What Color Shoes Go With Charcoal Outfits?

From dresses to power suits to skinny jeans, charcoal is the perfect staple for your wardrobe. If you're trying to steer clear of all-black attire, charcoal allows you to build a monochromatic look without the harshness of black. Plus, as a neutral, charcoal and gray outfits are ideal for playing with accessories. So when it comes to shoes, what are the best colors to pair with your dark gray look? We've done the research for you and put together the top contenders to style your next charcoal look.

The best color of shoes to pair with your charcoal outfit include:

  • Black
  • Nude
  • Red
  • White

Charcoal is both sophisticated and understated, easily styled for casual and business looks. Choosing the right shoes for the day's events will ensure your ensemble plays its part in making you look fabulous in whatever your schedule throws at you. Keep reading to find out how you can pick the perfect color shoes for charcoal outfits!

A couple wearing gray sweater, jeans, and brown shoes, What Color Shoes Go With Charcoal Outfits?

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What colors go well with charcoal gray?

Whether you are deciding on color schemes for design or styling, pairing colors with gray will always be about the contrast. When working with charcoal, which is a darker shade of gray, sticking to light colors will provide depth to your color palette.

If you favor a darker color palette with charcoal, you should pick colors that are a shade or two darker than the gray you are working with. This will still allow a contrast in colors without becoming too muddy. When you aren't opting for a monochromatic look, contrast creates a more appealing look.

Does gray have a complementary color?

As a neutral, gray matches with almost any color. However, one color seems to stand the test of time in many forms of design—pink. From bright pinks to soft blushes, differing shades of pink are paired with light and dark grays in areas of fashion, interior design, and art.

Pink is a warm tone that doesn't carry the harshness of reds or oranges; gray is a cool neutral that doesn't create a stark contrast like its parent colors of black or white. What you get is a color combination that can be fun, girly, sophisticated, and bold.

Shoes To Pair With Charcoal Outfits

Although gray is hard to mismatch with most colors, when looking at clothing, you have to consider function. Can you pair rainbow patterned shoes with a charcoal outfit? Technically, yes. But usually, it takes a strong and consistent personal style to pull that off.

Charcoal is a classic in suits, cold-weather sweaters, and casual to business casual dresses. We can touch on the bolder pairings later, but let's first focus on classic and everyday pairings with charcoal outfits.


A woman wearing a gray sweater pleated gray pants and black shoes

Black is one of the darker shades you can use when creating a contrast with charcoal. It's incredibly difficult to get this color combination wrong since charcoal and black are so well-matched, as black is with almost anything.

When in heel form, this is the perfect color combo for business attire or a cocktail party. It's subdued yet classy and provides the perfect opportunity to play with more adventurous accessories.

Of course, if you are going for something more casual, like charcoal jeans or a t-shirt dress, black sandals or sneakers are a perfect match.


Nudes are another color where it's hard to go wrong. Nude heels paired with pants or a dress give the illusion of long legs. The warm neutral of a nude shoe is the perfect contrast with charcoal's cooler undertones.

Do brown shoes go with gray pants?

Beige and other light browns can be paired with your charcoal outfit. When opting for a shade of brown, stay away from rich, dark shades that will clash with the dark of charcoal. If you do prefer a type of darker shade of brown, you can lean more towards camel color or other browns with red undertones.


Red is a bold classic that truly takes a neutral outfit to the next level. The great thing about charcoal and reds is that you can choose almost any variation or shade of red to pair with your outfit.

Bright reds are perfect if you want a standout piece. If you want a more studious look, burgundy can add a touch of color to brighten up a gray outfit. And of course, if you want something softer, pinks are gray's best friend.


If you aren't afraid of wearing white, then this can be a stunning color option for your charcoal attire. From heels to sneakers to the infamous Dr. Martens, bright white will pop next to gray.

White heels or loafers will ensure you look sophisticated and well put together. Crisp and clean white paired with a deeper gray will also lend freedom in dressing up your outfit in other ways, like with a purse or bright-colored jacket.

Honorable Mentions

When you want to step out of your comfort zone or simply have a fun event to attend, there are shoes that will take a polished outfit into something more adventurous.

Patterns And Textures

Animal prints, glitter, and color-blocked sneakers are a funky way to jazz up a dull charcoal outfit. These are perfect for casual lunch dates with your friends or a day of shopping.


Chrome sneakers, boots, or heels will make sure your gray outfit is drawing all eyes to you. Chrome and metallic shoes are a great way to dress up an outfit for a party or event.

You don't have to be stuck with silver metallics just because you're wearing gray. Try a shiny gold or metallic brown to set off your ensemble.

Bright Colors

Hot pink, bright blues, and yellows are more daring colors you can pair with charcoal. Much like red, these colors will certainly be attention-grabbing. However, these colors tend not to look as mature as red. They can make your outfit look lively, young, and audacious.

What color shoes should I wear with a gray dress?

The best thing about a gray dress is its versatility. A simple gray bodycon dress can be dressed up with heels and a jacket for a polished look. Or you can throw on a pair of sneakers and a flannel for the perfect combination of casual and comfortable.

When it comes to picking shoes for your dress, take into account the events you have for the day. Do you need to be the impressive businesswoman for all-day meetings? Go for classics like black or nude. But, if you have no one to impress but yourself, you can have more fun with white sneakers, blue sandals, or beige thigh highs.

In Closing

Charcoal is quickly becoming the new black. With its ability to create a monochromatic masterpiece and its versatility to suit whatever your day holds, it's a must-have for your closet. And when it comes to shoes for that charcoal outfit, keep in mind to create contrast and consider function.

Still needing inspiration for shoes to don with your power suit? Check out this post: "What Color Shoes Go With A Gray Suit?"

Not sure what shoes to wear with your favorite cargo pants? Head on over to this post for insight on the perfect shoes: "What Shoes Go With Cargo Pants?"

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