent colors to its complimentary.

For example, violet-red and red orange are a split complimentary color to green.

Desired Look: 

Similar to complimentary colors, wear split-complimentary color shoes and jeans if you want to stand out and appear radiant, energetic and youthful.

Note: 

Split complimentary colors jeans and shoes give the same visual contrasting and radiant look as complimentary colors but have less tension.

Pro tip: It is a good choice for beginners or first time experimenters as it is difficult to mess up.

Below are a few examples of split complimentary color combination for your jeans and shoes, both casual and formal shoes.

dullish yellow with burgundy derby shoe combination. Not exactly perfect split complimentary colors matching.Too eye piercing?
dullish yellow with burgundy derby shoe combination. Not exactly perfect split complimentary colors matching.Too eye piercing?
Light wash denim with brown leather shoes, Brings the attention to your shoes. Only do so if you have a really nice looking pair of shoes.
Light wash denim with brown leather shoes, Brings the attention to your shoes. Only do so if you have a really nice looking pair of shoes.
Good example of split-complimentary color shoes and jeans/pants
Good example of split-complimentary color shoes and jeans/pants
Yellow jeans wearing well with a blue/brown dual tone sneaker. Radiant and energetic but not jarring
Yellow jeans wearing well with a blue/brown dual tone sneaker. Radiant and energetic but not jarring

3.) ANALOGOUS COLORS

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Analogous colors are colors that are adjacent to each other on the color wheel.

For example, yellow-green and blue-green are analogous colors to green color.

Desired look:

Analogous colors shoe and jeans combination gives a calm and comfortable impression and are usually harmonious and soothing to the eyes.

Pro Tip:

Wear them if you don’t want to stand out too much but still want to remain eye-catching and fashion forward. Great for beginners.

Below are a few examples of analogous color matching for shoes and jeans.

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Red jeans/pants are a good analogous color combination with brown shoes
Red jeans/pants are a good analogous color combination with brown shoes

4.) TONAL COLORS

Any colors found on the same row together are tonal colors.
Any colors found on the same row together are tonal colors.

Tonal colors are simply variations of one color. For example, dark blue and light blue are tonal colors as they are both variation of blues.

Do not confuse tonal combinations with analogous color combinations.(see above)

There are many instances where they do overlap. They are very similar with each other but not exactly identical.

For example, a light wash blue denim with green sneaker would be an analogous color combination but not a tonal one.

Desired look:

Simple but well constructed look. Perfect for the modern minimalist gentleman.

Pro tip:

When in doubt, go tonal. Great for first date outfit. It is almost impossible to go wrong with a tonal jeans and shoe combination.

Warnings: Make sure that you have enough contrast between your shoes and your jean, if not you would end up looking like its the same color.

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