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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Tying it Together

I only tend to pay attention to my shoe laces when they break or they are uneven. I’ve never even questioned how I lace my shoes, let alone why I do it that way. But it turns out there’s more than one way to lace a shoe. More importantly, there’s more than one why to lace a shoe as well.

The best resource for lacing shoes online is Ian’s Shoelace Site. Using his tutorials and explanations I’m going to give the shoes I wear most often a lacing makeover.

Display Lacing

Even though my brown brogues have an open throat, the eyelet flaps come completely together over the tongue. I went with a lacing that looks minimal and also hides the laces at the top. The only drawback to this lacing is that it can be difficult to tighten.

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‘One can never have enough socks’ – Albus Dumbledore

Rarely seen – and often overlooked – our choice of socks can either make or break an outfit. Most men, myself included, have two types of socks: black and white. From a functional standpoint that’s all we need. But today we’re going for fashion over function.

The most simple and most unbreakable rule of socks is only wear white socks with athletic shoes. The ultra-orthodox will even tell us not to wear our white socks with our jeans but I think that depends on what we’re doing in our jeans.


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