The man I am marrying is not a suit and tie type of a guy.
Don’t get me wrong, he always looks smart and groomed – since we met, he has only ever worn muted tones; blue, camel, grey and brown. He favours quality and timeless classics over trends and has a penchant for tan and brown ‘comfortable’ lace up shoes. In fact, this is a man who has a wardrobe that would put even the most organised to shame. Black, grey, brown, blue and camel pieces (in that order) hang side by side – arms folded in, trousers perfectly draped.
Yet, only one smart suit.
So, on those rare occasions when he has been forced to don a two piece (no, I don’t mean a bikini), we have had the same issue each time. The shoes. He needn’t be ashamed about this disclosure, as this is a universal issue for all men who wear the same suit for weddings, christenings, funerals and job interviews. I can spot them a mile away.
What I mean is, a smart suit requires a certain type of footwear: suit shoes. Yet, too many men either forget to purchase them or do not know the importance of them. These men buy one expensive, carefully chosen suit and think ‘job done’. Never to go suit shopping again, especially not for matching shoes, after all, who is going to notice? The end result can range from being mildly distracting to downright eye watering. I like to call it the peek-a-boo effect. Super smart suit with non-matching shoes, ‘peek-a—boo!’
For those men who can relate to this, consider this a helpful nudge. The chances are you never thought it was an issue…right? Here is our quickie guide to suit shoes:
1. Brown shoes, like the classic brogue can be beautiful. Team them with a brown suit and you have the ideal transition attire. Keep the shoes darker in shade than your suit, as this will keep the look ‘grounded’ and attract the eye. Steer clear from matching too much and try to add texture or detail with a leather or suede material.
2. Maroon, burgundy and even deep purple shoes look great with a grey suit – for a dark grey or charcoal suit you can also opt for black. The trick is to keep a grey suit minimal, trim and streamlined. Say no to plaid, pinstripes, and four-button jackets. Keep it simple and let the shoes do the work.
3. Ah, the old patent vs matte debate. As a general rule, stick to patent for very formal events and matte at all other times – you can actually shine matte (leather) with polish, but that glassy patent look is much better for special occasions. In short, if you are wearing a tux, opt for shiny shoes (lace-ups, no detail). If you are wearing a suit, opt for matte.
4. Lace up shoes are always more formal than those without laces. In fact, lace-ups are considered the archetypal business shoe and can make casual shoes look almost suit worthy. If you only intend to purchase one pair of shoes, opt for a pair with laces.
5. Suede will never look as formal or as smart as leather. However, suede can look great for a more casual everyday suit. Suede will also work in lighter tones like brown, tan and blue with a Spring/Summer suit.
Shop around, ask for advice, read magazines and blogs. With so much choice out there and with so many resources online and off, you really have no excuse!
Featured Shoes by Jeffery West @ Repertoire Fashion: http://www.repertoirefashion.co.uk/menswear-c1/jeffery-west-shoes-m38