Business Casual Men's Shoes & How To Wear Them
Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette andour series on business casual clothing.
Today, we discuss shoes and we go more indepth about different work settings and how you can put your best foot forward so youcould look always stylish.
If you have not already done so, please checkout our general dress code guides or five different outfits and what to wear to theoffice here.
Business casual today is one of the most widelyspread dress codes yet it's often vaguely defined.
Because of that, we created an in-depth guidebut the golden rule to keep in mind is that you always have to adapt to your company andthe culture within.
There's no point in following all the advicewe provide in our video if your company is extremely casual or extremely formal.
You simply have to figure that out and thebest way to do that is to observe what others are wearing or to ask your supervisor.
Well-made shoes from quality leather thatis expertly polished can really upgrade a cheap suit, at the same time, a cheap pairof shoes can bring down a $5, 000 bespoke suit.
So first, let's look at what business casualshoes mean in a context of traditional white-collar environments such as law firms.
Because you're on this traditional environment, chances are even business casual is more formal than in other places.
Now that doesn't mean that you should wearyour black cap toe oxford because that would still be too formal and while it's good withsuits for business casual, you can be a bit more daring.
For one that means wearing a derby shoe.
Derbys have an open lacing system and becauseof that, they're always slightly less formal than an oxford.
Also, I would stay clear of black derbys, instead I would opt for brown ones because brown is one of those shades that has justa hundred or thousand different colors with little variations and so you can never haveenough brown shoes.
When I say brown I also mean red shoes, eitherreddish brown, burgundy, or oxblood.
These are all fantastic colors for businesscasual even in a formal environment.
My favorite derby shoe of mine comes in Burgundy, it's made of a Parisian last which is still quite elegant and so I can work with a suitor for business casual very easily.
Alternatively, I could wear a burgundy monkstrap, either in dark chocolate brown or maybe in red.
Apart from that color scheme, I would notbranch out into others because it would maybe be too casual for such a traditional environment.
That means no gray shoes, no olive green shoes, stick with shades of brown and you'll be good.
Whether that's a very dark brown, a mediumbrown, chestnut brown, or very light tan, is up to you but just keep in mind the lightershade of brown, the more casual the shoe.
Likewise, the more broguing you have on theshoe, the more casual it is.
Apart from the color, leather texture canalso have a huge impact on how it's perceived.
For example, suede shoes are always softerand more casual.
So for example, a dark brown suede shoe willlook about as informal or casual as a regular polished leather tan shoe.
Overall, it's very important that your shoeswork well not just with the rest of your outfit but with the socks and the pants in particularbecause they're right next to your shoe.
To learn how you can put together interestingoutfits that work pretty well in a business casual environment please check out this videohere.
Second, let's go a notch down and determinewhat business casual shoes look like in other traditional environments that are not quiteas formal.
If you work in the service industry, in sales, or other trade positions, chances are you still have client contact and even thoughit's not required of you to be well dressed, and sometimes it may come off as aloof ornot appropriate, people will still judge you and if you look frumpy in sweatpants witha hole that are all dirty, people will think less highly of you, they will assume thatyou're less competent than if you would wear let's say a nice dress shirt with a pair ofchinos.
If you are just at the office and never haveclient contact, your employer will likely have specific ideas of what's acceptable andwhat's not.
If that's not your office, I suggest to juststay clear of sneakers because sneakers are quite casual.
The same is true for tennis shoes, Nikes, Adidas, it's simply not work appropriate shoes.
Fine for gym not for the office.
In this segment, one of my favorite colorsis green which is highly underrated in menswear and I talk more about why and how in thisvideo.
Just think about adding a dark green oxfordfull brogue wingtip shoe in suede, it's quite dark, people wouldn't notice it right awayyet it's very different than a traditional dark brown wingtip oxford.
Alternatively, a nice olive green with a beautifulpatina on an elegant long last is really something that will provide a lot of contrast with thepants and slacks you're wearing therefore, it'll stand out in a way but it's still subtleenough that it could be mistaken for a dark brown shoe at first glance.
In recent years, dress shoes uppers with whiterubber or sneaker soles have become extremely popular.
Now personally, I don't wear those becauseI either want to go casual and wear boat shoes or some sneakers or I wear leather dress shoeswith a leather sole.
That being said, if you really dig the whiterubber soles on a shoe, simply go for it, it's something that you can wear, you canpull it off, it's definitely more of a statement and I've even seen like red soles, yellowsoles, or blue soles, so assume that people will judge you, they will make assumptionsabout you, and if you're okay with that and you can wear it confidently, go for it.
Of course, if you're into classic men's clothingand a traditionalist, this is not an option for you and in that case, stay with nicelypolished leather shoes.
So what about regular rubber soles? While they are acceptable and no one willever call you out for it, personally, I much rather prefer leather soles.
The sound they make, the way they roll onmy foot, the way they feel, all of these are attributes I appreciate about the leathersole and I would not switch to a rubber sole.
So what do you do if it rains heavily youmight wonder? Well, I have leather boots with rubber solesbecause they're usually a little more casual and if it's raining a lot, having a lace-upboot that is above my ankle always comes in handy to protect my feet from getting wetand cold.
Apart from the shoes mentioned, you can alsoexperiment with spectators in this segment which again are quite loud and traditionally, you have black and white ones which I think is not such a good combination because itis black, quite formal, white makes it informal.
Instead, a brown and maybe off-white spectatoror a navy with a gray spectator are really great.
You could think about saddle shoes or justmore unusual shoes.
In general though, I always suggest you stayclear of square-toed shoes, rubber soles or any kind of metalwork or reflective letterssuch as silver or gold because they're not really part of a gentleman's wardrobe.
So what are business casual shoes in a start-upenvironment? Frankly, the sky's the limit and it can beanything from flip-flop over vans to very extraordinary Gucci loafers.
Most startups won't even have a dress codeand so it's all about what you're comfortable with and about their culture and how you fitin.
Now, just because you can wear anything doesn'tmean everything has the same level of benefits for you.
That being said, a nice pair of leather shoesor boots will always make you look more dapper and more grown-up than wearing some colorfulsneakers or tennis shoes.
In terms of colors or leather textures, reallyanything under the sun goes here.
Even flip-flops or alpargatas are acceptablebut frankly, I would simply not wear that but I guess I'm not telling you anything newhere.
Now that we covered three different environments, let's talk about general guidelines that may help you to look stylish in your workplace.
The general advice to your wardrobe and ifyou want the biggest bang for your buck and the lowest cost per wear, I strongly suggestto not invest in shoes that fuse modern style and traditional style.
Why you might wonder? Well, matching together formal and informalelements will mean it's a very trendy shoe and it may be great at the moment but it'sjust a fashion and a fad and it will disappear in just a few years of time.
So even if you have the most highest qualityleather shoe with a blue sole, chances are you will be tired of it in a year from now.
Instead, buy classically styled shoes andtry to find something that works with your style.
For example, you can go with medium brownpenny loafers or you could go with cordovan tassel loafers.
Alternatively, if you want even more casual, you can have suede green tassel loafers which are very casual yet still classically rooted.
Because it's business casual, broguing orhole perforations or decorations are always welcome and an element you should incorporateif you want to tone things down and make them easier to look at and less formal.
Similarly to jeans, that should be avoidedin a formal office environment unless expressly approved by management.
You should also keep sneakers out of the office.
Now that you know a lot about business casualshoes, there are times when you should avoid wearing them and step up your shoe game andjust be a little more formal.
For example, think of important meetings witha board maybe with their most important client or the CEO who is known to be a clothes horse.
In those situations, you definitely want totake it up a notch and put your best foot forward.
During work related events, conferences orsymposia where you represent your company or maybe during a media interview, it reallypays to have nice leather dress shoes in a darker color because they won't stand outand people won't just focus on your shoes but rather on what you say and the point youwant to bring across.
Likewise, if you're interviewing for a position, it always pays to put on the proper interview attire and to learn more about that as wellas other interview preparation guides please check out this video series here.
In summary, the dress-code business casualis not easy to master when it comes to shoes because it can mean different things at differenttimes at different companies, however, using the three-tier approach of formal environment, less formal environment, and casual environment, it can really help you to nail it and putyour best foot forward.
Last but not least, if you're unsure whetherif something is appropriate or not, chances are it is inappropriate.
Otherwise, you wouldn't have thought aboutit in the first place and if even that doesn't help, always keep in mind being slightly overdressedis always favorable to being slightly underdressed.
That being said if you enjoyed this videoplease give us a thumbs up subscribe to our Channel so videos like this come right toyour inbox and also make sure to check out our other videos about business casual dresscode.
in today's outfit i am wearing a mid-levelbusiness casual outfit that does not contain a tie or any form of neckwear it consistsof a white blue check shirt with a button down color which is rather casual I am pairingit with a green sport coat and chinos likewise I'll add a brown pair of penny loafers it'smedium brown it contrasts for the chinos yet my pocket square picks up the brown tonesas well as the blue tones and tie everything together it's from Fort Belvedere and youcan find it in our shop here just like my blue and navy stripe shadow socks that arecontrasting between the pants and shoes but since they're dark and I pick up blue in theshirt and the pocket square it all works harmoniously together.