Very recently I was working with a client that was preparing for an important series of meetings while on a business trip. He didn’t mind the suit and accessory packing the trip required, but he dreaded the need to take more than one pair of shoes. Initially, I probably look puzzled as he lamented on and on about why he needed to take more than just the brown wingtip brogues that are his mainstays. Finally, after not being able to take it anymore, I mentioned that the style of wingtip he planned to take was actually a casual version of the shoe complete with a chunky heel and sole. At this point, he was even more frustrated because he was of the impression that all wingtips were the same and could be worn with any business suit. After a brief lesson on the different types of dress shoes a man can wear with a business suit I made an emergency purchase as his image concierge. It wasn’t nearly that easy to complete the task, but I’m laughing about it now. So, he’s off to conquer the meetings and sales pitches that faced him and I got the urge to blog about the experience. Whew! So, gentlemen, please indulge me as I share the five types of shoes I think every man should own.
Shoe Types for the Well-Dressed Man:
1. Oxfords – the “must have” for every man’s wardrobe is a fundamental
in order to look stylish. The toe is often capped, but not always as ornate as the wingtip shoe. The oxford has proven to be one of the more versatile shoes if maintained properly. If you’re looking for a shoe that looks great with jeans and chinos, try a brown suede or soft leather Oxford.
2. Wing-Tip Brogue – is a more of a business inspired shoe. The wing tip by origin refers to the peaked shape, also know as the Avian of the toe-piece. It resembles outreach bird wings, hence the name, wing-tip. It should be noted that the thicker the sole and heel on the shoe, the more likely the shoe should be worn with a sportier outfit. A thinner sole and heel on a wingtip is more conservative and thus a dressier shoe for business.
3. The Loafer – allows for a hassle-free wearing experience. After all, there are no laces to tie or buckles to fasten! Loafers are designed to make a statement. Just make sure they say I’m being worn correctly. Loafers can be worn in both a business and casual setting. A nicely crafted, well designed loafer can take a look from average to spectacular!
4. Monk-Strap – this particular shoe is a great alternative to loafers. Actually, some of my favorite shoes have been the monk design because of its refine tailored look. Like the wing tip, it too has a slight variance. The monk has been known to come in a single strap or the double strap version. The single strap with a heavy buckle is the most common version of the shoe; however, the double strap has such an amazing look some would could consider it the more elegant version of the shoe. Remember, the thicker the strap, the more casual the shoe.
5. The Saddle Shoe – I know, some of you thought I would mention a more casual shoe like tennis shoes, sandals or deck shoes. Nope, sorry. That’s another blog. I chose the Saddle Shoe because of its staying power over the years and the recent resurgence it has experienced over the last several fashion seasons. Saddle shoes have become hugely popular and are available in a variety of colors and designs. Thanks to the Great Gatsby influence, men young and older are wearing the versatile casual/dressy shoe.
Regardless of the shoe, the care and keep is very important. Polish the shoe whenever they start showing the slightest amount of wear. Purchase shoe trees to help maintain the shape and integrity of the shoe. Look into the proper remedies in the event you get caught off guard by inclement weather. Lastly, purchase inserts and powders that help with the fit and controls odor, just in case your feet sweat. Gentlemen, take the time to know the style that works for the occasion and outfit you plan to wear. We always remind our clients to dress to impress from head to toe! Not all shoes are created equal, but wearing the right shoe at the right time can move you to the head of the class! For more information on the services we provide or if you are interested in the Style and Travel Daily experience, click here!
Until next time…Dress to Impress!
Mark A. Hillery
Style & Travel Daily