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Style tips: Footwear

The most important thing I’ve learnt about style? It’s all about attention to detail. And I’ve filled this guide with some of the most important details I’ve learnt about dressing well.

Now we all hate being told what to do. It’s part of being a man. Therefore I’d like to impress that the following style tips are mere guidelines rather than stiff rules. After all, it’s the overall ensemble that’s important.

–Nicholas Charles Tyrwhitt Wheeler

Footwear

DO know your shoe styles. The classic business fail-safes are Brogues or Oxfords. The Derby and the Monk shoe are smart-casual. The Loafer and Boot are the most casual.

DO invest in quality. Choose calf leather because it’s soft, flexible and durable. With periodic maintenance (resoling and reheeling) a good pair of shoes will be a companion for life.

DO polish regularly but briefly. Use shoe polish or wax if you have it. If you’ve run out, find a clean cloth and make do with a spit and polish.

DO allow time for shoes to rest for a day after they have been worn. Place wooden shoe trees inside to absorb moisture and help them keep their shape.

DO go shopping for shoes after 2pm for the perfect fit. By this time your feet will have swollen to their maximum size.

DON’T place wet shoes near a radiator or fire to dry. This will dry out the leather and distort their shape. Instead, fill them with newspaper to absorb the water as soon as possible.

DON’T underestimate brown shoes. Black may be de rigueur for formal occasions but brown shoes are a stylish and more contemporary choice for the office. Wear with navy or charcoal suits.

DON’T wear boots with a suit, unless they are particularly dressy. Instead, boots look fantastic with cotton chinos or jeans.

DON’T wear suede shoes in the rain if you can help it. If they do get wet, stuff them with paper towels and leave to dry. To keep suede in tip-top condition apply a suede protector and brush with a soft brush.