Shoe In: The Five Shoes Everyone Should Own
From elegant loafers to casual sneakers and straight-laced Oxfords, there are a few pairs of shoes we believe every man should have access to when they’re musing on their outfit for the day. We’ve done our best to cut through the hype and get back to basics by figuring out the five shoes you can build a wardrobe around.
The Black Oxford: it may not be very playful but a quality Oxford in black leather is the first shoe you need to own. It will serve you well for black tie affairs, conservative workplaces and family events like weddings and funerals. It’s the sort of shoe that fits in, rather than stands out, and in that sense it’s a classic and important staple of your wardrobe. Buy a quality model with a round toe and Goodyear welted sole and it’s the sort of shoe you can keep for a decade without worrying if it’ll date. Wear with one of our classic, 100% merino wool suits.
The Loafer: whether it’s a penny loafer or tasseled, the loafer is an incredibly versatile, fun and yet classically elegant shoe. Wear with suits for an Italian riff on tailoring (just make sure your trouser is properly tapered and hemmed above the break) or with jeans/chinos and a casual safari jacket for a formal spin on smart/casual, the loafer is one of those shoes that can comfortably take you from the workplace through to the weekend without fuss. A dark brown in leather or suede will be your most versatile option, though navy can add some depth to your shoe collection while retaining use-ability. If you’re a once-in-a-blue-moon kind of loafer wearer, you can throw caution to the wind and choose something in a bolder colour, whether that’s a baby blue, dusty red or otherwise. Wear with chinos, a casual blazer and
The White Sneaker: easy to wear with shorts, jeans and, more recently on trend, paired with a suit or tailored trousers, the humble white sneaker is a casual staple every guy needs. Keep to minimal designs - too much detailing or branding, like a basketball sneaker, and you’ll see the versatility dip significantly. Classic models from brands like Adidas (Stan Smiths), Common Projects and Lacoste are all safe bets. The trick is to keep them clean and fresh, or they’ll quickly become unwearable and unattractive. Take a few moments to tidy them up with a cloth after every time you wear them and you’ll avoid any of those big yearly scrubs. For the ladies, the same above applies, and luckily the options are even broader in this area.
The Brogue: ‘broguing’ is that detailing cut into the leather of shoes, and makes for a simple way to lend your outfit some sophisticated British charm. We are particularly fond of lighter shades of brown and tan, as they complement blue denim, navy suits and lighter-coloured chinos equally. Great for smart casual events, casual workplaces, rural/garden weddings and anytime you want to drink port and feel like a country gentleman.
The Chelsea Boot: brands like R.M. Williams have helped make the Chelsea Boot a symbol of Australian rural charm, but it’s worth remembering that the style of shoe has roots in England and have a lot of history and charm behind them. The reason they’re so useful is because it’s so darn versatile - politicians will attest to the fact that it can be worn with a navy suit (they think it lends them some ‘approachability’), farmers wear them to work and your favourite hipsters wear them with jeans (or casual chinos) to a cafe. Invest in a decent pair and they might last you a lifetime.