As much as you think any old pair of black leather kicks will be enough to go with any suit, the truth is the opposite of this: shoes can make or un-make your outfit, and dressing up in cheap shoes is a sure-fire way of knocking your outfit down.
Contrary to what you think, men actually dress from the ground up – and half the outfit is in the shoes. Here are a few guidelines when it comes to buying them:
1. Understand the basics of good dress footwear
The first thing you should know about dress shoes is that all the good pairs have soles stitched onto the shoe. The soles should never be glued. Ideally, you want to see that stitching through the sole and going into and all over the shoe.
Included in the basics of good dress footwear is the maintenance. Keeping around a good polishing kit, along with the occasional re-sole and a lot of care, will make sure that your patent leather will last you a long time.
2. Avoid the square
Your shoes should reflect your wardrobe in terms of being streamlined. All the taste and style you’re looking for in a pair of patent leather comes in the form of a toe that’s rounded out, and a contour that’s slimmed for effect.
The only instances you should be seen wearing square-toed shoes are if you have a foot deformity, have unusually broad feet, or if they are really long and need to look short. Round-toed shoes are the way to go.
3. Embrace the hard leather sole
While it may seem chunky at first, a well-made shoe with a hard leather sole will serve you just as well as any other pair, if not better.
There are only two choices you need to think about when it comes to hard leather soles: the ones with the slim contour, and the hefty lace-ups with heftier soles. Both are guaranteed to go great with an elegant custom-fitted suit, and good care and maintenance will make them last a lifetime (or even two).
4. Accept that there is no pair of shoes that can suit all occasions
There are many different shoes that you can try out along with many different suits. However, at the end of the day, it’s still up to your taste and preferences – ideally, you should have a few good pairs that you can switch around to suit different occasions.
No one style or specific pair of shoes will fit all occasions, even though a good pair may be able to give good impressions at a few different kinds of environments, from office settings to black-tie affairs.