Wearing Italian leather shoes with your jeans

With more and more offices allowing semi-casual dress, jeans are becoming a work wear norm. Some men love it, some men hate it… but it’s really a man’s prerogative when you get down to brass tax. We find that a more casual look during the week is fine if executed properly. One way to make your jeans office-friendly is to elevate the look with a classic pair of Italian leather shoes.

Hold up… doesn’t the look of dress shoes and jeans remind you a little too much of Dad in the 90s? Okay, sure. That’s the wrong way to go about it. If you want to avoid looking like a JC Penny model circa 1997, maybe keep these two things in mind before pairing your dress shoes and jeans:

  1. As far as denim goes, color is key

Also, watch your wash. That is, pay just as much attention to the look of the jeans as you do the shoes. The thing is, jeans aren’t the same whatever work wear they were when Levi Strauss was just outfitting gold miners. Nowadays, denim is its own industry and everything element of your jeans—from construction to color to cut—is carefully planned and executed by designers to make sure you pick their dungarees over the countless others available. Don’t take their hard work in vain! If you’re picking out a pair of jeans to wear with dress shoes, go for a darker color without a distressed wash. You want your jeans to look as nice as your Italian leather shoes—and just trust us when we say that darker jeans look better on everyone. Seriously, everyone.

Also, just like the modern cuts of suits, a slimmer cut is going to look best. How slim you go is up to you… just leave some room to breathe, if you know what we mean.

  1. But for the shoes, go for a softer shade and finish

We’ve pointed out the limitations of black dress shoes with suit color before. So it stands to reason that as far as pairing Italian leather shoes with denim, that particular style should be avoided. Brown is always a good choice, but we can’t think of a better time to try a great pair of grey or oxblood shoes than with your jeans.

As far as finish goes, stay away from harsh and shiny. That high-polished look is for occasions that call for, well, a more polished look! Go for a pair that has detail and texture. Whether it be from the construction (like some semi-brogue oxfords) or from the material (good to see you there, suede) you’ll find your look is much more cohesive with the right finish.


Need a great pair of Italian leather shoes to pair with your jeans? We have an amazing selection of oxfords, boots, and loafers so you can find the perfect pair. Find them all here.