Hey there, ladies! Today, I’ve decided to take you on a stroll down the men’s fashion lane because, let’s face it, our partners and sons could use a nudge in the right direction when it comes to style.
One essential that often gets overlooked in many guys’ wardrobes is a solid pair of dress shoes. If your partner is anything like my husband, you probably struggle to convince him to step out of his trusty pair of sneakers and try something a little bit more elegant. But the truth is, a good pair of dress shoes can go a long way towards creating a fashionable look and be just as comfortable as a pair of Nike’s.
So, whether you’re shopping for a meaningful gift for hubby or helping a boyfriend upgrade his wardrobe, here is a comprehensive guide to men’s dress shoes.
Shoe Types and Dress Codes
First things first, let’s crack the code on dress codes. Understanding the occasion will guide your shoe selection. Is it a casual brunch, a business meeting, or a formal event? Each scenario calls for a different type and colour. From classic black dress shoes for men made of sleek leather to more colourful suede options, let’s break down the basics of the different types of formal footwear:
Oxfords: The Classic Contender You Can’t Go Wrong With
Whether it’s formal occasions, business attire or weddings, Oxfords are the kings of sophistication. They are the most common type of formal footwear. With closed lacing and a sleek design, they scream elegance.
Black or brown, it’s hard to go wrong with a pair of well-polished Oxfords. A pair made of shiny black patent leather also looks great with black tie tuxedo-wear. These shoes are the gentlemen’s go-to for making a lasting impression.
Derbies: The Business Casual Charmers
Ideal for business casual events, dinners and semi-formal gatherings, Derbies, with their open lacing, are a tad more relaxed than Oxfords. These versatile shoes bridge the gap between formal and casual, making them perfect for various occasions. A quality pair of leather Derbies can easily transition from office to after-hours.
Loafers: Casual Cool Sophistication
Who says you can’t look polished on casual outings, weekend bar hopping or relaxed social gatherings? With a trusty pair of loafers, you’ll nail the sophisticated casual look with ease. Slip-on and stylish, they’re great for a weekend jaunt or a relaxed dinner with friends.
Choose suede in a colour other than neutral for a more casual vibe and brown or black leather for a slightly polished look.
Chelsea Boots: The Ever-reliable Winter Option
Chelsea boots are a great alternative to Oxfords when the weather is on the cool and rainy side. Similar to Oxfords, you can wear them on a range of occasions, including weddings and business meetings.
A pair of dark leather boots will be the perfect match to formal suits (just not a black tie ensemble). For black-tie events, refer to a pair of Oxfords.
Quality Matters, Invest Wisely
Now that we’ve nailed down the types, let’s talk quality. When shopping for must-have bags for our closet, we ladies know how crucial it is to invest in something that lasts. Well, the same principle applies to men’s dress shoes. Quality over quantity, my friends! That said.
Leather Is King
When it comes to dress shoes, leather is the undisputed king. It’s durable, ages gracefully, and exudes a timeless charm. While synthetic materials might seem tempting for the budget-conscious, investing in genuine leather is an investment in style and longevity.
If you can only convince him to get a single pair, men’s black leather dress shoes are the most versatile and long-lasting choice.
Ever heard of Goodyear welting? It’s a sign of top-notch craftsmanship. Shoes with Goodyear welting are not only more comfortable but also easy to resole, ensuring your man’s favourite pair lasts for years. Quality craftsmanship is like the backbone of a great shoe – it’s there, doing its job, but you don’t always see it.
Ensuring a Perfect Fit
Now, we can’t talk about style without addressing the importance of comfort. Fellas, if Cinderella’s slipper fits, why shouldn’t your shoes? Aching feet can ruin even the swankiest outfit, so pay attention to sizing and fit.
Size does matter, and getting measured is crucial. Feet can change over time, and brands may vary in sizing, so don’t rely on assumptions. Head to a reputable store and let the experts measure those tootsies.
Breaking In is a Process
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should the relationship between a man and his new dress shoes. Encourage some patience as he breaks them in. A pair that feels snug at first will mould to his feet over time, ensuring maximum comfort.
Maintaining the Magic: Care Tips
Alright, ladies, we’ve invested in quality, and nailed the fit – now, let’s make sure those shoes stay dapper for years to come.
Regular Shine Sessions
Just like our skincare routine keeps our faces glowing, regular polishing sessions keep those dress shoes shining. It not only enhances their appearance but also prolongs their lifespan. A little elbow grease goes a long way!
Just be careful to choose the right colour of polish. You don’t want to ruin a pair of expensive black dress shoes for men with a brown polish. Even if you think that these two colours aren’t very different, the effect of the wrong polish will be visibly noticeable.
Rotation Is Key
Let’s not forget that even the best shoes need a break. Encourage your man to rotate between different pairs. This not only helps maintain their shape but also allows each pair to air out, keeping them fresh and odour-free.