No no, not just any shoes. That would be ridiculous. It’s obviously Power Rangers velcro sneakers whatever the occasion. But mores how do you wear this season’s upcoming shoe trends with the style and grace of an elderly lady who’s just discovered the beauty of Helen Mirren’s swimwear stylist?
With a resurgence of the smarter side of smart/casual sliding up to us and making even the deeply fashion-phobic seem open to trying something new, the rules of Summer fashions has changed. Gone out are the basics of battered plimsolls and camouflaged cargo shorts with a clashing shirt, and instead there’s tailored shorts cropping up with oxford shirts and one of my favourites, the double breasted blazer.
But what does the sartorially stunted simpleton do if they’re undertaking the tailored look and don’t know what to do with their shoes? Well, if you follow these simple steps then I will make sure that you’ll look every part the dapper chap.
1. Some people will tell you that you should wear socks with your footwear. No. You don’t. It isn’t necessary. You don’t want to look like Pippi Longstocking. Men who wear socks and nothing else are weird and this should be avoided at all times. You wouldn’t want to show your masculine vulnerability to someone who you’d want to sex with, so why would you jaunt around town with your socks showing? And what happens when your socks fall down and remind people of an older gentleman’s distended scrotum? Exactly.
2. Boat shoes are going to be a big addition to your nautical wardrobe, mainly because they’re the most nautical shoe going. It says it in the title. But why not reinvigorate the tried and tested shoe with a different colour? There’s some flash looking ones in garish yellow that would link you into the brave new world of colour clashing.
3. Speaking of colour clashing (expertly linked, I’m sure you’ll agree), menswear is following in womenswear footsteps AGAIN and hopefully setting out to do a better job at it than Cheryl Cole did. There’s vibrant shades of almost all colours ruining perfectly acceptable clothes. I actually saw some light pink (not salmon Ross Geller) trousers in Primark. LIGHT PINK for crying out loud. What is that about? But ridiculous coloured troos aside, you’re not going to be able to move for purple hoodies and yellow trousers. Or green and blue striped trousers. But that’s a story for another time. Perhaps another edition of Fashion Edict. Or not. We’re not going to get your hopes up.
Digression aside, coloured shoes are going to be everywhere, moreso brogues than anything else, but mainly because coloured plimsolls have been on the High Street for many seasons now and everyone’s bored of them now. Who hasn’t got a pair of blue shoes? Maybe Prince Philip? But we’re not here to judge who’s got what shoes. The more adventurous the colour will give you more fashion xp, which is very important if you want to level up before knitwear starts hitting down in stores. Coloured shoes with clashing turned up shorts is going to be THE look this summer, and it would be incredibly remiss of us to say so. We would seriously be visited by CSI: Prada and had our fashion credentials taken off us before they disappear into the night like expertly dressed superheroes.
4. Casual shoes but with a tailored edge can change the tone of an outfit and take it from day to night. Remember when Mark Ronson wore plimsolls that one time and suddenly dressing down a suit was more than just opening a top button. It became an art form. There were many ways to do. Some substitute a t-shirt and were promptly called All Saints Wankers. Some wore brightly coloured watches made of cheap plastic to throw mud in the eye of the establishment. And others took it to the extreme by making t-shirts with a tuxedo outline on it. These people were promptly bussed off to their local Primark and never seen again.
Soft leather plimsolls that have brogue detailing on them have been cropping up in H&M for a few weeks now. On the face of them they seem a little “I’m breaking what you would expect a shoe to be. Aren’t I naughty?” but once you dig underneath and look at the potential that they might bring to your outfit, chances are you’ll still be nonplussed but eventually, after a few searches, you’ll find something wonderful.
5. If there was one thing that you should never do (apart from wear socks) it’s that you should never look after your shoes. The more battered the better. It gives them a lived in look. It gives the whole outfit a sense of authenticity; that you’ve lived in these shoes, kicked things in these shoes, dodged dog shit in these shoes, dropped ketchup on these shoes at half three in the morning. These are your shoes.
And that concludes our list of how to wear shoes in the summer. Up next: how not to wear a shirt.