Shoes 101 – The foundation of a man’s wardrobe
Whenever there’s an event you have to attend where dressy attire is required, or a job interview, are you still dusting off those big clunky square toes that Kenneth Cole made popular over a millennium ago ? Commonly referred to as pavement pounders in most sartorial circles ( yeah we’re silently judging you ) . Or those or those narrow dagger pointed shoes sharp enough to puncture a hole in Iron Man’s armor suit ? Time to rid your closets and shoe racks of such so-called “trendy” abominations and upgrade your footwear. Here are a few basic staples every man should have in his wardrobe.
Plain or Cap-Toe Oxford Lace Up: Replace your Air Genies with a pair of nice black or brown oxford lace ups, great on any occasion , brown oxfords can be paired with either a charcoal gray , navy suit. Great with a summer weight chino khaki suit, and dark denim. Black oxfords are great as well with a charcoal grey or black suit or tux. When shined properly and paired with a dark jacket or denim , and a crisp shirt it will add an elegant air to your appearance. The prices of oxford may vary from $100-$500 depending on where you shop, but there are always great finds on Amazon or E-bay.
( image courtesy of brunomagli.com)
(image courtesy of Leffort.com)
(image courtesy of nordicfit.tumblr.com)
Wingtips or Brogue: A little bit of “Sartorial History” ,brogues or wing-tips have their roots in Scotland and Ireland . The term brogue, describes the decorative perforated cap toe of the shoe, designed that way so that when the wearer crossed over wet terrain , it would allow the water to drain from the shoe. Brogues usually come in two styles which are the cap-toe or full brogue (wing -tips) name given for the wing-like extension coming from the cap of the shoe. These are typically made from leather or suede, and now thanks to shoemakers from Cole Haan to Mark Mcnairy come in a wide assortment of colors in suede from brown to navy and red. Start out with the basics when building your wardrobe brown, cordovan or oxblood , and black. Pair these with your suit and add a dash of daring to your work uniform, or grab a rubber soled suede pair to class up your denim or chinos
(images courtesy of colehaan.com)
(Image via trashness.com)
Loafers and Driving Moccasins : Loafers and driving mocs . Unless you’ve come from another planet you should be familiar with the classic American staple, penny loafers have been around since the early 1950’s , popular amongst Ivy League, and are a preppy staple, pair w/ cuffed jeans and a crisp shirt, a navy blue blazer and chinos or any sports jacket and trouser combo. The Car Shoe or driving moccasin came about during the 1960’s as a product of the Car Shoe SA Company in Italy, but also made popular by Tod’s . These shoes have perorated rubber balled sole, or rubber square tracked sole meant to simulate the grip on gas and break pedals in Italian Sports Cars. These are perfect for keeping a neat and polished appearance on a Casual Friday. Driving shoes look great when paired w/ a sports jacket and chinos or tailored linen trousers or even a dressy pair of shorts. If worn with jeans be sure to they’re tailored, don’t want you stepping on the leg of your jeans .
(images via http://www.carshoe.com/it/en , louivuitton.com & tommyton for gq.com)
These are the basic shoes that everyman should start with, start off with the foundation colors of brown, black, and tan you will have more room to play around with your wardrobe, and be able to add more colorful pieces over time. This ends this course in Shoes 101 , hope you find this helpful, advanced courses are soon to come.
D C King
A Life Suited