The world maybe tolerant of your beliefs but it will be judgemental of your shoes. And gone are the days when you could get away with a ‘Dress Shoe’. And we know you may not wear your passion for shoes on your sleeve or declare your devotion to footwear from rooftops but the flame burns in you too! Now, no one is asking you to suddenly become Imelda Marcos but it can’t hurt to steadily build your shoe vocabulary and closet can it?
Basic. Versatile. Timeless. Classic. The Little Black Dress of men’s shoe world. The shoe is characterized by its facing being stitched on under the vamp, or “closed lacing.” Goes with most outfits and occasions. While all men’s fashion and luxury brands make beautiful odes to this reining God of shoes, John Lobb and Church’s stand out in this exalted list.
Bro-G(as in goat)
The term actually refers to the decorative perforations in various patterns on any dress shoe but Brogues have now become a staple of the shoe world for formal and professional looks, closely rivalling the Oxfords. Did you know that the perforations were originally made to allow water out of shoes in Ireland and now they are all the style rage! The Paul Smith Chocolate Burnished Leather Chuck Brogues are a gorgeous pair. Mr Hare too has some radical pieces.
3. Derby Shoe
Also called the Gibson, these were originally hunting shoes but now belong to the Dress Shoe family. Very often mistaken for Oxfords due to the similarities, only the discerning will know that Oxfords have closing lacing with facing secured under the vamp but Gibsons have facing sewn on the vamp giving it open lacing. Ferragamo does some beautiful Gibsons with materials like linen and leather. Brunello Cucinelli also makes beautiful leather creations in rich colours.
4. Monk Straps
The King of no lace Dress Shoe. Similar in shape to the Oxford, it has a single or double buckle closure fastened across the front. Monks originally donned them if you’re wondering about the nomenclature. Its a stylish alternative if you’re tired of lace ups. Gucci double straps is a beautiful addition to the closet. And Ralph Lauren does some slick Monk Straps with brogueing.
5. Loafers & Moccasins
Low-Fers & Mocca-Sins
We clubbed them here because they’re very close and worn interchangeably. Loafers are actually Moccasin inspired shoes. The latter are soft soled shoes made with a single piece of material sewn together- originally deer skin. Loafers are slip on shoes that were actually designed to be King George VI of England’s house slippers. But they evolved into a definitive style statement for relaxed casual wear. Moccasins can be with laces but Loafers will always be without. No one understands Moccasins better than Tod’s – their Gommino is a must have and Louis Vuitton Loafers are iconic!
6. Dress Boots
Boots are high fashion these days and these are cousins of the Oxfords- similar in shape and styling but with longer shafts. They’re your ruggedly stylish pair that pumps up the Marlboro Man in you! Perfect for casual evening outs, these shoes are teamed best with your denims. The Red Wing Heritage collection is renowned for its handcrafted boots. Bally Ladir is the perfect Dress Boot that can go formal as well.
Chukkas are ankle-length boots with two to three pairs of eyelets on each side for a lace-up closure. They resemble a shorter version of the Dress Boot and were made for Polo players. They’e unpretentious and comfortable but a definite style statement for the Friday evening out with buddies. Cole Haan Chukka boots are radical and new age but Sanders is the king of Chukka Boots.
8. Boat Shoes
Canvas or leather shoes with rubber soles meant to be worn without socks. Its the ultimate relaxed wear for that summer beach holiday or the lazy Sunday brunch with family. Buy some spiffy ones from Sperry Top Sider or classic leather ones from Quoddy.
Not the gym kind. But the casual street wear kind. These are the most definitive style statement in men’s fashion particularly for the young adults. And these are not the domain of just sportswear companies anymore. While adidas Originals and Nike rule the roost in casual sneakers Y 3 is the brand making huge waves in the style world. Its a collaboration between the legendary Yohji Yamamoto and adidas. Keep a look out on HypeBeast for the latest in sneakers.
Once considered strict house wear, these are a burgeoning fashion favourite especially for summer holidays. Leather slippers from iconic luxury houses are as much a power and affluence statement as your belt and watch. While Gucci and Louis Vuitton are much favoured, Valentino has some cool designs in their Garavani collection and even Bally does some stylish designs with fringes.
I bid you adieu!