With Summer just around the corner for us here on the tip of Africa I thought it the perfect time to drop a little shoe advice to get you prepped for the upcoming season.
Warmer days obviously mean lighter fabrics, fewer layers and more ankles. That’s right! More ankles! This means it’s time to take your socks incognito and drop the funky polka dot / striped / animated variety everyone seems to love so much these days! We’re talking secret socks people. The following shoes should all be worn with secret socks – Just don’t tell anyone you’re wearing them of course. Shsssssss!
So, if you only pick up 3 pairs of shoes this summer, I suggest going with these 3. They should cover all occasion taking you from casual to formal and everywhere in between.
The White Leather Sneaker
Possibly the biggest trend over the last few years, the white leather sneaker has really taken over. Not a huge surprise I guess. When major sports brands started reintroducing classic shoes to feed an ever-growing sneakerhead culture it was only a matter of time before this sneaker culture found it’s way to the runways. Now every brand from high to low has their version of a simple white sneaker.
Why so popular then? Well, I guess it’s because of there versatility. The white means they will pair with absolutely anything else you wear so you can really never go wrong. The increasing trend of white sneakers with suits, now makes them even more versatile, making them acceptable office attire.
Personally, I like to keep them preppy. A simple pair of Chinos and a boldly striped oxford (very big right now) with a red sweater thrown if for that fully prepped outlook.
My advice on white sneakers is the simpler the better. The all white everything really lets the silhouette of the shoe be the hero, so try and go for a slimmer looking shoe to offer you that formal versatility. The chunkier the shoe, the less likely it will work with more formal items. Oh, and a little bit of green detail wouldn’t hurt you for this upcoming summer.
The Driving Shoe
The rise of Italian sports cars in the 60’s brought with it a whole new “driving culture”. With their hard soles and stiff leather uppers, regular dress shoes were no longer good enough for a day on the open road so it true Italian style a comfortable and of course stylish option was created. Ta daaaaaa….the driving shoe was born. Of course, back then it was called the car shoe, but that’s only because it was named after the company who invented them.
Today the driving shoe maintains its casual stylish look but is no longer restricted to driving (in fact, I doubt many men use them for driving). They do however still scream out classic Italian style and so should you when you wear them. Italians
Italians don’t shy away from being bold, so neither did I. Purple pants and a bold purple check broken up with a grey knit is perfect for those chilly summer days!
If this is your first driving shoe, it’s always best to start out with a classic brown before adding some brighter colours to your collection. The driving shoe can also be very versatile, but I wouldn’t suggest wearing them with a suit, possibly just a nice pair of slim chinos and a casual blazer (if the occasion calls for it). One rule to stick to here is the ‘no sock’ rule. No socks with driving shoes. Like EVER!
The Tasselled Loafer
This is possibly my favourite new shoe for summer. There’s something about tassels and suede that just screams European summer style.
Ironically though, the tasselled loafer actually originated in New York about 70 years ago. Slip-on loafers had always been the shoe of choice amongst preppy college kids but had never quite found their way out of college and into the boardroom. That was until screen star Paul Lukas (no relation to George) commisioned them at a Manhatten Shoemaker. He had lace’s with tassels and moccasins without, and pretty much wanted them to have a beautiful new shoe baby. A couple of designs later the tasselled loafer was born.
This is kind of shoe that will instantly elevate your look, whether you wear it with a pair of jeans, or with a double-breasted suit. It skates that perfect line between formal and casual helping to elevate a casual look or tone down a formal look. I mean, they’re just the perfect shoe! I decided to embrace summer with a pair of white chinos and a plaid jacket with touches of turquoise and brown. The brown details picked up on the shoes and were enhanced with the tie and lapel flower perfectly.
If you only buy one pair of shoes this summer, these should be it! If you’re wanting to keep things a little more casual while maintaining that dapper edge, then definitely go for suede. However, if you’re gonna be spending a lot more time in the boardroom than the boardwalk, leather will give you that added formality.
Okay. Stay Fancy.