Your most pressing style questions answered
Can I wear brown (shoes) in town?
Of course, but only if you remember to take off your hat in the presence of women. We're joking: this is the 21st century and it's a free-for-all out there! There may be a very few professional environments in which brown shoes will be frowned upon but, by and large, wearing a pair of good leather-soled shoes (that's the default setting for smart shoes) will make you better dressed than 90 per cent of men. However, to get this just right, do think about the colour contrast: dark-blue suits can be paired with dark-brown shoes, whereas grey suits look best with black shoes.
How do I decide which black shoes to buy? There are endless variations on the theme.
There is no default option. How are you going to wear them? Every day to work, or only on nights out? With a suit, or more casually? Can you get away with loafers, or must they be lace-ups? This is particularly relevant for men who frequently travel by air: is comfort a priority, or is it trumped by elegance? These are the kind of questions that should help you sift through the options. Most men will want to end up with a few pairs that cover these various bases: loafers for the evening, oxfords to wear with a dinner jacket or to weddings, brogues to wear with a suit.