The entire concept of fashion, for many men, can feel a bit alien. Sure, there are plenty of men out there who take to it like a duck to water, instinctively stylish without even breaking a sweat. For a vast majority of us, however, good fashion sense doesn’t always come naturally.
Footwear can be particularly befuddling. There’s a reason why most guys stick to sneakers – the options can be overwhelming once you venture into the world of dress shoes. Just figuring out which shoes go with what outfit can be complicated.
After a point, though, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with certain types of shoes so you can dress to impress for any occasion. In your 20s, you’ll be getting to a point in your life where you’ll need to present a more professional appearance. You’ll also start to receive invitations to events where your trusty basketball shoes simply won’t cut it.
Enter: the dress shoe. Read on for a complete guide on all the variations you should have in your wardrobe now.
First conceptualized in England as a house slipper for King George VI, the loafer made its way to the United States in the 1930s, where it became a popular casual shoe option. In the 1960s, businessmen and other professionals started to wear them with suits, thus elevating them to dress shoe status. Gucci furthered this in 1966 with the horsebit or bit loafer, giving the shoe a more refined look that pairs well with formal ensembles.
The loafer is usually classified as a casual dress shoe, making it a versatile choice that goes well with casual, semi-formal, and formal outfits, depending on the style and occasion in question. Its slip-on design makes it comfortable and easy to put on.
Here at Idrese, we have a selection of loafers for men that you can choose from. Our Andre European horsebit loafer features genuine metal buckles and has a narrow, slightly rounded toe, reminiscent of the curves on an Italian sports car. You can wear them on the weekdays as part of your work OOTD, or reach for them on the weekends and pair them with jeans and a well-fitting sweater.
If the available pre-made options aren’t to your taste, you can instead have us make you a pair of custom dress shoes. We have a wide range of loafer designs available at your disposal, as well as full-grain Italian leathers and fabrics to create the loafers you’ve always wanted.
When it comes to dress shoes, the Oxford is by far the most recognizable one. Timeless and iconic, they go as far back as the 1850s and were popular among students of the prestigious Oxford University, hence the name.
Like loafers, Oxfords can be dressed up or down. They have a narrow silhouette that follows the contours of the feet, creating a sleek appearance.
Oxfords are one of our most popular options here at Idrese. Our quintessential Arrington is available in four rich colors: dark blue, burnished honey, dark brown, and classic black. Like all of our offerings, they’re made with full-grain Italian leather and luxurious fabrics. They should be able to take you from the boardroom to any black-tie event with ease.
Interested in having your Oxfords brogued? Broguing is the process of decorating a shoe with tiny perforations, giving them a more casual look. Our process for custom dress shoes allows you to do just that, too – from the comfort of your own home. Simply visit our customization page to begin.
The Wingtip Boot
If you like the look of brogues (brogued Oxfords) but prefer the protection and feel of a boot style, you’ll love wingtip dress boots. They’re built like Oxfords but have a longer shaft, creating a short, lace-up boot that rises just above the ankle.
Wingtips may actually predate Oxfords, having been around since the 1600s. Back then, they were considered workingmen’s shoes, built for the rugged outdoors. Nowadays, they’re an excellent alternative dress shoe option for men who aren’t fond of low-cut footwear, and can be worn from day to night.
We carry two variations on the classic wingtip boot. Micah is available in black and dark brown for formal events, while Mensch comes in a warm medium brown, perfect for casual wear.
Looking for a more exciting color palette outside of blacks and browns? Our custom dress shoes portal can open up a whole new world of possibilities. You can even choose individual colors for every part of the boot for a unique two- or three-tone effect.
The Chelsea Boot
In the market for a pair of dress boots but don’t want to spend time fiddling around with those thin laces? The Chelsea boot is right up your alley. In this style, shoelaces are eliminated entirely. Just slip them on and get going!
Their modern appearance belies their true origins: Chelsea boots date all the way back to Victorian times, having been invented by Queen Victoria’s shoemaker, Joseph Sparkes Hall. However, they didn’t go mainstream until the British Mod era, when they were worn and popularized by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, among other famous personalities.
Chelsea boots are an incredibly popular dress boot style. To meet that demand, we’ve created three variations on this versatile classic. Escobar is for the man whose personal style leans towards the traditional: they’re available in Italian leather or plush suede, in solid black or medium brown. Harvey is for the adventurous type who isn’t afraid to express himself, made with lamb suede in a neutral taupe color that complements any ensemble. Finally, there’s Aviator, for the ones who don’t want to compromise. These black and brown two-tone Chelsea boots give you the best of both worlds, adding a pop of color to any outfit without being too flashy.
Of course, our customization portal is also available for this style. If you find yourself struggling to find a pair of Chelsea boots that fit your feet comfortably, consider designing a pair with us.
When it comes to dress shoes, custom is the way to go. With shoes and boots crafted to your exact specifications, you’ll always be putting your best foot forward. Branch out of basketball shoes today Design Your Own now.