Kick Open Your Spring Wardrobe with Classic Shoes
It’s the perfect time to dust off your favourite footwear without fear of slush and salt, plus all the renewal and optimism in the air mean it’s a great time to take a new style for a spin. This spring, we’re revisiting the classics: stylish shoes like Oxfords or loafers that may seem retro, but really just need the right remix to be totally fresh. We hit up Toronto-based, London-educated Derek Polson from menswear blog Wool & Men for his tips on rocking classic shoes without looking like your Dad. Take it away, Derek:
After a long winter and a bonus ice storm, spring is finally here!
“Like a vintage Jaguar E-Type or timeless film like The Godfather, classics never really go out of style. Fortunately, footwear is not an exception to that rule, even if trends come and go.
Classic styles of shoes are a wardrobe staple for any man, but too often get relegated to the back of the closet. So, in the interest of brightening things up for spring, here are some options which will breathe life into the old styles, because you can respect tradition while striking a modern edge. Below are three quintessential classic styles that will set you apart this spring, paired with the latest KxP socks.
Tassel loafers are an American invention that somehow became a symbol of preppy culture. But just because your grandpa wore them doesn't mean they can't work just as well outside the country club. The trick to modernizing tassel loafers lies in their shape; similar to a well-cut suit that tapers to the body, a good shoe should hug the foot and create eye-catching angles that allow light under the arch. This suede pair is snuff, an exceptionally versatile colour that looks great with almost anything, especially pink socks – don't forget to roll your jeans to show a little sock game.
Style tip: A Henley shirt and slim jeans will keep any hints of "stuffiness" at bay.
In the fiercely competitive sneaker world, it feels like new brands are springing up all the time. Of course, this makes finding the ideal pair a challenge, but it also means you'll find an abundance of options offering great value. When choosing the right pair, pay attention to the quality of materials, the comfort, and overall craftsmanship. The pair pictured is a retro throwback to classic Chuck Taylors but made with suede and lots of comfortable support for a luxurious touch. An added benefit of pairing black shoes with neutral jeans is how it leaves real estate to show off your KxP socks.
Style tip: Pair with an unstructured sport coat for a "business on top" vibe that will set you apart on casual Fridays.
Bonus tip: If you wear a lot of white pants, black sneakers add sharp contrast versus commonplace white pairs.
A sleek wholecut Oxford is the epitome of elegant footwear, with minimalist style and clean lines that ooze understatement and class. The beauty of this shoe style comes from the unbroken shape created by a single seam along the back, highlighting the form and quality of the leather as well as the added difficulty in production. While you can't go wrong with dark brown or black, the simplicity of the wholecut makes it an ideal canvas to show off a vibrant piece of leather like the gold Museum calf pictured; 'Museum' refers to the antique finishing method that gives it the cloudy vintage effect.
Style tip: A good polish is an easy way to make a pair of shoes like this look more expensive than they are.”