The right pair of shoes completes every outfit. Be it your casual lunch date, an evening with your buddies or that special event with the company bigwigs – the common denominator to a refined look is the choice of shoes you round off your outfit with. There are thousands of dress shoes in the market and making the right choice can be difficult. Well, we’re here to change that! Let’s check out 5 dress shoes every guy should own and why!
“Oxfords, not brogues” – The phrase from the 2014 movie Kingsman: The Secret Service started quite a controversy in the world of dress shoes. The phrase obviously suggesting that Oxfords are classier than Brogues is a bit of a class snobbery. Not that we have anything against it. In fact, we agree that nothing beats the classic silhouette and style of a pair of Oxfords. Simple, clean and ready to wear with everything. When in doubt, throw on a black pair and you’re good to go. The toe-cap adds a distinctive character to the shoe and the closed lacing system gives it an amazingly tidy look. What’s more? You can completely flip the look of the shoe and ARRIVE at a party by taking out these black laces and throwing in a pair of classy colored laces. Available in understated matte and suede finish as well as glossy patent leather, an Oxford is a timeless classic and therefore really hard to beat.
Most popular among the Irish, the word “bróg” literally means “shoe” in Gaelic. Brogues have always been considered a bit more casual compared to Oxfords. But don’t get it twisted, for the wingtip, gimping and medallions atop a nice patina can elevate your style in a heartbeat. If you wanna throw on a sports jacket and go for a more relaxed look with a crisp pair of dark wash denims, a great pair of tan or reddish brown brogues can accentuate your look tenfold. While brogues look exceptionally classy, a lot of detail is lost atop a black leather base. This is one of the primary reasons why it’s great to have a brown or a tan pair of brogues always handy instead of a black one in your wardrobe. Mind you we only said “instead”..hint hint!
The silhouette of a Chelsea boot reminds one of the zip-up ankle high boots from back in the day. Remember when your favorite Hollywood heroes beat the hell out of the villain with a badass zipper on the side of their boot? Well, let’s just say this was enough for the Beatles to rock them on their feet! An elastic side panel on these ankle-high beauties makes sure the shoe is a snug fit without ever needing laces. The silhouette is tall of course but exceptionally clean with no visible seams on the toe box. They have a heel tab to tug onto so that you can slip your foot nicely into the deep realms of this leather goodness without ever needing a shoe horn. You can find Chelsea boots in suede, patent leather, matte finish and of course different colors to rock them with a suit or even a pair of denims.
Perhaps one of our favorite silhouettes of all time because of how versatile it is, the Monk Straps don’t get the love they deserve. You can wear them to a business meeting or to that lovely dinner date. Wearing a fitted pair of denims with that sports jacket? No worries! Throw these ‘on and you’re ready to rock. Available in brown, oxblood and black colors ranging once again from understated matte to glossy patent leather, the patina on a monk strap looks by far the best of all the silhouettes we love. However, the monk strap is not for everyone and as an overall style can be overwhelming for many. Due to the absence of laces and a double or even triple strap styling at times, they can tend to look clunkier and bigger than they actually are. A single buckle monk strap can look great but we personally recommend going for a double strap for the extra oomph. A word of caution – a number of monk straps are being sold as slip-ons with tacky elastic hinged buckles instead of actual leather buckles. Stay clear of such pairs by all means. Also, if you’re new to monk straps, we recommend you avoid Tan as your start-up shoe and go for chestnut brown or oxblood/burgundy color instead.
Surprised? Well, here’s another one of those laceless models with a heel and a separate sole. So what’s different? You will be amazed by the sheer variety available in this low profile silhouette. Penny loafers, Belgian loafers, Tassel loafers, Aurland loafers, and the list goes on. Mostly a summer shoe originally, loafers are more about convenience for frequently flying businessmen who have to pass airport security and don’t want to sit down every now and then to tie up their shoe laces. There are all-year-round Goodyear Welted loafers available now which use thicker leather and leather lining for winter use. Even though a number of people pair up loafers with formal wear, at its heart, the loafer will always be a casual shoe. It’s not the type of shoe you’d want to wear at your own wedding or someone else’s. But a casual suit paired with tassel loafers is the way to go. You’d rather prefer a pair of Toe-Cap Oxfords for those formal occasions which require you to look “all-about-the-business.” Penny loafers in particular can be rocked with a pair of chinos or pants. When it comes to versatility, they can easily replace your favorite pair of fashion sneakers for casual settings.
What do you think about our top 5 must have dress shoes for men? Which ones are your favorites from the lot? Which pair would you rock and with what? Let us know in the comments section below.