Can you wear dress shoes with shorts ?

Can you wear dress shoes with shorts
City by

Shorts are one of the huge trends nowadays among the men’s fashion industry. From ramp walks to street looks everyone is taking things casually. Fashion designers have evolved the style of wearing shorts by adding new variations to the overall outlook.

Earlier where shorts were only worn with t-shirts and for footwear flip flops or sneakers were the top priorities, but now it changes and shorts are worn with shirts to blazers and jackets. Because of this change now we have lots of options to try with footwear, one can not only be limited to sneakers or flip-flops.

Well, that’s great and now we have enough options to try out. Well, do we? I think a lot of options mean a lot of confusion and it is the same here. Recently I have seen so many comments by men on forums about shorts.

The most common question they asked is what shoes to wear with shorts. Because we have a lot of options, some may be confused that we can wear every type of shoe with shorts. Well, that’s totally incorrect, a lot of options don’t mean everything.


I have seen a lot of people on the street that make this mistake. They wear different types of shoes and even dress shoes in shorts. And that concerns me, being a fashion ENTHUSIAST. But can we wear dress shoes with shorts? Well, that’s what today’s topic is all about. 

Can you wear dress shoes with shorts? 

Yes, you can wear dress shoes with shorts. Earlier it may look odd to wear dress shoes with shorts but now it is the common thing to do. But not all dress shoes are compatible to wear with shorts. There are some types of dress shoes that go well with shorts and others may look odd because of certain reasons.

Besides that, styling dress shoes with shorts is a complicated thing and you should know how to match the whole outfit to avoid any embarrassment. 

Types of dress shoes that you can wear with shorts

Before styling dress shoes with shorts. It’s important to know what is the occasion you are wearing it for, different occasion suits different styles.

If you are going to the most casual occasion like beach or pool party then I would suggest you avoid wearing dress shoes at all and instead go for sandals or flip-flops.

For upper attire, you should wear a T-shirt or sleeveless tees. 

Further, if you are going to any birthday party or any casual fun outdoor outing. You may Probably be wearing sneakers with shorts. For upper attire, you can wear a jacket or T-shirt. 

On the other hand, if you are going to any night indoor function or party then it’s more likely that you will wear something semi-formal such as a shirt, check shirt, or formal shirt.

You can even wear a blazer on the top to give the outfit a more formal look. For this type of attire, you need footwear that matches the whole outfit, and what could be better than dress shoes.

You can try a different type of dress shoes that goes well with shorts and avoid some at all. Then what dress shoes should you wear with shorts? Let’s find out. 

Derby shoes

Derby shoes are the one dress shoes that are mostly worn in offices and on formal occasions. These shoes have an open-laced system. But you can also wear them with shorts.

Derby is a cousin of Oxford and is very clean and simple shoes which means you need a simple outfit to style with it.

Avoid any big check shirts when wearing derby shoes with shorts, always go with a plain dress shirt or you can experiment with small check lining shirts.

With that, you should also avoid plain linen shirts because they give a more cool and party vibe. 

To know more about derbies, you can check here-Derby vs Blucher

Oxford shoes

Oxford shoes are one of the popular shoes and are also considered formal shoes. These are similar to derby shoes, the only difference is the lacing system. Oxford shoes have a closed lacing system. 

You can wear Oxford shoes with shorts and create a smart semi-formal look. But here again, your main focus should be on the top attire and not on shoes.

But still, some things are important to consider before you step out in Oxford shoes with shorts.

First, match the right color, Oxford shoes mostly come in brown and black colors. So, choose what compliments the whole outfit. 

The best thing about dress shoes is that you can wear a belt on top of shorts to make them more appealing.

Here is how I wear Oxford shoes with shorts. Match the light blue shirt with white shorts and for shoes pick the brown Oxford shoes. Tuck in the shirt and put on a brown belt that matches the color of your shoes. 


Brogues are stylish dress shoes that you can style with shorts. There are different types of brogues, which means you have a lot of options to try.

The most worn brogue shoes are full brogue which has designing on the toe cap of the shoes. The second is half brogue is a little different, have separate upper or toe.

The last one is the quarter brogue which has no decoration outside the toe cap. You can try any option but I will suggest half or full brogue for a smart casual look. But if you like simplicity then quarter brogue is the best option to go. 

You can style them with a dress shirt and dress shorts to give yourself a smart casual look. 

Types of dress shoes to avoid wearing with shorts

Monk shoes

These are the shoes that I would suggest you to avoid at all. The reason for that is monk shoes are big shoes and because of straps on the top which grabs the attention of the people. These shoes make your feet look big and go up to your ankle which makes them funkier dress shoes and it’s hard not to pay attention to them on street, especially when there is a gap between shorts and shoes. 

Things to keep in mind when wearing dress shoes with shorts

Avoid wearing socks

When styling dress shoes with shorts, you should avoid wearing long socks, mid socks, or socks that are visible at all. It is one of the important things to do to avoid any attention to the socks.

Big socks attract attention and when you wear shorts, all attention goes to socks because there is a gap between shorts and socks which grabs the attention. Instead, go with ankle socks if you have sweaty feet or to avoid any bad odor. 

The second is important thing is, you should always wear dress shoes with dress shorts. Yes, you need dress shorts if you want to style them with dress shoes.

Dress shorts are made to compliment the formal outfit and are made of mainly cotton. Dress shorts are the simplest of all.

It’s like wearing short dress pants. It only has two pockets and doesn’t have a pattern mostly. Some dress shorts are specifically made to match with the outfit, especially when you are wearing a suit jacket or formal oxford shirt. 

Semi-formal shoes to wear with shorts

Loafers and Boat shoes

Boat shoes are similar to loafers but have laces on the top of the shoes. The height of the shoes is under the ankle which means there is no need to wear socks. To avoid any bad odor or smell inside the shoes buy ones that have good ventilation. 

Boat shoes are more semi-formal and can be worn with a lot of clothes. You can also wear it with shorts. 

Pick the nice leather mild color pair of boat shoes that have limited style. You don’t want to pay attention to your shoes. All you need is a pair of shoes that goes well with your outfit. So, the main focus should be shorts and upper attire.

Hi, gurbi is a fashion blogger, designer, and fashion consultant. He is 25 yrs old man who love the world of fashion.