Do you find it really hard to know what smart shoes to wear in the summer? I don’t mind admitting that I do.
If you want to look smart, either for ‘dress down’ business occasions, or for taking your partner / prospective out on a date, what options do you have?
In summer you instinctively tend towards lighter colours, for example smart chino’s or lighter cotton trousers, shirts or t-shirts. However when I look to my limited ‘smart’ shoe collection of brown and black leather, it just doesn’t seem right. I enjoy wearing them throughout the year but in a summer mood, I want something different, without compromising on the smart / business look.
At a recent trade show, Ryan and I had the pleasure of getting to know Miguel d’Almeida, founder of modern English shoe maker, Marcus De.
We asked for some of his tips…
1.Summer is time for Suede
A great option for summer shoes is Suede. It’s very comfortable, more breathable, and gives the look of “lightness” to suit lighter fabrics found in summer tailoring.
It will still look smart and sleek if you select the right styles and it allows you to introduce brighter colours into your wardrobe.
2.The Smarter Summer Looks
Go for a Long Wing Brogue over Wing Tip Brogue. (This refers to where the perforated wing extends around the side of the shoe, rather than meet the sole just past the toe.)
It makes the shoe look slimmer and sleeker than the traditional wing tip.
Single Monk Strap
Alternatively a Single Monk Strap also gives the impression of being much more slimmer, longer and lighter than the more formal Double-Monk.
Both styles offer a refreshing summer alternative to the more typical summer go-to’s, the Driving Shoe and Loafers. With a thinner and lighter leather sole than winter versions, they’re still a smart but “soft” option and perfect for any summer occasion – particularly suited for the move from day wear to evening wear.
They should also be worn with the right socks for a smarter look, but these should be brighter contrasting colours rather than tonal.
Mustard, Burnt Orange, Red or Purple are just some great sock colour options to be worn with Navy/Sand/Grey suedes for example.
It’s definitely worth exploring to find your favourite colour.
3.The Summer Casual Styles
For a more laid back look and feel, try either Gibsons/Oxfords and also Slip-on’s, with a lightweight rubber sole. They are classic styles but with the lighter sole and suede fabric offer a comfortable summer twist.
Interesting shoe fact: The Gibson and Oxford style refers to the eyelets that are sewn on for the laces. The Gibson eyelets are sewn on top of the leather vamp / upper of the shoe, whereas the Oxford eyelets are sewn from underneath the leather vamp.
This type of shoe style offers a great alternative to trainers or plimsols, without looking too casual or dress down. Another altogether luxury shoe perfect for the move from day to night, that can be easily dressed up or down.
Try styling with fitted t-shirts or cotton polo’s and lightweight ankle cropped trousers, or even tailored shorts.
They certainly give more tailoring options for the summer and can open up your wardrobe, offering more alternatives to typical driving shoes and loafers.
Visit Marcus De and learn more from Miguel here: www.marcus-de.com
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