101 easy ways to dress better. No. 1: Proper Shoes

Wednesday, January 20, 2010
If you read a lot of men's style blogs, it would be easy to get the impression that dressing well requires spending thousands of pounds on bespoke suits, hand-made shoes and seven-fold silk ties. There's nothing wrong with that, and I certainly aspire to dress like Will one day, but in the meantime it's perfectly possible to dress really well on a much smaller budget. That's the aim of this new series, which was inspired by one of the best-dressed men I know who told me that 'people like series'. I hope that's true, and I hope you enjoy this one. I also hope I can think of 101 items. If not, one day you'll see that this post has been discretely edited to say '23 easy ways...' and we'll never speak of it again.

I've been told a number of times that you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, and I can increasingly see the truth in this. It's almost universally true that a man wearing decent shoes will have taken care over the rest of his dress, whereas plenty of men wearing lovely suits take no care at all over their shoes, and the effect is spoiled. It's perhaps easy to see why you might assume that so long as you are wearing something black and made of leather on your feet, noone really notices the difference, but this is not the case. Ignoring the elements of your outfit that you don't consider important makes your dress look superficial and incomplete. Keep the trendy footwear with seams running down the front to wear with jeans, and get a decent pair of classic goodyear welted, leather soled dress shoes to wear with your suit. If you only wear a suit occasionally, a single pair of plain black Oxfords will serve you brilliantly, and can be worn with almost anything, including a dinner suit.

Image property of Barker Shoes

I recommend Barker. Visit their new store on Jermyn street and you can pick up some excellent shoes for around £130, which is a small price to pay for making you look considerably better dressed with no effort at all.