A good sense of style doesn’t come overnight, and it goes the same for men and women. Style takes time and practice to cultivate. While women may seem more adept at grasping style, I’ve learned that even the least stylish man can learn how to come up with his own style. I can say that for myself as I’ve learned gone through years of missteps to finally know what I like and what I’m comfortable in – that’s what style is after all, what best suits us.
I’m a big fan of classic men’s fashion and what I’ve learned is that there isn’t a lot of color when it comes to men’s clothes and accessories. Not that it’s bad, vivid colors are more apt for women’s fashion. I think it’s safe to say that most men find it hard to pull off a bright turquoise shirt for a quiet afternoon lunch at your favourite restaurant. Men’s fashion mostly involves neutral colors, and the hardest to pull off is white. Everything from white jackets to white pants and white mens shoes, you don’t regularly find men walking around in these around the mall or at the office.
Another key element in men’s attire are men’s shoes, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of them but I’ve learned that men should be aware of these styles so they can get the proper shoes for the occasion that calls for it. The most popular of dress shoes for men are oxfords or balmorals as they are known in the United Kingdom. Nearly all designer mens shoes UK carry this dress shoe style. Mens leather shoes UK are some of the best in the world, having catered to very high standards of royal and aristocratic households. Typically made of shiny leather, these elegant and well-crafted shoes are made with laces and very little embellishments. An oxford sole is not made of rubber and is one of the most recognizable among mens popular shoes. Oxfords are made for large and small size mens shoes and is easily one of the most favored among mens leather work shoes. I don’t think there are other mens style shoes more suited to formal or business wear than the classic oxford.
Oxfords typically come in colors such as black, brown, cognac, cordovan, chestnut, and white. The oxford style is also available with john white mens shoes. Some of the more popular variations of the oxford are the plain toe, cap toes, brogue, and the whole cut. Oxfords are particularly great with a suit but they can be casual, too. One trick I learned is to play around with the color to give an oxford a more casual feel. An oxford with a cap toe in cognac is more appropriate with a casual jacket and sporty trousers rather than a black or grey suit. While oxfords can go very well with most men’s wear, they are not very good with denims or chinos. I like my oxfords with very little embellishment so I can use them with most formal pieces in my wardrobe. Bulchers are a little different from oxfords as they have outside lacing and a bit more casual. This shoe style was invented by Prussian army officer Gebhard von Blucher during the Napoleonic Wars, as a response to his men’s complaint that it was hard to get their regular army boots off. Bulcher designed a new shoe for his men that came as a leather half-boot with two leather flaps just below the ankle and across the portion of the shoe directly on top of the foot. The new design gave the shoe a wider opening for the foot to get in and out of. Bulchers are still very popular today, and while it can go with a suit, they are still more appropriate for sporty jackets and trousers. You can also pull off dress boots with a suit but do choose a style that’s sleek and has very little styling. Wear them only when it’s just too cold for plain old oxfords. Another good casual shoe I have in my shoe rack are loafers or slip-ons. These are perfect for casual attire such as jeans, chinos, button-down shirts and sport jackets. You can manage to pair off loafers with little or no embellishments for dressier attire. Remember, less styling makes for more versatile and dressier shoes. One thing I love about loafers is they are great for travelling. I wear mine around a lot and they are especially good when flying because they are easy to take off and slip back in the plane and when going through security checks.
You can get away with white with sneakers. White nike shoes, I think, are one of the best inventions. Comfortable, stylish, and pretty versatile when it comes to casual clothing, white nikes are a godsend when you’re just not up to dressing up. I’m not a big fan of white, being a particularly active person who can wear white for as long as ten minutes after which it turns into yellow, or red depending on what I’m eating. My wearing white tends to invite disaster, like spaghetti sauce suddenly dribbling down an immaculate white shirt during dinner. However, I do see the wisdom in white mens sandals – easy to pair off with any pair of shorts. I’d rather go for a black or brown pair, though. But nice white pair is not only easy on the eyes, they’re pretty easy to match with anything you have. White mens boots, on the other hand, require greater effort. These are better paired off with matching trousers and jacket and really require a lot of confidence – something I still have yet to achieve.