New intern and expert dresser Susan B. brings us the first installment of our Men’s Fashion column. Let us welcome her!
Dress shoes are often known as boring, uncomfortable formal occasion requirements. Every man has at least one pair of basic low black oxfords in the back of his closet, likely sold to him half off with the purchase of his first suit.
Classic, intricate and interesting dress shoes are coming back with a force, not only riding the Vampire Weekend and American Apparel “Nantucket Hipster” wave but also as the southerly end of the suit renaissance. How do you get in on some of this classy fashion action you may ask?
First Step- Don’t Be Eurotrashy
Avoid shoes that might be worn to Ed Hardy’s funeral. These include upturned toes that are overly square
Second Step- The Basics
You might be thinking, “Dress shoes? Seems like a frivolously expensive shoe for non-formal occasions.” You would be wrong. Fratelli’s line of perfectly sensible dress shoes starts at only $56. That’s about half of what I paid for my most recent pair of sneakers.
Third Step- Differentiate
© [alfred bosker] photography
You don’t have to look like an anachronistic raver pimp to stand out. Some subtle color or uncommon neutral tones are enough to make it clear your shoes are better than the rest.
By Scott Shuman at Junya Watanabe, Paris
White suede bucks are great because they go with everything. Eventually they’ll be grey suede bucks, and still go with everything.
I cannot stop drooling over the combination of materials in these Vinnie 3 boots by Swear. Their other colorways are just as fantastic. Dress boots have long flown under the radar, but I’d wager half of all the scene points I earned in junior high that they’re coming back.
Are you are a black suit, blue shirt and red tie kind of dude? These basic Madison boots by Stacey Adams will be a bespoke surprise to the lady folk at the office when they spot them as you climb stairs, ream paper, race office chairs or do whatever physical activity men partake in offices.
If you want to get fancy with it these Welder boots by Duckie Brown for Florsheim are a fabulous option. They’re also on sale.
Perhaps you just don’t dress up. Viva la perpetual adolescence, because the man has figured out how to stick the brogue back at you.
Wingtip Vans available only in Japan this summer
Brogue plimsolls by Swear
Local Vintage Options
There are slim pickings for vintage dress shoes in the district. Many stores like Smash, Annie’s Cream Cheese and Meeps just don’t really have a men’s shoe department. Mercedes Bien had approximately 4 pairs hidden among the plethora of cowboy boots when I checked this weekend. Your best bet is to hitch a ride to the humongous Value Village/Unique in Silver Spring, Maryland and hunt through the two long racks of men’s shoes for something you like.