Guest post by Debbie Anderson
Nothing ruins a sharp outfit like a bad pair of shoes. Shoes are the coup de grâce of any ensemble, and believe me, women notice what you're wearing on your feet. I've had girlfriends tell me they've closed down first dates and broken up with a man simply because the guy made poor footwear decisions. The wrong shoe? Tells women you're not a follow-through guy and don't pay attention to details. It's a subtle perception, but it speaks volumes.
So how do you incorporate the “right” shoes into your wardrobe? Let's look at the trends and then ask the women.
Loafers are a power play and say you mean business, but they have to be a stylish loafer NOT from the '80s. According to Ellen S., “Don't wear anything overly shiny, too classic, or bulky. And for God's sake, step away from the severely pointed Euro loafer. Just find something modern without going overboard.”
Modern-day loafers have cool details (a buckle, cool soles, prominent stitching) but aren't chunky and round-toed.
(Frye loafers. Photo from thefryecompany.com)
Spectators are like the loafer but are a tad more versatile and have more personality. Says Debbie W.: “I'm over the two-toned spectator, but give me a solid brown or tan pair and wear them with jeans or a clean-cut navy suit? Swoon.”
The key here is to wear spectators with a touch of irony, old school charm, and quirk.
(Frye wingtips. Photo from zappos.com)
Find yourself some cool kickbacks sporting a bright color detail or textured pattern without a chunky sole. Retro styles are back with slimmer silhouettes. Think casual but stylish. Explains Lisa J., “I love a man in dark wash denim, a striped oxford and hip Converse. There's something confident about a man who can mix styles without going overboard.”
(Lanvin sneaker. Photo from Mocoloco.com)
Short boots are all over the runway in a myriad of styles – biker, lace-up, buckled. A surefire way to kick up casual wear, short boots need to be in your closet. Karen W. says it this way: “I love the distressed boot that says a man didn't try too hard, even if he did.”
Short ankle boots go best with denim. Wear them tucked under or tucked in (as long as the boot is lace-up and you're going for a more rugged look).
(Engineer boots. Photo from Redwingheritage.com)
This Hugh Hefner slip-on typically comes in velvet or satin and is now available in a wide range of patterns. Here's Debbie W. again with her thoughts: “Please just don't. To me, a smoking slipper says pansy and ineffectual. It's just too feminine to be sexy.”
Hey look, if you can wear the smoking slipper confidently and masculinely, go for it.
(Donald Pliner smoking slipper. Photo from neimanmarcus.com)
So there you have it. Of course, there's also the moccasins, the brogue shoes, and the sandals. What should we ask the women next?