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Don’t Even Think About Tucking: 5 Shoe Rules Every Man Should Know

Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it is out-of-date or wrong. Consider some old sayings will still live by today:


Don’t judge a book by its cover.

You only get one chance to make a first impression.

The shoes make the man.


Each one of these old adages is as true today as they were years ago. The last one is one every stylish man needs to take heed of, however. Too many times men focus on their suits, their tweed jackets, their shirts and their trousers, thinking they are the most important parts of their attire. While they are indeed essential, the shoes really do make the man. You should focus just as much on them as you do any other article of clothing you wear.

Unfortunately, many men don’t and make quite a few mistakes that hurt their chances of making a good first impression. That’s why style rules were invented. They aren’t some archaic way of controlling how you dress; they are helpful tools and hints that make it easier for you to always look your best. Let’s take a look at a few style rules that apply to men’s shoes.


Style Rules for Men’s Shoes

  • Do Not Tuck- When it comes to men’s suits, tweed jackets, shirts and more, there is one definite rule most style experts agree on: choose timeless pieces. Trends don’t last. Those who hold onto trends that have past end up with unfortunate-looking attire. Consider for instance, the tuck. In the 1990s, it was trendy to tuck your trousers into your chukka boots and go on your merry way. It didn’t look good then, and it doesn’t look good now.


  • Go for Dark- Whether you’re wearing a suit or a pair of chinos, one of the biggest rules in men’s fashion is to always choose shoes that are darker than your trousers. A light blue suit calls for navy oxfords. A tan pair of chinos requires dark brown loafers. A black suit demands black oxfords. This rule never goes out of style. Not sure it should be a rule? Try putting on a white pair of loafers with a black suit. You’ll immediately be able to see exactly what the issue is.


  • Don’t be Afraid of Bold- Low-top shoes are hard to pair with trousers when it comes to their hems. If they’re too long, they may puddle around the shoe and make it disappear. If they are too short, you will look as if you haven’t been shopping in quite some time. The best choice for wearing trousers with these shoes is to hem them so they fall right at the top of the shoe. When you’re sitting down, this will expose your socks. This gives you a chance to show off your own personal style in a bold and colourful way. Consider brightly coloured socks or socks with bold patterns to break up the suit’s neutral tones. The best way to choose the colour of your sock is to match it to your tie and pocket kerchief. Don’t be afraid to let your creativity stand out.


  • Keep Your Shoes Shined- High-quality men’s shoes are made of high-quality leather. Over time, though even this type of leather can wear down and lose its shine. It’s up to you to bring back that luster. To do this, use a soft shoe brush to brush dirt off the shoe, then use a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust. For tough jobs, you may need to use leather cleaner or saddle soap to get rid of dirt and grime. After this, you’ll be ready to polish. Apply the polish directly to the shoe using an applicator and spread it around evenly. Make sure to get the polish everywhere, including those hard-to-reach places. Let the polish dry completely, then grab the shoe brush and buff the shoe to get rid of any polish that hasn’t been absorbed. If this seems like too much work, or you simply don’t have the time to polish your shoes, get a professional to do it. You’ll appreciate the beautiful and luxurious look you’re left with when you’re done.


  • Choose the Right Shoes- Would you wear a tweed jacket to a business interview? No, you wouldn’t, because you know that the occasion calls for something a little more formal. The same can be said with shoes. Not every shoe is appropriate to wear with a men’s suit; on the same token, not every shoe is appropriate to wear with a casual pair of chinos, either. Oxfords and monk straps are ideal for formal occasions where you need to wear something that compliments a tux or suit. Loafers and chukka boots are more casual and should be worn with casual clothing like tweed jackets, chinos and knitwear.


Shoe Style Mistakes to Avoid

Even if you follow all the rules, you might make a mistake every once in a while. That’s okay; you live, and you learn. However, you need to move past these mistakes and avoid them in the future if you truly want to improve your style. Here are some big ones to avoid:

  • The 90’s Trend- The Winkelpicker is a narrow, pointy shoe that appeared in the 1990s. Despite the many other options there are today, some men still follow this trend. If you want to look good, choose an alternative like an oxford or derby instead.


  • Be Careful With the Trainers-  Wearing trainers with men’s suits is a recent trend that’s now widely accepted throughout the world. However, it has to be done carefully and correctly. Simply putting on your running shoes won’t work. This is best done if the shoes are dark, a neutral colour and plain.


  • Not Investing- The best- and right- shoes to pair with your men’s clothing aren’t going to be cheap. They should be made of quality leather and be comfortable to wear as well as stylish. If you want to look your best, invest in pair or two. You won’t regret it.


Are you following the rules when it comes to men’s shoes? Create the right first impression by pairing your suits and tweed jackets with the right shoes.

By Brook Taverner 7 March 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments