Men’s shoes: styles and formality levels

Men’s shoe styles are just as varied as women’s since there are different options to suit different occasions. The styles are varied and dress codes often need to be taken into consideration. Here is a guide to men’s shoe styles and shoe wardrobe makeover for elevated personal style.

If you are looking to elevate your personal style, an easy solve might be to review your shoe collection. Do you have classic oxfords for business formals, brogues for smart casual, loafers or trainers for casual wear? It is important that your shoe collection is not simply limited to two pairs, one for indoors and the other for outdoors! The goal is to have right items in your wardrobe and also to ensure longevity as shoes get the time to breathe and air between wear and hence can last longer. 

Shoes help to complete the look and to convey your sense of personal style. Here is a basic shoe guide to enhance your wardrobe.

1 pair of business formal oxford lace-ups ideally black and brown

1 pair of business casual chestnut brown wing tips

1 pair of monk straps and/or loafers, black or brown, especially if you are required to take your shoes off when visiting Asian homes and office (like in Taiwan). While these can be worn for business casual occasions, their level of formality is lesser than wingtips.

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1 pair of classic casual trainers. A must have for every stylish guys wardrobe. Trainers come in a range of colours, styles and materials and help make a personal style statement even for the most informal occasion.

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1 pair of sports shoes

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1 pair of stylish slippers for the warm weather to pair with your shorts

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Style rules for footwear:

  • Have at least 2 pairs of formal shoes – black and brown in leather
  • Good quality shoes are made of leather, top and bottom
  • Quality is reflected in shoes with soles stitched rather than glued
  • Allow shoes to breathe to retain original shape by alternating between pairs
  • Match the colour of the shoes to the belt. For casual looks, you can wear belts closer to trouser colour, since casual shoes can come in variety of colours.
  • Wear black shoes with black trousers
  • Wear black, brown or oxblood coloured shoes with navy, grey trousers
  • If wearing a tux, make sure your black oxfords are polished to a perfect shine
  • Dark socks are more suitable for formal occasions, while lighter socks can be paired with summer suits

Image consultant’s tip:

Stuff your shoes with newspaper to help absorb the moisture and get rid of any perspiration smell. Resole your leather soled shoes to make the original sole last longer and prevent slipping. Finally, shoes should fit from the moment you try them on and you should not have to ‘break them in’ to be comfortable.

For help to understand formality levels, update your wardrobe or find quality items that last, contact us here.