If you were in my shoes, it’d be crazy! Media and marketing have that candescent way of making us believe that we need more than what we already have and that we MUST buy that new watch, new shirt, new pants, new gadget and yes, new shoes.
While that is good for business, our egos, and yes, if you have “good taste”, our image, it will reach a point where it’s not good for our wallets and as a member of society, working day in and day out, ending up with more and more things we don’t actually need, and scrimp on more important things like a vacation or anything experiential. This blog post will be too long if I write about every little men’s fashion thing that we possibly have too much of, so I’ll just write about men’s shoes for now because in my opinion, next to a nice watch, a man should always wear a handsome pair of shoes.
60 pairs of shoes. I don’t think that’s uncommon. My friends have far more. But really, a guy with a lifestyle that’s mundane (or even otherwise?), don’t need that many. I end up alternating 8 pairs depending on the occasion. Here they are:
Loafers. If your office has a “smart casual” dress-code, you can use this everyday. Wear it with socks or with a “no-see” pair. In black, you can match it with almost anything. Wear it with a polo shirt and walking shorts and you’d still look cool. This handsome pair is by Church available at Homme et Femme. Wait for their end-of-season sale.
White sneakers. This pair is so versatile, you can really have fun putting together your OOTDs. It doesn’t matter which brand, as long as it’s white (or even off-white), and has that classic shape, like an Adidas Stan Smith. This one is shaped like that. The brand is Chester. A friend of mine got it for me in Singapore and in pesos, costs 600. What a steal! It may not last long as a Stan Smith, just take good care of it.
Brown leather shoes is a must have for men. Wear it with your earth toned clothes, but it could also work for blue jeans. It will also look good in grey or black pants. Add a nice pair of socks and you’re good to go. This one is from Aldo. I got it on sale 2 years ago and I got an ROI for the cost, many times over already.
If you’re a little more adventurous, get yourself a two-toned pair of brogues. Wear a simple top, and simple pants because your shoes are enough to give your OOTD that oomph. Wear it with quirky or plain socks, it doesn’t matter, this handsome pair is enough for people to give you that second look. This is from Cole Haan, and it’s got Nike Air technology in it’s soles, so walking long distances is not a problem.
There was a phase in my life when I was so addicted to anything Doc Martens. I love the brand but I end up wearing this particular pair more than any of my other Doc Martens. It’s like dessert boots, with a more rounded toe. It’s so sturdy it has withstood the harshest of environments. I brought it to my trips abroad and got a lot of compliments from strangers. It ages like fine wine.
This is another staple in your wardrobe of course. Black leather shoes. Ideally, get the best one you can afford, but expensive doesn’t always mean sturdy or stylishly handsome. From casual to formal events, you can use this pair, black leather monk straps. I fell in love with this when I saw it where? SM department store. The brand is Salvatore Mann and it’s perfect for far less the price of Ferragamos. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Ferragamos, but this one from SM could be as handsome though not as comfortable.
It’s no option. You have to work out. And so, having a sturdy and stylish pair of sneakers is a must. I simply love this Nike Airmax pair in dominant white with grey and black details. The logo and soles are in subtle neon green, making it so cool. It’s not as soft as the other models, but I love that added height it gives me and serves my work out purpose anyway. So depending on your physical goals, get a pair of sneakers that will serve that purpose and be stylish at the same time.
This one is optional really. If you have the seven pairs mentioned previously, you’re safe for a couple of years or until it gets dilapidated from wear and tear. I just could not resist these brogues because it’s in very light grey, kinda nude when light strikes ’em. Like blacks and browns, wear it with almost anything. This pair I got online. The brand is Frye, and not available locally. It is worth every centavo. Rich Suede and real wood for soles. A work of art indeed.
To wrap-up, Your shoes really say a lot about you. To fashion purists (or those who claim to be), it could make or break you. For a man, you could have the cheapest pants and the cheapest shirt, but wear them with the “right” pair of shoes, then you can still “go places”, not to mention a nice time piece too, but that’s for another blog post. As long as you have the classics like the browns, the blacks for smart casual to formal events, the whites and other subdued colors for casual/sports wear, you’ll be fine. Have a good balance of these, you don’t need to have more than 8, or 10 at most. (Or buy only when one gets really worn-out).
Again, it’s not the brand, but most of the time, you do get what you pay for. Even if you get the most expensive pair, but if it, let’s say, has square toes, or too pointed at the tip and curves up like genie shoes, then that’s more of a disaster to your OOTD. Spice it up with quirky, colorful socks when appropriate. Have fun and look great anytime, with less. Who knows, you might land a fantastic job just because you’re wearing really cool shoes! First impressions last remember?