Shoes

Your most pressing style questions answered

Question
Can I wear brown (shoes) in town?
Answer
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.
Question
How do I decide which black shoes to buy? There are endless variations on the theme.
Answer
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.
Question
Having spent the summer in deck shoes, I wonder if there's an equivalent for the winter?
Answer
Assuming you've been in deck shoes because you're over sneakers, the easy answer is tan or chestnut-brown brogues. The colour goes perfectly with blue jeans and chinos, and they're more comfortable if you are going for a proper walk than any kind of loafer.