Okay, gentlemen, it’s time to talk about a touchy subject. There are few footwear choices you can make that have as much potential to make or break your style. Anyone can make formal shoes look good and we have all pretty much mastered the intricacies of sport shoes. When it comes to this one kind of shoe, however, many of us seem prone to the same mistakes. Don’t worry though – we can help. Here is a quick and easy guide to wearing sandals.
Assuming that we all know the number one fashion no-no, when it comes to sandals – i.e. no socks! – let’s move onto what you can and should do with open shoes.
Well, it comes down to what clothes you’re wearing first of all – in particular what kind of pants. Traditionally of course, sandals are summer wear, which means you will want to wear them with shorts. Then the question is, what kind of shorts are you wearing? If you are hitting the beach in your boardies or taking a casual stroll in denim or cotton shorts, then there’s nothing wrong with throwing on your flip flops – leather ones if you’re more fashion conscious, rubber ones if you’re more inclined towards comfort and utility. If you want something more stylish, perhaps you’ll go for a pair of belted chino shorts, in which case, leather flip flops could work but you would get that extra kick if you opt for a heavier, strapped leather sandal.
Pairing sandals with shorts is actually relatively easy but matching them to long trousers can be a cause for uncertainty. It strikes that perfect balance between formal and relaxed. It is an ideal option for gents in South African climes – in the humid but laid back East Coast and the more style-conscious but ‘Mediterraneanesque’ Western Cape. It is just that blend of smart and casual that can make some men nervous to attempt it. However, there’s really no need to worry: trousers and sandals have long since become an accepted fashion choice.
Jeans, in particular, go well with sandals. However, there is nothing wrong with slipping on a pair of leather sandals with your chinos. Lighter-coloured trousers – beiges and tans – tend to work better with sandals. This is because they are more suited to a casual look than dark blues and blacks, which look formal and severe in comparison. If the occasion calls for it, then cropped or rolled up trousers can really enhance the style.
To be on the safe side, keep it monochrome or opt for sandals that are darker tones than your trousers.
In all honesty, sandals are not as difficult a fashion choice as they once were. Even businessmen are wearing them these days. Follow these basic rules and you’re unlikely to go wrong.