wearing loafers with suit – Complete Guide

Loafers are one of the most popular men’s footwear options they can be worn with casual outfits and can also be dressed up if required.

They are probably the most versatile pair of shoes a man can own and they are extremely easy to style. Loafers are available in a variety of styles, colors, materials some of them work well in casual outfits while others can be used in formal outfits as well.

Loafers are not formal shoes and that is why it is typically used in casual or semi-formal outfits, they look great with jeans, chinos, shorts and you can also dress them up a little and pair them with dress pants for business casual outfits.

Recently people have also started pairing loafers with formal outfits and if done right it can look really good but the question arises whether you can wear loafers with a suit or not?

So in this article, we will talk about wearing loafers with a suit and tell you how you can pair them together and what are the things you should keep in mind before doing it.

Can you wear loafers with a suit?

The short answer is yes! You can definitely wear loafers with a suit, even if you go for a formal outfit but not all suits work with loafers and not all loafers can be paired with suits so you’ll have to be careful while pairing these two together.

If you are going for a black-tie formal event then it is best to avoid loafers, loafers are fundamentally casual shoes they can be dressed up to a certain extent but they cannot replace proper formal shoes and when dressing up for a formal black-tie event you cant use casual shoes so loafers is not an option for such outfits.

There are however many outfits where you can use loafers with suits, if you are trying to dress down a suit for a semiformal or casual event then loafers are the perfect choice for footwear. 

A lot of men struggle with dressing down in suits, the easiest way to do that is to pair them up with some fun tie or shirt and switch the formal shoes with loafers.

Almost any suit can be paired with loafers as long as the fit is right, if your suit is of modern fit or slim then you can pair it with loafers without any problem but if your suit is a little loose or baggy then it won’t work well with loafers.

If you are wearing a formal suit in classic colors like navy, black, grey, charcoal, etc then it is best that you pair them with loafers made with leather and stick to black or dark brown color.

On the other hand, if you are wearing a casual or semi-formal suit for example a linen suit or suit of some vibrant color like green or red, then you can pair them up with loafers of different materials and colors.

For casual and semi-formal suits suede loafers also work really well and they are in trend these days so you can give them a try.

Loafers that can be worn with a suit:

loafers that can be worn with suit

There is no doubt in the fact that loafers can be paired with suits but you should know that not all loafers would work well in formal outfits especially with suits.

First of all, you should avoid any loafers with patterns on them or loafers which are too colorful. If you are wearing a casual suit then you can consider loafers in colors like maroon or dark blue but you should definitely avoid wearing bright or vibrant colors like cherry red or green as they don’t work with suits.

If you are going for a semi-formal event and you are wearing a classic suit then you should avoid the colorful loafers altogether and stick to classic black or dark brown loafers. 

In terms of the material you can find loafers either in leather or suede material, both of them can be used depending on the outfit. If you wearing a formal or semi-formal outfit then you should go with leather loafers, but if you are going to a party or you are wearing a casual suit then you can consider going with suede loafers as well.

If you want to play it safe it’s better to stick to black or dark brown leather loafers as they are the easiest to dress up.

Loafers are available in various different types and styles but not all of them work well with suits. Here are our picks for the loafers types that would work great with suits and other formal outfits:

Penny Loafer:

Penny loafers have a classic timeless design that is simple yet stylish, they are also extremely easy to wear with most formal outfits. They are not only limited to just formal events though, penny loafers can be worn with almost any kind of outfit, be it formal or casual. 

These are the most popular type of loafers and also the most versatile ones. These are the easiest of all loafers to dress up and that’s what makes them a perfect choice for pairing with suits.

Every man should have at least one good pair of penny loafers in his wardrobe and the best options would be simple black or dark brown leather penny loafers.

If you want a pair of loafers that you can wear casually with jeans or chinos and can also dress up to pair with suits and dress pants then this is your best option.

Tassel Loafer

Another great option is tassel loafers. These are not as versatile as the penny loafers but they are probably the most stylish type of loafers out there.

They are extremely trendy currently and can act as a stand-out piece in your outfit. 

These are not the best option for an everyday casual shoe but can be a great addition to any wardrobe that you can use whenever you want something more stylish than penny loafers.

If you are wearing a suit and want to add some extra style and personality to your outfit then you should definitely go for the tassel loafers.

How to wear loafers with a suit?

Now that we know what loafers work best with suits it is important to know how you can pair them with suits without messing up the whole outfit.

First of all, if you are going for a formal event then you should avoid wearing any type of loafers and stick to formal shoes like oxfords or derby.

In case you are going for a semi-formal or casual event or you want to dress down a suit for an everyday business look then loafers are a great option for you.

here are the different ways in which you can pair loafers with a suit.

Slim fit/ Modern fit suit

The fit of the suit is a very important factor in deciding whether it would work well with loafers or not.

Suits with modern fit or slim fit work best with loafers, the fit of the suit pants are especially important, if you want to pair your suit with loafers then make sure that your pants are tapered or slim fit the length of your pant should not be too long.

If your suit is loose or baggy it would not work with loafers and your pants should not be too loose either more importantly, the length of your pants should not be too long, the right length is just slightly longer than ankle length.

So if you have a classic formal suit that has a modern fit or slim fit then it can easily be paired with a pair of loafers to form some great outfits.

Semi-formal attire

As mentioned above loafers are casual shoes and should be avoided for formal events and outfits. They work best in semi-formal or casual outfits, loafers are the perfect shoe to dress down suits and make them suitable for everyday wear.

If you are wearing your suit with a checked shirt or you want to dress down a suit with some fun tie or pocket square, then loafers are a perfect choice for footwear in such outfits.

casual suit

Loafers are the best option for casual suits such as linen suits or colorful suits.

These suits are not meant for formal occasions but are not exactly casual thus they fit somewhere between formal and casual which is exactly where loafers fit which makes it the perfect combination.

do you wear socks with loafers and a suit?

Usually, loafers are worn without socks and they look best when worn without socks or with no-show socks but if you are pairing them with suit or dress pants then you can wear them with socks as well.

If you are wearing a casual suit or you want to dress down your outfit for a casual event then you can wear loafers without socks or with no show socks but if you are wearing a classic formal suit and don’t want to dress it down too much then you can wear some good formal socks with the outfit.

Can you wear loafers and a suit to a wedding?

Generally, you shouldn’t wear loafers to a wedding but if the wedding has a semi-formal or business casual dress code then you can consider wearing a loafer with your suit.

Weddings are usually formal events and unless specified otherwise you should only wear proper formal outfits to weddings which include formal shoes like oxfords.

If you are not sure about the dress code for the wedding then it is best that you avoid wearing loafers and stick to dress shoes.

can I wear loafers with a tux?

No, under no circumstances should you wear loafers with a tuxedo. It is the most formal piece of clothing a man can wear and pairing it with casual shoes like loafers would be the biggest mistake that you can make.

Tuxedos should only be worn with formal shoes and even the most formal-looking loafers are not suitable to be paired with a tuxedo.

the bottom line:

To conclude, you can definitely wear loafers with a suit but make sure the suit you are wearing is not too formal and avoid them if you are dressing for a formal event. Loafers can be worn with suits in different styles depending on how formal or casual you want the outfit to be. 


picture of author dylan baker smiling

About the author

Dylan is a Men's fashion and image consultant, He is also the man behind Dapperclan. He is extremely passionate about fashion and wants to help men style and look better.