Written by Claire Lopez
Whether you agree with this or not, what is indisputable is that what you put on your feet will make or break your entire outfit.
As a stylist I always tell my clients that shoes are the game changer. Think of them as a key component in your sartorial arsenal, not merely an afterthought because they’re the last thing you happen to put on. As such, you need various options that will take you through your week, whatever that may involve. Your foundations should range from smart to casual, come in different materials and colours and have different soles to suit the seasons.
To simplify matters, these are the four pairs of shoes every man should own:
The smart choice
The Oxford shoe, like our Marsden Tan, is one of the smartest shoes you need to own, according to Claire.
Don’t get too bogged down with the differences between an Oxford and a Derby but know that the Oxford is the smartest shoe you need in your closet. These are the ones you will wear with a suit, but they are also the ones you can happily pair with jeans, shirt and blazer if that is your day-to-day uniform. You now just need to choose whether to go black or tan, or possibly even both.
Just a few ways to wear an Oxford shoe - we particularly like the coordination of colours with your accessories.
The Desert boot is the shoe that strikes the perfect sartorial balance, the suede stepping stone between smart and casual, and general all-rounder. Not sure what to wear to go on your date…? Go desert boot. Trying to navigate the office ‘smart casual’ dress code…? Time for the desert boot.
As worn by David Beckham and Daniel Craig. Need anymore convincing on desert boots? Thought not.
I can’t think of many situations where the desert boot will put a foot wrong. Tan may be the more traditional option, but I love them in grey which is just as versatile but will, in fact, wear better.
The Mojave Grey desert boot is an essential for your wardrobe in 2019.
The Furness Black boot by Goodwin Smith is as rugged as they come, all thanks to their tumbled leather upper finish.
Think of the boot as your power house – it’s the one that will do all the heavy lifting, figuratively speaking, and will be your hardy and hard-wearing go-to. But just because it’s a practical option that doesn’t mean it has to be a boring or unattractive choice - pick the right style, and this will be a very versatile bit of footwear that will go to the pub and beyond…
From Kit Harington to Kanye West, boots are a must-have in any gent's closet.
When in doubt, buy white
One of our most popular styles, the Goodwin Smith Harlem White plimsoll.
This is not a sweeping statement that you can apply to your entire wardrobe (take white denim off the list for a start), but it is certainly solid advice when it comes to trainers because, every man should have a good pair of white trainers in his locker. And I don’t mean gym or sports trainers – it needs to be a simple, low-cut, white, leather trainer. Box-fresh is great, a little worn is fine too but scruffy and filthy is not a good look. So, if you need to up your trainer game then the Harlem is the perfect choice.
Leather plimsolls are versatile and low key. Perfect for an understated casual look.
Tick all four of these off the list and your bases will most certainly be covered.
Claire Lopez is a fully trained stylist and personal shopper based in Wandsworth, South West London. She offers a professional and friendly personal styling service designed to help her clients look and feel their best. Having spent over 10 years as a buyer for places like River Island, Monsoon and House of Fraser, Claire's vast experience gives her a unique and exclusive vision of the fashion industry.