Every man must have a pair of dress shoes.
That is, unless they want to show up to the office, or to a wedding, or to whatever special event, looking like the loveable side kick in a romantic comedy.
You know who this guy is. He’s the funny guy who is best friends with the main character and demonstrates his “adorable quirkiness” by wearing Converse sneakers with a suit and being really awkward with women.
You do not want to be this guy.
Instead, you want to be the guy who always has a pair of fresh looking dress shoes when the occasion calls for it. You need a pair of classics in your closet.
How to identify the classic
So what is classic in the realm of men’s shoe wear? To answer that question, we turned to stylist Jessica Cadmus, of The Wardrobe Whisperer.
“When the primary consideration is purchasing an everlasting shoe, there are three considerations: colour, type, and style,” Cadmus told Business Insider.
“The most universal colours are in the brown family specifically medium brown, oxblood, or cognac. The reason these trump standard black is that they offer colour contrast with darker hued suits which, in finance, are the go-to variety.”
So go brown. Also go with an Oxford shoe (not every man is adventurous enough for a dress loafer). Your Oxford may be a blucher, cap toe/semi brogue, or brogue shoe.
Here’s the difference, illustrated by three shoes we like:
A cap toe/semi brogue from To Boot New York:
A cognac coloured blucher from Paul Evans:
And here’s a pair of tan brogues from Ted Baker:
Now, remember that these shoes will NOT last forever if they are not taken care of. Luckily taking care of your shoes is easy.
Here are the three main things you should be doing, from Cadmus:
- Immediately resoling the shoes with Vibram and then having that Vibram replaced when any part of it starts wearing down near the shoe’s leather.
- Using shoe trees to store your shoes in order to reduce moisture, retain shape, and mitigate odor.
- Rotating your shoes so that you do not wear the same shoes two days in a row (they need time to dry out and regain their shape).
None of this is hard. Do it and you will be rewarded with having a long time before you have to buy another pair of shoes.