There are two items of clothing that can tell you everything you need to know about a man’s personal style: the watch on his wrist and the shoes adorning his feet. The latter, in particular, reveals a lot of how a man takes care of himself, his personal image, and his priorities. After all, a pair of unkempt Oxfords is a particularly nasty fashion faux pas. At the other end, a chap wearing only a button-up shirt and slacks can look like a real winner if he is sporting shiny, well-kept wingtips. But how does one lad make the right choices in selecting dress shoes that would not only fit but look good? There are many different ways of going about this that could fill entire articles, but there are some tried and battle-tested ways of choosing the perfect men’s dress shoes. (See also: How To Choose The Right Pair Of Shoes?)
First Rule: Go Black (at least at first)
Any man who has had experience wearing dress shoes for everyday life or for special occasions will tell you a black lace-up is your best investment when it comes to dressing shoes. While there are arguments that can be made that brown works just as well, black lace-ups simply have the upper hand when it comes to presentation and universal appeal. Classic leather black lace-ups will work with almost any wardrobe you throw together with it, whether the ensemble is a white shirt and blue jeans or a full tuxedo. Thus, if a dress shoe novice does not yet have a pair of these must-haves, then this takes precedence. One or two pairs of classic black lace-up men’s dress shoes will last a long time and deserve a permanent fixture in a gentleman’s closet.
Stout is out, slim is in – Always
Wide round or square-shaped soles are a no-no for choosing the right dress shoes. These shapes should be reserved for work boots and their kin. A dress-up should be slim and streamlined to the shape of your feet. While they need not be fully pointed (unless you are a spy looking to stab 007 when he is not looking), it should not look like you have the feet fit for an ogre. A well-contoured pair of dress shoes will evoke class and sophistication from you to whoever is paying attention – and that is always a good thing when making an impression.
The Sole Solution
There is an old joke about the mullet hairdo that it is all about “business upfront, the party in the back”. Well, the reverse is true for choosing the perfect dress shoe. The outer appearance may be what gets you the attention, but it is what’s under that (and what you walk with) that dictates what you can do, whether it is a night full of slow dancing or a long walk back home if a ride is unavailable.
Here is where it can get tricky, as there are valid rationales for choosing either a hard leather sole or full rubber soles. Some folks say a hard leather sole is uncomfortable, but this is not true provided they are a good fit and well made. They also last longer (especially if they have taps installed every so often). On the other hand, rubber soles are more reliable for traction and versatile when it comes to possible weather conditions, but can look less appealing on men’s dress shoes than classic hard leather soles. However, these days there are adequate compromises available with rubber inlays.
Note that hard leather sole dress shoes will always be more expensive than rubber-soled ones, so consider this point in your decision.
Style and Function – The best combination
In choosing the right men’s dress shoes, always consider your personal taste and priority. Style and function are the two main considerations, so make sure you choose the dress shoes that fulfill both needs effectively.
About The Author:
Mariam Simmons is a Marketing Specialist at Alpine Swiss and fashion enthusiast with a love for writing. She loves traveling to the world’s top stylish destinations and gets inspired to create helpful fashion and lifestyle guides.