As you may have heard, I have a new-found appreciation for my black shoes. And not just any old black shoes, such as those plastic, square-toed Kenneth Cole horrors that increasing numbers of chaps in the office seem to be wearing. I am referring to proper English shoes in an oxford, brogue, or tassel loafer style. These are the only shoes, in my opinion, that should be worn with a business suit. (I have specific views concerning dress boots, which I shall address in a later post).
My revived enthusiasm for black recently has led me to spend hours reassessing my footwear collection, much to the consternation of my new editor. I have even considered, in a phase of madness, liquidating all dress shoes in cabernet and oxblood colours; I rarely wear them to the office. I have worn black oxfords and loafers for ages. At school, convention required black loafers from New & Lingwood. Brown shoes, as everyone knew, are unsuitable for urban environments, solicitor's offices, and trading floors.
Black oxfords project an aura of professionalism and seriousness, which is especially helpful if these are qualities you yourself do not possess. Professional success is largely a result of dressing well and looking good, and wearing the right shoes to the office plays a large role in the equation.
Photo: Shipton & Heneage