A perfect outfit is nothing without the right pair of shoes. What you choose to slip on your feet can make or break an entire ensemble- no matter how well coordinated, how well planned or how well-structured your outfit is. To make sure that all your hard work in expertly color-coordinating the ideal get-up does not go to waste, here are five- that’s right, five– shoes that every man should have lined up in a neat little row on the floor of his closet.
1. The Black Dress Shoe
For those highbrow formal occasions, or for a regular day at work, the black dress shoe is a classic and non-negotiable item of footwear to own. You’ve attended enough weddings and business meetings to know that ‘dress to impress’ means adding polish from head to toe. Speaking of polish, be sure to always complete your formal look with a shoe that’s clean and scuff free.
2. The Brown Dress Shoe
Think of the brown dress shoe as the younger, cooler cousin of its black equivalent. In today’s fashion world, brown is the new black and a tan or dark brown oxford or wingtip is an acceptable alternative for occasions that are a little decorous, yet still proper.
3. The Boot
There’s no need to wait until winter or be an adventure seeker to rock a pair of well-constructed boots. A pair of suede desert boots makes a perfect casual addition to your wardrobe, straddling themselves somewhere between a dress shoe and a super-relaxed sneaker. If you want to grunge up your look, pick up a pair of leather combat boots and leave the laces loosely tied. For a double duty wonder, a pair of dark brown leather Chelsea boots (such as a classic pair from RM Williams) will add a subtle edge to your everyday suit, but also be comfortable enough to wear for all your weekend escapades.
4. The Casual Shoe
Since not every occasion is sneaker appropriate, a second pair of casual shoes will serve you well for those situations where you want to elevate your look. Lace-less shoes, such as boat shoes and loafers, are the epitome of casual cool, and work across all seasons of the year. Breathable, comfortable and stylish to boot, your boat shoes or loafers are the perfect shoes for those smart-casual occasions. A classic navy or tan are the safest colour options, however, if you are feeling a little more daring, a muted red or green hue will increase your style cred.
5. The Weekend Sneaker
The weekends are your down time, but by no means does that mean that your wardrobe should match your relaxed attitude. Keep your look casual but still put-together with a pair of old school sneakers, such as a white pair of Converse, or for a more luxe look, opt for a leather sneaker. Subtle details, like material, colour or type of laces, will set your sneakers apart from the next guy in line at the grocery store.