In light of mixing things up, you might wonder whether it’s acceptable to wear moccasins with a suit. Since men’s fashion has evolved from black leather shoes into a world of new possibilities, moccasins have become widely popular. But, where do they lie in the world of fashion? While style guidelines aren’t always mapped out for us, it’s natural to ask the question: can I wear moccasins with a suit?
In short, yes, you can wear a pair of dress moccasins with a suit. Believe it or not, dress moccasins are semi-formal to formal in terms of attire, so pairing them alongside a suit can create a uniquely stylish ensemble.
On the contrary, you might be thinking that a moccasin would be far too casual to pair with a suit. And you could very well be right. There are various moccasin styles, and depending on the material and fit, they can quickly convert to being too casual to wear with a suit.
If you’re caught up in wondering if your moccasins are the right style to wear with a suit, we’re going to dive deep into a few essential details that will help make your decision a bit easier. Let’s jump in.
All About Mocs
Before discussing whether they’re appropriate to wear with a suit, it’s necessary to understand what a moccasin is specifically. Plenty of people hear the term and immediately think of slipper moccasins made for indoor use only. However, in addition to the moccasin-style slippers that have boomed the market in recent years, there are various styles that are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Traditionally, moccasins were made from one leather piece that enveloped the entire foot and met together in a seam across the top. The makers specifically designed moccasins without a heel while they varied in design depending on the climate and location in which they were worn. Moccasins are linked to Native Americans due to their adoption and prominent use across different tribes.
Today, mocs are still manufactured with no heel and commonly feature the iconic seam in their design. The fashion trade has since added a sole to the shoe to make them more comfortable and additionally, they’re often made with a loose fit that allows them practicality for spring and summer environments.
All in all, moccasins make for a fantastic addition to any modern man’s wardrobe.
Moccasins Vs. Loafers
A common misconception in men’s fashion is to assume that moccasins and loafers are the same when, in reality, the two shoes actually differ. It’s reasonable to consider them the same because of their similar styles, but history claims each unique to their own origins.
While moccasins originated in Asia before the Native Americans quickly adopted the idea, loafers were designed by the Scandinavians for fishing purposes. Instead of utilizing just one leather piece, loafers are formed by joining two pieces together, ultimately forming a comfortable and supportive shoe.
When compared to dress moccasins, loafers are the more casual of the two shoes and go well paired with t-shirts, jeans, and even shorts. Although they’re recognized as causal, they’re a useful article to add some flair and dress up casual outfits. Dress moccasins, on the other hands are typically considered more formal and can be worn with anything from business casual wear to a suit.
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What About A Driving Shoe?
If you’ve heard of loafers and moccasins, you’ve likely heard of driving shoes as well. And, surprisingly, they differ from both styles as well. A driving shoe is a version of a moccasin that is often worn while–you guessed it–driving.
They’re comfortably designed to allow freedom and coziness while doing ordinary activities, including walking and perusing around town. Although they don’t have heels like their close relative, the moccasin, driving shoes feature a different sole with rubber nodes across the bottom.
Are Moccasins Formal Or Casual?
The good thing about moccasins is that you can wear them for a wide range of occasions. Their versatility has considerably added to their popularity in recent years. But, where moccasins lie on the formal-to-casual spectrum varies.
The material is a large indicator of formality. In most cases, moccasins are made from fine leather or suede. To better recognize how formal a moccasin is, stick to the well-known rule: the shinier the moccasin, the more formal it is.
So, with that in mind, if you want to wear a pair of moccasins with a suit, go for a shiny leather pair.
Generally, moccasins made from suede are less likely to pair well with a suit and instead are better for business casual attire or a chill night out with friends.
One thing I will say, however, is that, regardless of material, moccasins are not formal enough for black-tie events or highly formal occasions.
Color is another characteristic that can define a moccasin’s level of formality. Mocs come in various colors, including neutrals like black and brown and others like burgundy or navy. Deciding on more of a neutral shade that pairs well with your outfit will make for more of a formal impression.
Other colors might dress down an outfit and make for more of a relaxed style.
How To Wear Moccasins With A Suit
Wearing moccasins with a suit can be a tricky situation. If you mix the wrong pair of mocs with your best suit, you can easily wreck your entire ensemble. To help you decide whether yours are suit-appropriate, I’ll lay out a couple of factors to consider.
Consider The Occasion
Before merely tossing on your comfiest moccasins for a court hearing, think about what occasions are most appropriate to grace with your mocs. Like I said previously, wearing moccasins to a black-tie event is not going to be your smartest decision.
Also, avoid wearing them with a suit to a job interview or with a tuxedo as they’re likely too casual for very dressy situations.
Despite that, there are plenty of events when wearing them with a suit is well-timed and appropriate.
If your office job allows for business casual dress, there’s not a better time to toss on some good-looking moccasins with your everyday suit. Match them alongside some chinos and a blazer for a sophisticated-yet-cool look.
For a smart-casual vibe, toss some black moccasins on with grey slacks and a white tee layered beneath a black blazer. Even wear your moccasins on date night by slipping on some brown mocs with a blue suit.
Choose The Right Style
The fitting style of moccasins is also crucial when it comes to your suit choice and the nature of the occasion.
For more professional situations, opt for a fine-leather dress moccasin that complements your suit color.
Wear black leather with grey pants and brown leather with navy pants.
For casual looks, vote for suede or soft-soled moccasins that will allow for loads of comfort and versatility.
You can also wear moccasins with or without socks; the choice is yours.
However, styling moccasins with socks can be risky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
To nail a preppy look, try suede mocs with rich-colored socks–such as burgundy or hunter green–and wear them alongside neutral suits.
For more of a corporate style, try matching socks and pants with leather mocs, as you would with any dress shoe.
Even add some spice to a blander ensemble with a contrasting color of socks.
On the contrary, avoiding socks will allow more breathability and can look just as sleek and polished.
To sum up, you absolutely can wear moccasins with a suit.
Moccasins have become a highly sought-after shoe, especially in the semi-formal and formal areas of fashion. And, for a good reason. Moccasins are incredibly versatile, allowing you to pair them with nearly anything, including suits.
That said, it’s essential to pay mind to particular factors that could make a significant difference in formality and look like fabric, color, and occasion.
Regardless, it’s not likely to go wrong with moccasins; the lovable slip-on shoe is both comfortable and charming. So, slip on your mocs and let all eyes focus on your feet—in the best way, of course.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of wearing moccasins with a suit, I hope you’ve been able to make the best decision for you and your situation. If you’re still stumped, take a risk and wear the moccasins; we support you.
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