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.