Buying and owning enough shoes to fit each and every outfit and occasion would be a costly exercise (even at our unbeatable prices). It would also take far more time than most of us have to dedicate to our fashion provisions. Thankfully, it also isn’t necessary. With just these three basic types of shoe in your wardrobe, you can be kitted out for every occasion, whether formal or casual, or somewhere in between:
pair of plain white sneakers (perhaps Authentic Vans or Converse, for example), can match any number of outfits ranging from thrown-on casual to boardroom formal. Pair them with shorts and a T-shirt and you have a perfect summer day walk-around. Opt for Chinos and a cardigan on cooler days for friendly or business-oriented coffee meetings. On the other extreme, white sneakers under a well-fitting grey flannel suit will have you confidently facing your colleagues at that next presentation.
A good pair of leather boots can look rugged and outdoorsy, as well as sharp and smart. It is advisable to stick to brown ones, however – such as these, these or these. We know the rule is that black goes with anything but, when it comes to shoes, it tends to look far more formal and is not as versatile. It’s probably best to steer clear of chinos but your boots will match equally well with a pair of dark-coloured jeans or suit trousers.
On a scale of one to ten, with one being casual and ten being formal, the likes of wingtips and derbys may sit anywhere between 7 and 9, depending on how they are paired. You may think that they are only suitable for a job interview or wedding, but put them on with a pair of jeans and you’ll find them as relaxed looking as any boot. These shoes are slightly ‘casualified’ versions of proper dress shoes and so have the capacity to be matched with outfits along a fairly broad continuum of smart-casual to smart.