25141 socks sandals opinion 300x225 - If the Shoe FitsThanks to my chosen avocation, I am often asked a myriad of questions from both the style novice and closet enthusiast, ranging from “what’s the best thing to wear out on a date” to “when do you think that booty out jeans are coming back in style for men?” I would strongly suggest against a Google search for that particular item, as the correct answer to that question is never.  The question that is overwhelmingly asked of me, however, is “I’d like to dress better but where do I start?” My response to that is where else but at the bottom. As famed designer George Frazier was fond of saying, “If you want to know if a guy is well dressed then look down.” A man’s shoes are as an important an ingredient to his overall style as flour is in the baking of pastries, that is too say that it is simply essential. Without them everything else turns out flat. They act as your roots to which the growth of your style depends on. Unfortunately, in this day and age when an all out assault has taken place on traditional style it appears that the shoe has been victimized the worst. In the workplace the brogue and oxford have been replaced by the Nike and Adidas, even the casual loafer has been reduced to being broken out only in case of the annual Easter church visit. It seems that many have forgotten that the term “dressed well from head to toe” does indeed include the toes.

mens dress shoes 300x300 - If the Shoe FitsThe shoe’s status as the lynchpin of a man’s ensemble was solidified in the 15th century; they were the mark of the successful and independent as they served as an indication of superior position. Sandals and footwear that was made of heavy canvas were worn not as the fashion statements of the “cool” and “rebellious” as they are now but because, for most common people, they were the only things that were  the most practical readily accessible to them.  As fine dress shoes became available to the masses they were immediately flocked to as the most exquisite of luxury items. You were not a true man of means and distinction if you did not have a fine pair of shoes. If our ancestors could somehow be transported to today they would surely think that we had regressed to the dark ages, but I digress. The fact that any truly fine dress shoe is made out of leather, which as a living substance breathes and allows air to circulate freely around the foot adding in its comfort, providing function as well as style, is probably one of the reasons that it has managed to endure as long as it has as a staple of the well dressed.  As pervasive as it has become to see running shoes on the foot of the modern male, often times regardless of circumstance, they still cannot express the same level of confidence, pride and commitment to high standards that is articulated by the dress shoe.

black oxford dress shoes 300x300 - If the Shoe FitsThe dress shoe is one of the best investments that a man can ever make, and certainly better than any you could have made in the recent stock market. While the best can set you back a significant amount, they are well worth it. A good pair of dress whose will prove durable for several years, and a great pair will never go out of style as, unlike women’s fashion, a male can get by with limiting his color options to a pair of black and brown shoes. He does not need to bother with attempting to coordinate his shoes to the color of his outfit. Unlike that of his female counterpart, the male’s shoes act as an anchor to his ensemble, positioning it well.  A good dress shoe, barring any unforeseen amputations, can quite literally last you for the rest of your life. It proves the adage that quality is most definitely worth the price. When you are looking for this quality you should make sure, as mentioned earlier, that your shoes are made out of leather and no synthetic materials that would cut air to your foot. The shape of the shoe should also follow and contour as closely to the shape of your foot as possible. The last element that goes into a fine pair of dress shoes is the fit. This is something that will be completely dependent upon you. It does not matter how much you have paid for the shoes for if they are not comfortable than you have just wasted your money, as walking in another man’s shoes should be limited to a cliché and not your footwear.  You should sincerely feel no recognizable difference in comfort between a fine dress shoe and an athletic shoe, contrary to what millions of dollars of marketing would have you believe. The dress shoe is what should be focused on before beginning any serious quest to enhance your wardrobe. It is the shoe of any gentleman and should this title fit your description, well if the shoe fits…

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