This is a guest post by Jason Smith, VP of D. Jones Clothiers
It’s been said that you can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears. I’ve had clients tell me that if a man’s shoes appear to be not taken care of or if they look old or unpolished, then they wouldn’t do business with that person. “If they don’t pay attention to the details in their appearance, what makes me think they’ll pay attention to the details of my business?” This quick guide to dress shoes should help you avoid being “that guy.”
Good dress shoe are comfortable, versatile and well-shaped, all of which are key components when choosing the right pair for yourself. If you have a shoe that is comfortable but is shaped badly or appears clunky, then it’s a bad investment. If it’s shaped well and is comfortable but you can only wear it with one outfit, then you may want to wait on it until you have a wider selection of shoes in your wardrobe.
One cardinal mistake men make when choosing a dress shoe is putting it on and simply looking straight down to see if they like it. If you ever watch a women try on shoes, they stand in them, walk around wearing them to get a sense of how they feel, look at them from the front, back and sides in full-length mirrors, ask their girlfriends how they look, etc. We might not need to go that far but just looking down won’t cut it. At the very least, look at your profile in a full-length mirror if accessible. Remember, that’s how everyone else will be seeing you in them.
Now that we have addressed the guidelines of choosing fit and shape, we can move into selecting style and color, which are the two elements that categorize shoes as classic or trendy.
Classic: Loafer, cap-toe, brands such as To Boot New York’s Oakes, Hayden, Ward and Warwick in colors such as tan and cognac.
Trendy: Monkstrap, Wingtip, brands such as To Boot New York’s Langley, Woodward in teak and Windsor. I’m not a fan of investing in too many pairs of overly trendy shoes because they are fads that don’t stand the test of time, whereas classic styles always will.
My favorite shoe brand is To Boot New York. My favorite style is the Windsor Wingtip in Cognac because it’s versatile and makes a statement. I can wear them with literally every suit I have in my wardrobe, outside of a black tux. It’s also one of those timeless shoes that when people see them, they automatically assume you have a great sense of style.
Finally, regarding how to care for these oh-so important accessories. Polish, polish, polish! Whether you have this done for you by your local shoe shiner or you polish them yourself, you have to take care of your dress shoes if you want them to last. Furthermore, it’s important for your overall image. A beautiful custom crafted suit with scuffed up, dusty shoes is not an ideal look. Take the time to care for these details and watch the compliments come pouring in!