George Frazier once said, “If you want to know if a guy is well-dressed? Look down.” This quote speaks on so many different levels, and is something we all notice whether it is obvious or not. Shoes are worn for obvious reasons like protecting your feet throughout the day and in different environments, but they also are something that we choose to wear to offer insight into our sense of style and how we choose to present ourselves. Dress shoes are a staple in formalwear and business-like attire. This meaning that the options to wear shoes that are not sneakers, sandals, boots, or boat shoes. When wearing a suit or tuxedo, it’s only appropriate that the shoes being worn are just as dressy as the rest of the ensemble.
The typical material for dress shoes as most people know is leather. Leather shoes are the traditional option for dress shoes due to their comfort, ability to mold to the shape of the foot and sturdiness. Like most materials, there are different grades and qualities of leather that can either make or break a winning dress shoe.
Shoe style refers to the actual style of the shoe being worn. Some familiar examples may be: cap toe, espadrilles, oxfords, loafers, etc. These indicate specific details and makings of the of the shoe along with the appropriate timing for the shoe to be worn. For dress shoes, it is often said that the more simplistic style of the shoe, the dressier the shoe actually is. Having that little tidbit in the back of your mind, there are two main styles that can be worn for either a more formal or casual setting. Lace-Up shoes as most may have gathered are seen in more dressy situations and affairs. The most popular styled lace-up shoe is the oxford. Oxfords (in dress shoe form) are laced-up leather shoes that do not come above the ankle when worn and typical for men to wear with proper suits. Worn in more casual dress surroundings are slip-ons which are also known as loafers. Right off the bat, the most notable difference between the two is that unlike lace-ups, Slip-on shoes do not have laces. Slip-ons are becoming more common in business casual or “smart” looks for everyday men. They look great with a pair of dark jeans and a blazer or some slacks and a dress shirt.
With dress shoes, the color policy (still to this day) is rather strict and traditional. The appropriate colors, when it comes to shoes might not come as a total surprise to most. They fall in the classic categories of: black, brown or tan. Black shoes are obviously the most formal and dressy out of the three colors, and will likely be seen worn with both suits and tuxedos that range in colors of black, grey and even navy. Brown shoes are a more modern approach to accessorizing. With the color tan falling into the brown category, they are a perfect option for a dinner party, work meeting, date, or casual dress. The versatility of the brown really helps them blend nicely with multiple color suits and pants and gives a new twist to tradition.
Without shoes, it would be hard to get around on an everyday basis and even harder to stay injure free. It may be noticeable that men do not have as many options when it comes to shoes as women, but that doesn’t mean that the options men do have need to be any less. Wearing a quality well-made shoe only enhances a look to become the complete polished outfit.