Saturday, March 28, 2009

[footwear] the first decision of the gentleman

It’s just taken as read that the first item a man should take care of is his shoes and for a woman – a number of items, including her handbag.

As Suit Swagger says:

The importance of men's dress shoes in an outfit must not be overlooked. Many a man has adorned himself with the finest of clothing, most fragrant of colognes, and most stunning and dashing of high-end cufflinks.

Only to tarnish the entire image with run down, cheaply made or ill-matched footwear.

And Forbes agrees:

"Men let themselves down on their shoes," says Lynne Marks, an Atlanta-based image consultant and president of the London Image Institute, whose corporate clientele includes executives at Coca-Cola (nyse: KO - news - people ), American Express (nyse: AXP - news - people ), AT&T (nyse: T - news - people ) and the Weather Channel. "They either don't think that shoes are important, or they seem to think that shoes can't be seen. Either way, it's a big mistake."

What kind? Suit Swagger again:

Always pay attention to the material the dress shoe is made of. One of the finest materials men's dress shoes can be made of is calf-skin, which is durable yet supple, breathable yet insulating, and can hold a nice shine.

Suede is a favorite selection of many of the world's fine-dressers, which in brown goes with almost anything, they hold a superior elegance about themselves, they are extremely comfortable and make the feet appear smaller because of their matted surface.

Cordovan, which is not a skin but a membrane from the rear of a horse, is the most durable leather of all, but its warmth makes it more of a cold weather shoe.

Avoid "corrected grain" leathers that have been scraped, sanded, and bathed in chemicals to create a plastic-looking fake perma-shine, they look cheap and cheesy.

Forbes has a slide show on the best shoes to buy.

In the case of men, there isn't really more to dress life than shoes.


Liz said...

Brown suede goes with most things? Surely not?

angus said...


To put it another way, most men wear brown suede because they are very comfortable, don't need much maintenance and we are lazy. me included, although I tend to wear brown suede boots with anything:)

jams o donnell said...

I shelled out on some Church's shoes in the 90s. The look great and are still going strong. Money very well spent

jams o donnell said...

On the other hand when not wearing a suit a pair of fetid trainers suffices!

BobG said...

My most common footwear most days is a pair of these.

CherryPie said...

I do confess I have a weakness for handbags. It is not from a fashion point of view though. I just need the most practical one for whatever I am doing. Everyday, walking, campaigning, weekend away etc...

I am the source of some amusement because my bags are always rather large ;-) My brother quite rudely calls me bag lady!!!

James Higham said...

Liz - well spotted.

Angus - ah ...

Jams - ha.

Bob - each to his own.

Cherie - confession time, dear.