Nick Quinn, Junior
**Disclaimer** The lack of artwork in this article is because we all need to learn to think of the perfect shoes for each outfit without the help of pictures. This way, nobody has to waste time staring at themselves in the mirror for an obscene amount of time.
The new year is the perfect time to reform your fashion faux pas of the previous year. Even if you really didn’t misstep in any of your outfits, the new year is a perfect opportunity to try something new. Something I’m looking to fix is perfectly pairing shoes with an outfit. As trite and redundant as this may seem, the right pair of shoes can completely transform your look.
This concept may be hard to visualize, but let me help get this image into your heads using an outfit that all guys have worn before. When it’s summertime and you are wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt, you could wear your brown dress shoes, but would you? No. You could wear your boat shoes, you could wear sneakers, or you could wear flip-flops. The boat shoes make you look preppy or like a “bro” if you wear your Nike socks with them, the sneakers make you look like you’re working out, and the flip-flops make you look kinda lazy. So which shoes should you wear? That's up to how you want to appear.
After starting with that universal example, we can move onto something a little bit more complicated. One day last week I wore a long sleeved, navy blue t-shirt, jeans, and Converse. The only reason I wore Converse was because I had to wear black socks, and the black socks wouldn’t have matched my tan Sperrys. Because I wore Converse with my slim fit jeans, I felt like a seventh grade girl who wears “rawr means i love you in dinosaur” shirts. Now was that what I wanted to look like? Not at all. But this is when I realized even though shoes aren’t the primary concern for an outfit, they can make or break whatever you’re trying to wear.
I asked a few of my female counterparts what their favorite shoes for men were, and I got three different opinions.
First, the brown wing tip. Although a staple in any fashionable man’s wardrobe, the brown wing tip isn’t open to many possibilities. Matching these striking shoes with khakis or cords would probably be the best bet. Wearing a collared shirt with earthy or blue tones would help show you really know how to match.
Next, the boot. Boots can be worn with anything. Jeans, khakis, suits, you name it. According to GQ, boots go great with a slim fit suit that is made of wool or another wintery fabric. Boots are to be worn in the colder months; trust me, if you wear them when it’s too hot out, you will regret it. Try not to wear black with brown boots and vice versa.
Lastly: the loafer (and not the lazy L.L. Bean Mocassin we have all come to love, but the genuine leather laceless dress shoe). Like the brown wing tips, loafers are usually dressy shoes. This means they can be worn with khakis or cords or even your slacks. But there’s something special about loafers that makes them able to be worn with even jeans. When pairing loafers with jeans, make sure you wear a collared shirt or polo, because these shoes still give off the “I actually care about what I look like” vibe.
Using these examples and tips, I really hope you all can visualize the perfect outfit/shoe combo. Even though this may seem daunting at first, being able to visualize what to wear will help you when you wake up ten minutes before you have to leave for school. This skill does come with time, but hopefully this article will catalyze your abilities.