Shoes can change the entire look and feel of an outfit, so especially when it comes to dressing up, you want to get it right.
There is one thing, though, that men get wrong over and over again.
“A pitfall that I spot regularly is the absence of diversification in dress shoes,” says Jessica Cadmus, founder of The Wardrobe Whisperer. “I typically see 2-3 pairs of black lace-ups in a man’s closet and no other choices. Black shoes can be your MVP but cannot be the only players.”
Wardrobe Whisperer curates closets for some of the most influential people on Wall Street and beyond, so her clients are looking for pieces that impress without being over-stated. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t play with colour and style though.
“What I recommend is a mix of lace-ups and slides in a variety of colours – cognac, brown, black, and burgundy to be specific,” said Cadmus.
Also remember taking care of your shoes is important. Try not to wear the same pair two days in row and always store them on cedar shoe trees. Men’s feet tend to produce a lot of moisture, and that’s bad for leather.
Another hack: Get yourself a pair of Vibram soles.
“New Yorkers walk so much that it takes nothing for the pavement to whittle away a shoe’s sole,” Cadmus explained. “Vibram puts a layer between the sole and the footpath which protects the veracity of the shoe. When the Vibram starts to wear down, simply have it replaced.”
Now for some examples of shoes to put on your dream team:
You’ve got to have your standard lace-up in black.
We like this pair from Paul Evans, a direct-to-consumer brand that does Italian shoes and accessories.
You’ll need some brown lace-ups as well.
Don’t be afraid to go with some perforated detail. This pair is from To Boot New York.
Monkstraps are back in a big way.
Try this pair in cognac from To Boot New York.
Every man needs a loafer.
Here’s another Paul Evans pair in a burgundy hue.
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