Back in the day, folks would say ‘the shoes maketh the man’. We say the shoes maketh the look - there’s no way you could look dapper in a pristine suit finished (quite literally) by the wrong pair. Here’s how you do it.
With work from home the new normal, your formal shoes may have been given the boot. But you certainly need a pair for one of those make-it-or-break-it meetings. And formal dos - pandemic or not. The most elegant of all is the Oxford - simple, classic and sleek. You can make a statement by switching it for brogues, loafers or Derbies. And yes, the latter also works nicely with jeans that are well-fitted, clean, slim but not skinny, and the perfect length (just not to weddings).
No self-respecting young man can get by in today’s world without a decent pair of sneakers. But there’s a hierarchy here that you’ve got to stick with. You can cover your toes in Vans or Converse every day if you live in your sweatpants. But if you’re going past distressed jeans, regular chinos and shorts, think fancy. Luxury sneakers make the jump to smart casual with cuffed tailored trousers and quality slim jeans or chinos plus blazer. With wallet-crushing designer sneakers, choose muted colours and denims to let your kicks speak.
This isn’t to say the grandpa look with ribbed socks is something you should pull off on a regular day. And you’ve really got to be a trendsetter to wear Crocs clogs anywhere but your own backyard. Seek out walking sandals for nature treks, Birkenstock-style comfies for your days in the sun and huaraches for something a little classier. Shorts are the stock sandal buddy. But give it a go with casual tees and cuffed chinos once in a way. You can swipe your espadrilles for sandals to a beach brunch and see if the shoe fits!
We know when you go Goa flip flops and trunks are pretty much all you carry. But all of Goa isn’t a beach and if you’re just a tad bit style savvy, you’ll want to put the shoe on the other foot. Save this footwear for the beach and the pool. Keep it trendy with shorts, shirt, sunnies and Panama hat at a poolside barbeque do, or dial it down with the buddies in the backyard with a comfortable crew neck t-shirt and cotton shorts.
Leave the trouser ruches to deserving army men when it comes to boots. With Chelsea ankle boots, you can pair sleek trousers cuffed an inch or two above and a gorgeous linen shirt. Joggers work well with these sexy soles too for a laid-back demeanour. Combat boots need edgier companions in dark tones - denim or leather work well. But to nail a formal office look, stick with Derby boots.