One of the internet’s most successful men’s style bloggers says this is his best clothing lesson

Shoes first, then outfit. Shutterstock

The clothes you pick each morning need to be more than just stylish and well-fitting — they need to be functional.

As the creator of the legendary men’s style blog The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman would know this better than anyone. Since starting the blog in 2005, life has taken him many places — mostly on foot as a street-style photographer.

His best advice for getting dressed in the morning? Start with your shoes.

“When I consider what activities I’m doing that day, whether it’s walking around the city shooting or riding around the city on my bike, I first decide the shoes, and then build the outfit around them,” Schuman recently told FashionBeans.

This is one of the best ways to express the “functionality first, then style” ethos to men’s dressing. Your shoes, after all, carry most of the hard work for your entire wardrobe. They’re the bridge that grounds you to reality. Without them, you’d really be going nowhere fast.

Many men, however, see shoes as an afterthought when getting dressed in the morning, which is a mistake when attempting to dress appropriately for the day and weather.

Going to an event where there will be a lot of walking? You might want to consider more comfortable sneakers. Is it going to rain today? You might want to wear something waterproof. Going somewhere notoriously muddy and dirty? Keep the white kicks at home.

It’s this functional mindset that can help you conquer the day, no matter what it throws at you. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

From a style perspective, choosing footwear first makes sense. Choose wisely, and shoes can really bind together an outfit, elevating it to more than the sum of its parts. It’s much easier to achieve this by starting with shoes, then picking socks, pants, and everything on up that goes with those shoes, instead of the other way around.

Be careful, though, as Schuman also cautions against going too far with your footwear, and wearing things that are “flashy” or “over-designed.”

“I like footwear that complements your outfit but doesn’t dominate the whole look,” Schuman told FashionBeans.

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