Trump's top economic adviser reportedly says men should never wear brown shoes with a blue suit. But US dress rules have changed

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for The Stronach Group
  • Larry Kudlow, President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser and National Economic Council director, reportedly tells colleagues that they shouldn’t wear brown shoes with blue suits.
  • Black shoes used to be considered more appropriate to wear with navy and blue suits in work settings.
  • But sartorial rules have changed, and most offices don’t require suits at all anymore.
  • It is now perfectly acceptable to wear brown shoes with navy and blue suits for all occasions.

The American workplace’s dress code has changed, but apparently Larry Kudlow hasn’t kept up.

President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser and National Economic Council director has reportedly been dealing out sartorial advice to West Wing personnel, according to The Washington Post. One of his pet peeves is men wearing brown shoes with blue suits – a practice most younger men likely see nothing wrong with.

To be fair, this is a “rule” men have been told to abide by in professional settings. Black shoes were traditionally considered more appropriate in a business-formal setting, regardless of the colour suit being worn. Brown shoes were generally considered a casual shoe appropriate for only the weekend and warmer weather.

Fast forward to today, and it’s one of those funny anachronistic rules better off forgotten, like not wearing white after Labour Day or having to always match the colour of belts and shoes exactly.

That is to say, it’s one of those rules that men just don’t have to follow anymore. It’s an archaic rule dating back decades, when workplaces were a whole lot stuffier and men were afraid of stepping a toe out of line for fear of social backlash.

Today’s workplaces are much more relaxed, and only a few professions actually require daily suit-wearing. Even the country’s biggest banks have been relaxing their dress codes, allowing employees to dress down on days when they don’t have client meetings lined up.

It’s a whole new world for the American workplace, and men have more options than ever to experiment with their formal wear. Well, they can choose between black or brown shoes at least.

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