An Easy Guide to Pairing Shoes with Our Pants

One of the biggest questions we get from our customers is what shoes to wear with what pants.

Your Peter Manning clothes can be worn lots of different ways, with lots of different shoes. There are no hard and fast rules, but there are some basic guidelines that can enhance your new proper-fitting pants and keep you looking sharp.

Here are our suggestions for shoes that work with Peter Manning pants, as well as some that don't!  Shoes are a big part of making PMNYC clothes your own however; so do what's most comfortable for you.  These are just a few ideas from us.   

Our jeans and cords are some of the most popular items we offer, so let's start there. 

Shoe Ideas for Jeans and Cords

What About Sneakers?

With jeans and cords, you can always keep it casual.  Sneakers are the most popular footwear and we suggest wearing those that are lower in profile and made more for looks and comfort, rather than working out (save the real running shoes for a real run!).

We love sneakers like the classic Stan Smith, Jack Purcell and Addidas Gazelle in all their iterations. 

There are LOTS of others to chose from as well, like lace up Vans and all their imitators.

It is the lower, flatter profile that works. Color and material is up to you. We think you should avoid sneakers you would wear to the gym or for a run, like a New Balance, Nike or Asics with a thick cushioned sole (see below).

Worn with jeans or cords, these 'performance' sneakers can have the effect of turning your stylish PMNYC pants into, sorry, 'Dad pants'.  Stick with our suggestions above, or go for a lower profile Nike, like this one, which is designed to be more of a comfort/fashion shoe than a performance one.   

Aside from sneakers, there are lots of other options for your jeans and cords as well.

What About Loafers?

A nice casual suede or leather loafer can work perfectly and stylishly with both.

A sleeker, highly polished loafer doesn't work as well with the casual nature of a jean or cord, so try to avoid these.

What About Lace Ups?

There are lace up options that are nice too.  We have always been big fans of the classic Clark Desert Boot,

But there are lots of variations on this type of shoe, all of which can be fantastic.

Sticking with muted colors like brown, tan and navy will ensure the shoes work with everything.

The heartier, workman style of boot like a Redwing or Oak Street Bootmaker Vibram Sole Camp Boot can also look great:

You can compliment any of the above with everything from a casual untucked Weekend Shirt to an Everyday Shirt, Madison Sweater and Essex Jacket combo. We think it is best to avoid a dressy lace up shoe, like an oxford (see previous blog) or buckled monk strap with your jean or cord (see below).  Lace ups like these are best saved for dress pants or a suit.

We do think that a Derby or Blucher (see previous blog) or beefy Wing Tip, like the Alden Long Wing can work with a jean and cord if you pair it with an well pressed Everyday Shirt and Essex Jacket.

If you go with one of these make sure it has a chunkier profile so it doesn't look like you are wearing a shoe that should really be worn with a suit or dress pant.

Shoe Ideas for Chinos

Chinos are the other go-to pant at Peter Manning in both Slim and Classic styles.  Many of the same rules and style concepts from above apply.

What About Sneakers?

We don't think the performance running shoe works well with chinos and should be avoided (Dad chinos!); but the other previously mentioned sneaker options can work just as well with a pair of chinos and keep you looking stylish without trying to hard.

What About Slip-ons?

Another shoe you can add to the chino line up is a moccassin style shoe.  This comes in many iterations, from the omnipresent Sperry Top Sider and all it's various styles to the classic 'driving moc'.


Similar to jeans and cords, we think chinos are best paired with the tanned leather uppers of these 'boat' shoes or slip-on's, but would avoid dressier loafers with shinier leather. Dressy leather shoes are best reserved for dress pants; if you want to wear a loafer with your chinos, stick to a more casual version, like a classic penny loafer.  If you want to spiff it up a bit, try this suede version below.

A suede penny loafer (even tassled) loafer, or a classic suede lace-up (buck) can look particularly sharp if you add a sweater or blazer to your chinos.  The complementary textures of the cotton twill and suede make the combo work well in dressier styles. 

Shoe Ideas for Dress Pants

This brings us to our dressiest pant, the Essex Dress Pant.  Our guys have been wearing these pants coupled with our Essex Jackets as a complete suit or as separates; but also with an Everyday Shirt and no jacket in more casual work environments.

What About Sneakers or Casual Shoes?

Wool pants, which these are, have entirely different, and easier, style rules than our jeans, cords and chinos.  It is pretty tricky to go casual with the Essex Pant, so it's best to stick to your dressier shoes, when pairing with these pants.

If you're game, and in the right environment (we can get away with it here in Brooklyn), you can do a cool pair of sneakers (Vans are a popular option these days) with our Essex Pants (and Jacket).  Otherwise, the most casual shoe you should don is a lace-up Clark (in good shape) or a lace-up or pull-on dress boot; a nice look especially if you are pairing the Essex Pant with an Everyday Shirt and Madison Sweater.

What About Dress Shoes?

Suede bucks in darker colors are also a more casual option. And your dressier, shinier and sleeker leather shoes and loafers will work best with the wool Essex Pant.

A fine, round-toed, lace-up oxford and all its variations; blucher, cap toe, brogue (see previous blog) is always appropriate.

With dress shoes and pants, color becomes more crucial and the rules a bit tighter.

With a navy pant, a black, dark brown or cordovan color shoe works best.  With our grey pants, a black shoe will work, along with various shades of brown.

With our blue Essex Pant (see above), a black or dark brown shoe can work; while our black pant should only be paired with a black shoe.  With the lighter tan and olive Essex Pants, we recommend brown shoes in a medium tone.

Use your shoe choice to enhance whatever style of Peter Manning NYC pants you are wearing.  And if you work with these simple rules, you'll always look great!