The Guide: Name That Dress(ier) Shoe!

I am amazed at how much women know about shoes. Show them a style and they can instantly identify its name with relative ease. It's a daunting task for me anyways, with all the pumps, Mary Janes, slingbacks, wedges, and whatever else they have to deal with. It got me thinking, though. Why don't we guys show as much interest?

Well, no more. I plan to change that all with this single post. I'll try to anyways, by presenting a list of shoes which we don't necessarily have to own, but at the very least know what they are called. The added info will not only do your vocabulary good, it may just interest you enough to leave those sneakers behind for a change and opt for something more refined. I have my fingers crossed for 'ya, buddy. Anyhow, without further ado, the shoes.

The Loafer
Ah, glorious slip-ons. Where would I be without the convenience of your laceless selves? Nonsense aside, though, loafers are truly the gems of men's shoes. They go with absolutely anything and the different forms they come in are all interesting twists in themselves. Above all incarnations, the penny and tasseled variants (pictured below) are my clear cut faves.

The Oxford
I remember my girlfriend asking me about oxfords before, about why the term was used to name both a shirt and a shoe. I didn't have an answer for her before, but after much thought, I think I do now. Both the oxford shirt and oxford shoe are old dependables, wearables when you can't anything else. Lame reasoning I know, but think about it, what I said really makes sense. Oxfords are always the way to go.

The Wingtip
The favorite of bankers and mobsters everywhere, wingtips get a bad rap for its associations. Take a look at it, however, and you'll see that it is nothing but pure refinement. The "W" stitching that resembles birds' wings (thus the name), the perforated patterns - I consider it the most beautiful among all so-called dress shoes.

The Desert Boot
Desert boots are pretty uncommonly worn around these 'ere parts, and that's a damn shame. Instead of those Supras and Dunks I see more often, these grown-up high tops will give you the bulk without looking so juvenile. Don't worry, if you pick the right pair with rounded toes and preferably of suede, there won't be any D.O.M. references anytime soon.

The Moccasin
Mocs originated from Native Americans who have been using these charming kicks for centuries. Gradually, they've evolved in design from the boot-types the Indians sported into a more contemporary look, still with the trademark embroidering that makes them identifiable from a mile away. Aside from the design, what I love about 'em are their soft soles. I've had a Zara pair for 3 years now and I must say, those Native Americans sure knew comfort!

Photos courtesy of Ralph Lauren and Oi Polloi


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