If you find someone looking down in the middle of a conversation, they might just be checking out your shoes. Of course, they might not be conscious of this, but if you notice yourself and others, you may observe some shoe-spotting behaviors from time to time. The reason is that shoes express our personality. Most people are familiar with the saying,”You can’t know a man until you walked a mile in his shoes.”
Our shoes, like our jeans, take on the contours of our bodies and become truly our own. Dress shoes should not be a neglected topic in your wardrobe. You might think a regular shoe could do double duty for more formal occasions, but an expensive suit deserves a top quality shoe to match. This is why you should look into buying dress shoes before you receive that special invitation. You can find dress shoes that do double duty for office wear and weddings, but its ability to fit with a formal occasion is a basic requirement for a dress shoe.
Anatomy of a Dress Shoe
If it’s been a while since you been to a prom, a wedding, or formal occasion, it’s time to re-familiarize yourself with what makes a great dress shoe. You could be wearing dress shoes every week for years and still draw a blank when you hear terms like vamp, facing, and welt stitching. Everyone knows the basic parts of the shoe like the tongue, the sole, and the heel. The dress shoe has four basic parts which include the toe, vamp, facing and quarter. These parts are divided into smaller parts. The welt stitching is the decorative stitching around the toe. The throat is the area from the main section to the lacing. The vamp is the main section, and the quarters are the sides.
The main types of dress shoes have been around for years, and in some cases, centuries, and many never go out of style. The Oxford shoe is, as its name suggests, associated with Oxford University and can be worn at formal occasions and dressed down for casual wear. The facing of this shoe is stitched under the vamp, and it has a characteristically slim look. The derby shoe was designed in the 19 century for sporting and hunting. While it is unlikely that you will go shoot some deer in your nearby woods while wearing a pair of derbies, the shoe was designed to be versatile for various occasions. Its design is similar to an Oxford shoe, but the stitching is on top of the vamp rather than underneath.
A monk strap shoe does not have regular lacing but a flap drawn from one side of the shoe to the other and fastened with a buckle. The loafer is the shoe with varieties for men and for women and has a familiar moccasin design. It was created as a casual shoe for George IV, the King of England and became popular in America in the 1930s. Some loafers may have tassels while others have a plain front. The dress boot was created in the Victorian era for formal occasions and provided the convenience of a full foot covering with an elegant design. The Chelsea boot was not designed for a man but for Queen Victoria herself with its rounded toe and low heels for comfort. The Chelsea is one of the best-known men’s dress boots for its sleek, minimalist appearance.
Best Men’s Dress Shoes
If you’re all dressed up but with no shoes to go out in, look online or at your department store for the best brands of shoes with striking styles. Cole Haan is a luxury brand of shoe that was founded in 1928 and is valued for its artisan quality designs. Its Olmstead Postman model is made of genuine leather with a synthetic sole, stylish lace-up and tonal stitching. The Florsheim Sabato wingtip monk shoe is a chic style from an iconic brand. Its leather exterior sports and adjustable strap with a buckle that closes firmly. It has leather lining and cushioned footbed for comfort and elegance.
Consider complementing your business suit with a Boss Hugo black Oxford shoe with the traditional lace-up closure and a modern wingtip flair. A stacked heel keeps you steady on your feet and walking with style and confidence. A G.H Bass Buckingham Oxford shoe is a modern version of a brand that made penny loafers famous. Bass is known for creating striking styles at low prices, and its shoes is prized for comfort and versatility. Its Buckingham Oxford shoe is made from imported leather and wicks away moisture. The shoe provides support and has a rubber combination outsole. Enjoy the style of its handsome suede highlights and decorative stitching. This is a lightweight shoe that is at home in the dance hall and at the office.
Charles Tyrwhitt is a time-honored British brand that expresses English sartorial pride. It shoes are made of fine grain leather and show traditional tailoring with its distinctive stitching and glow of high-quality materials. Wear an Oxford or Derby that makes an impression and is comfortable for a long walk in an English garden. An Allen Edwards LaSalle Oxford shoe has a cork midsole that lets your shoe breathe and provides support and flexibility. While Steve Madden shoes are popular with women, the hot brand has many offerings for men including Oxford shoes that have rubber soles, lace-up vamps, decorative stitching, and padded collars. The Steve Madden brand was founded in Brooklyn in the 1990s and became famous for its newness. These funky shoes are competitively priced and can be worn at formal or casual events.
Don’t wait for a wedding invitation or an award ceremony to start looking for dress shoes. Select an elegant brand that complements your tuxedo, or chooses a high-quality dress shoe that can be worn in the boardroom as well as a ballroom.