So you know that old adage about being judged by your shoes, when was the last time someone actually did that? Because if it hasn’t happened to you recently, then be sure to glare judgingly at someone’s ASAP. Shoes are the most important part of your outfit. There, I’ve said it, try and tear me down from the wall. They take your outfit from good to better, with an unrivaled, unquestioning elegance. Doesn’t it seem sensible then, to do yourself a favor and buy some good looking shoes that will last? Not only will you bring your style points up, but once you buy a good pair of kicks you can stop replacing your shoes every year and just let a good cobbler bring them back to life instead. It’s an investment that pays off time and time again.
Of course, when it comes to shoes and seasons, not all are created equal. Here are the 5 basics you need to get you through the summer, with a few of our perfect suggestions in each category.
Canvas trainers just radiate summer. They are the easiest kicks to slip on when the mercury is rising and even a t-shirt and shorts seems too heavy for the weather. Their breathability wins out against leather sneakers, and apparently apparel isn’t just about what it looks like.
White trainers are particularly summery, but they are not the only option that will look good – blue, orange and shades of green are all viable options. However, the clean base of white trainers increases the number of outfits you can wear. Of course you can wear them with jeans, or with shorts, whether sockless or pulled up tennis socks hipster style. My favorite look however is trainers worn with suits or separates. The key to this look is to make sure you’re trousers finish either on the shoe or just short of, and the tailoring is soft. If you wear a strong shouldered, heavy padded jacket and trainers, it just looks like you’ve borrowed your Dad’s jacket – not cool.
Try these on…
Forget your Ivy League leather Bass Weejuns, they’re de rigueur for college students and prepsters. Set yourself apart from the crowd by tapping into the seemingly endless arsenal of Italian style, and don a suede pair of loafers.
Suede loafers look their best as part of a smart-casual ensemble. Penny loafers are high on the scale of formality as far as loafers go, while the more embellished tassel loafer is slides towards the casual end of the scale. Color of course will also lend its influence to the smartness of the overall outfit. Therefore tan, brown and navy are the most versatile choice. However, I think loafers are best in bright, bold colors. After all, you will often be wearing them sockless and you can’t wear them in the rain, so you might as well stamp your mark when the sun is shining.
A few of our favorites…
These are the most underrated summer shoes in my opinion, and are sure to yield a bang for your buck (sorry). Most people will think of The Great Gatsby costume and the ostentatiousness of the roaring 30’s, but the clean aesthetic of the shoe makes them perfect for toning down an extravagant ensemble.
Bucks are normally seen in neutral colors, and a classic beige pair certainly enables you to wear all sorts of loud trousers. Equally, they would serve you well as a refined shoe that would harmoniously bring together an outfit. A red-brick sole is traditional, but traditional is boring, so fuck it. You can probably cop a pink pair with lime green soles these days anyway. And that’s something that will turn heads.
Leather brogues are easily the most formal pair of shoes on the list, but a classic hardwearing pair is not constrained by seasons. They will be appropriate for negotiating wet sidewalks and muddy terrain, because global warming is happening folks so your shoe game better be able to cope. Be aware that a sleek pair of clean calf leather brogues is more office appropriate than marshland appropriate.
Color is just as important too. Keep the leather a shade of brown; tan is the most popular choice for good reason. Black is better suited to a formal event or work, and needless to say, it’s boring. A goodyear welt is also well worth the extra money.
Almost exclusively for the beach, these are the fashionable equivalent to the sandal. If Birkenstocks are the best sandal for the 60+, then these Riviera’s do not discriminate between the teenagers and the 59 year olds.
They are practical, durable and come in a range of colors to appeal for all ankles, both dark and pasty. Furthermore, the mesh upper is ideal for breathability and drying out after inevitably getting them wet.