05 August 2011

Essential Shoes

Dimitri Bottier Semi-Brogue
As you know, I'm not in the business of offering unsolicited advice. But from time to time I can't stop myself and the urge to rage against the system becomes irresistible. On the subject of shoes it is positively unbearable. So allow me some brief words. I have attended over the last few months numerous meetings with banking colleagues from various firms. The sartorial standards are typically quite high. Sharp suits, sound neck ties, and crisp shirts abound, presenting a most pleasing sight to those of us who care about such things. Until, that is, one looks down. Almost to a man they wear inferior shoes: big, hulking, black square-toed things with plastic mien and unworldly shine. I just don't understand it. It doesn't take much to acquire a decent pair of dress shoes. But as it is I'm surrounded by incompetents who simply don't care. I'll have to get used to it. As I've said before, the most crucial parts of a chap's wardrobe are his choice of watch and footwear. These things matter.


Anonymous said...

I'm very particular about a man's shoes, when I was single I wouldn't date anyone who didn't wear proper shoes. The number of men over 30 who still trot about in trainers like teenagers astounds me.

Vernon said...

The sole should not protrude more than one eighth of an inch. Just ask Sherman McCoy,BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES. Many otherwise well dressed men make this mistake, as you observe.

Most men wear shoes that are strictly dross.

Vern Trotter

White Horse said...

Good work. I envision a series of posts now on "things that matter".

w. adam mandelbaum esq. said...

What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own sole?

Prinz Ulrich von Boffke said...

You wouldn't believe how some male (and female) professors turn up to lecture on the campus of the small liberal arts university where I teach. Or, maybe you would. 'Appalling' doesn't even begin to describe how some individuals dress, to say nothing of their choice in footwear. I'd like to think that it's simply a matter of lots of generally liberal-minded academics pretending they aren't white collar. I suspect though, given that university educations and advanced degrees are within the reach of more people than ever before in the United States, that many of said individuals just don't know any better. And they haven't made it their business to learn. Turning up to teach in dirty or frayed khakis, a wrinkled t-shirt, and who-knows-what on one's feet isn't really setting a good example to set for today's undergraduates.

Best Regards,

Ulrich von B.

DaniBP said...

Oh timely. I know that my MrBP needs a new pair of proper shoes, will shop for them this weekend.
Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

Shoes and a watch speak volumes. Not everyone can afford to live in Admiral's world. Still--there are many handsome, beautifully formed, well-made shoes in a mid price-point range. -- OK, so they are not bespoke, or even entirely hand-made, but there is NO EXCUSE for ugly shoes. (Or failing to maintain them!) Only explanation: Lack of taste and awareness. While on this rant, how 'bout considering some color other than black? (Sure... it's fine for high business, the diplomatic corps, and funerals, but browns have so many more nuances -- not to mention PATINA.) I'm a huge fan of chestnut color. Makes a navy suit or grey flannels sing.

Michael said...

Beware the man in square-toed shoes. Beware the man in cheap shoes. Beware the man who claims he cannot afford good shoes. You can be sure he has a flat screen t.v., a car he cannot afford and probably a tacky wife. Acquire English made shoes from a decent maker and damn the cost. If you must, buy Italian. But never, ever, acquire "corrected grain" shoes.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Well said LBF. The look of an immaculately tailored suit and the perfect shirt / tie combo can be ruined if one's shoes are el-cheapo rubbish, however, even that type of footwear can be passable if properly maintained.
I'm unable to indulge in bespoke shoes but my Loakes, Cheaneys and Aldens are always polished to perfection whenever I step from my wee bothy.
On my first visit to the UK in
1979, I bought a pair of black Oxfords for 54GBP and after 32 years worth of polish and elbow grease they look like patent leather.
I'm sure you would not be surprised to hear that I see many mature aged gents (who should know better) wearing those rediculous pointy-toes monstrosities favoured by yobs. Bloody ghastly. If a chap doesn't clean his shoes what else doesn't he bother cleaning?
Best wishes,
Ian from Downunder.