Style Safari: Shoes

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about shoes this month. I’ve also spent a lot of time writing about shoes this month. One of the most important things I learned is that nice shoes are more expensive than the sneakers we buy at a box store. But, when buying shoes, the price does not reflect the value of the shoe. The true value of the shoe is in how long it will last relative to the price. The H&M brogues I bought for around $100 were a good buy because if I take care of them, they will continue to make me look good for the next 10 years or more. I’ve never said that about a pair of cheap sneakers.

The next bit is a tad nuanced. First of all, wear what we like. Wear what makes us happy. But never forget that the world (our friends, our family, that pretty girl on the bus) sees us differently than we view ourselves. It’s not easy walking that thin line between the subjective and the objective, the personal and the public, but it’s possible. And this cuts to the very core of style and fashion: at the same time it is a statement of individuality, and a statement of collective identity.

I hope to explore these ideas more throughout the year. Until then, here’s what I shot on this safari.

Belk $165
Oxford Wingtips. Belk. $165

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I Know Where Oxford Is but I Don’t Know What an Oxford Is.

Or at least I didn’t until I started doing research for this project. But that got me thinking about how much I didn’t know. So after digging around in a few blogs I’ve come up with a list of shoe types and terms to learn about in my quest to be a style hero. Once I’m done with my research I’m going into the retail jungle of the mall to find these shoes and styles in the wild. This is Style Safari.

Boat Shoes
The traditional boat shoe has a slip resistant sole, is made of oil treated leather, and is worn without socks. They were invented by Paul Sperry in 1935 to help him get around on his boat. This is a shoe for warm weather and for getting wet.

boat shoes

This style of shoe is characterized by its multi-piece, leather construction and the perforations along the edges of the leather pieces. The brogue was originally an outdoor shoe and these perforations allowed water to drain from the shoe. Now the perforations are decorative and the shoes have become more formal.


Continue reading “I Know Where Oxford Is but I Don’t Know What an Oxford Is.”