How to Wear Suede Shoes | Curated Mint

Although it’s often disregarded, suede is a key fabric to own. The alternative to your leathers, it’s just as versatile for your shoes as it is your jacket. Read on for the full guide on how to get the most out of your suede shoes.

Men’s Suede Boots

Many men often see purchasing suede shoes as being a particularly risky decision. Although suede can look extremely stylish, it’s not always practical for every occasion. While this is a valid concern to have, you really should have a bit of suede in your footwear arsenal. Here is your full guide on how to wear (and where to wear) suede shoes.

One of the most classic types of suede shoes a man can wear is undoubtedly a pair of suede desert boots. These are a true classic of men’s footwear fashion. As with much of popular fashion, desert boots originally had a military purpose. British soldiers fighting in the western desert campaign of World War II were some of the first people to wear this type of boot – hence their name.

Investing in a pair is the perfect way to spruce up your wardrobe, especially for autumn. It’s the perfect alternative to men’s black boots. If it is the case of you opting for a pair, we can’t stress enough on the two points you always need to keep in mind. When looking for a pair always consider 1) quality and 2) colour. You need a pair which will last for more than one season, so opting for a shade and design which can keep up with your lifestyle is vital.


The suede boot is the most versatile shoe out of the family. Easy to dress up for a semi-smart vibe or to tone down for your casual attire, it’s the perfect day to day shoe (just avoid extreme rain or weather). If opting for a chukka boot, dress accordingly to create a comfortable body silhouette. Overdressed and skinny-fit can affect the proportion of the shoe, looking a tad oversized. To conquer the morning challenge, we’ve devised a look which can be found in your current wardrobe. Flannel shirt, a jersey tee and a pair of slim-fit jeans are the effortless combinations for any men’s tan suede shoes. Additionally it’s easy to mix and match to your colour palette of choice, and a look which can be tailored to any persona.


The suede boot is an easy transition for the wardrobe. While being great for the day, you can also play around with your ‘dress-to-impress’ wardrobe and add a dose of suede.

While the suede boot has a story to tell, make sure your outfit does too. This means, opt for a smart look which is timeless for the modern man. From the feet up, opt for a pair of chinos or a smart trouser. Then, move on to throwing on a blazer and layering up with an overcoat. If the autumn season is in full swing and the weather is still a bit chilly, don’t be afraid to layer up more underneath with a fleece. For this, go for either tan or grey suede shoes.

Smart Suede Shoes

Suede Loafers

Out of all the styles of suede shoe you can wear, a pair of suede loafers is probably the most adventurous. However, this isn’t to say that they’re any less stylish. Suede loafers are more of a statement piece of clothing, especially if you’re wanting to dress prim and proper (and also to avoid the cliche of leather). Commonly sold in more tonal shades, loafers are the stylish brown suede shoes that every man needs in his wardrobe.

How to Wear Suede Loafers: Smart-Casual

As we said, it’s the shoe built to give your image a touch of sharpness. So no tapered jeans, no hoodies and definitely no sweatshirts. However, this doesn’t mean they are the be all and end all of dressing suave.

So if you want to make the suede loafers smart casual, bring out your key formal pieces and switch to alternative details. Instead of a shirt, opt for a T-shirt. If the combination looks a bit bare, add a dose of stripe to the situation. To make sure your blazer doesn’t look miss-matchy over the rest of your look, pair with a smart trouser in a subtle grey. Lastly, step into your suede loafers and you’ll ready for drinks at the bar.

How to Wear Suede Loafers: Smart

When given the smart dress code, we are quick to jump on the suit, smart shoes and tie combination. Classic, we can’t deny, but easy and undoubtedly predictable. When it comes to suede loafers, seize the opportunity to go for a different look, especially with men’s tan suede shoes. Keep the blazer but switch the trousers for a pair of jeans, preferably selvedge denim. Plus make sure the jeans don’t bag around your ankles – they need to finish before the loafer starts, because there’s nothing worse than baggy jeans paired with loafers.

Men’s Suede Oxford Shoes

If loafers are a bit too catered to the summer season for you, then switch to suede Oxford shoes. Oxford shoes have an extremely long and rich history of men’s fashion and are therefore a perfect example of the evolving nature of fashion.

Although Oxfords traditionally come in black or brown leather, today you can find a pair in many different shades and materials, including the much loved suede. Suede Oxford shoes are perfect if you need a formal shoe but want to bring some modern style and innovation to the look.

How to Wear Suede Oxford Shoes

Like any Oxford Shoe, the beauty of them is that you can dress accordingly smart, and casual – without them looking too out of place. For this season, we have become fans of the doubling up – especially with denim. However, if the double blue is becoming a bit repetitive to your wardrobe, switch to the alternative of suede.

As adventurous as this look sounds, it’s dead simple. Opt for a western suede jacket and a simple black tee. Then, for cool and collected, go for a black or blue dark chino. We must stress, always remember to make sure your suede shoes and jacket coordinate by colour.

Suede Derby Shoes

Derby shoes, although being extremely similar to Oxford shoes, have minor distinct differences that make them unique to one another. The difference between an oxford and derby shoe comes down to the stitching of the lace section on the upper of the shoe.

On the one hand, Oxford shoes have ‘closed stitching’. This means that the stitching for the lace eyelet tabs is under the vamp of the shoe. This can make the shoe appear neater and more flat on top, also allowing for more brogue detailing if you want.

Alternatively, Derby shoes have ‘open stitching’. This effectively means that the stitching for the eyelet tabs is only along the edges of the shoes upper and are open. This allows your foot more freedom in the shoe, as you can loosen the laces and pull the tabs open.

How to Wear Oxford Suede Shoes: Casual

Like a minimal pair of trainers, suede Oxford shoes can be worn with pretty much anything. For example, if a sports-lux look is too close to comfort, switching to Oxford shoes can provide a touch of smartness. Making the most of this season’s essentials, pair your shoes with a matching bomber jacket. Make sure to keep the colours coordinated and not so much the fabric. Lastly, keep it simple and minimal like the shoe. If you can pull of a look like this, you’ll be able to dress it up and down even more by switching the jacket for an overcoat or coach jacket if you want to feel more relaxed.

How to Clean Suede Shoes

So, you’ve been on a night out with some mates and things got a bit boozy? There’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning to realise that you have about 3 pints worth of beer and grubbiness all over your suede shoes. Admittedly, suede is a trickier material to clean and maintain than other materials, such as leather. However, it’s not impossible.

To clean a pair of suede shoes, you will need:

  • Shoe brush
  • Suede brush
  • Nail brush
  • Suede rubber
  • Crep protect spray

Begin cleaning your suede shoes by using a standard shoe brush to remove any loose or excess dirt from the shoe. After this, use a suede rubber or a clean nail brush to agitate the suede on any scuff marks and blemishes. By harshly disturbing the nap of the suede you can dig out the stuff that has damage. Now, to neaten the suede back up, use a suede brush to lift the nap of the shoe. Make sure you brush in the same direction so as to get a clean and even nap over the shoe.

How to Wear Suede Shoes

  • Think about what you need your suede shoes for. If you’re unsure, stick to desert boots for a versatile suede shoe.
  • Think about your outfit. You can wear suede with both jeans, chino’s and trousers so they’ll be appropriate for most occasions.
  • Clean your suede shoes. Having a pair of dirty suede shoes defeats the whole looking smart objective, keep them clean and they’ll be appreciated more.
  • Experiment. Suede is a unique and exciting material. You’re making a fashion statement just by wearing suede shoes, and your look should reflect this.

On That Note

Although suede is simply just a form of leather, it is now something so much more. Suede is now an affordable, yet luxurious material that is versatile enough to make jackets, shoes, shirts and so many more items of clothing. Whether you’re trying to make a homage to Elvis with a pair of blue suede shoes, or just want to spruce your outfit up a bit, a pair of suede shoes is defiantly the way to go.

Feature image from Pinterest

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