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Patent Leather Shoes to Business Casual: Choosing Men’s Business Shoes
It’s the shoes, really, that make the man. That’s a lesson you learn fast when you go on your first interview and quickly realize your “best” dress shoes are anything but. Up to that point, shoes probably didn’t mean much. But in the business world, whether you’re at the office, a work function or a black-tie dinner, the shoes are just as important as the outfit. Follow these expert tips on choosing the right men’s business shoes for the occasion.
Men’s business shoes
The first rule of wearing shoes with a suit is that they need to be made of leather, both in the vamp/upper part of the shoe surrounding your foot and on the sole. A synthetic leather sole is also acceptable as it may also save you a little money. There’s been a proliferation of shoes that feature leather uppers with clunky rubber soles. These aren’t as formal as shoes with leather soles and a rubber heal for durability, so if you’re looking to impress, stick with all leather.
In terms of style, you have a variety of options when wearing men’s dress shoes with suits. Lace-up shoes are the most common men’s business shoes and considered more formal. Those are ideal interview shoes. You should also wear them to meetings with executives and clients. With lace-up shoes, you can choose a plain style, cap-toe, wingtip or other extra stitching that adds variety and detail. You can also choose dress shoes with no laces, commonly known as loafers. These are still made of fine leather and look smart with a suit.
Formal leather shoes
You have more limited choices when it comes to shoes that are appropriate to wear with a tuxedo. Unlike shoes you can wear with suits, you want to avoid any extra stitching. Formal Shoes should be entirely plain except for the laces.
Formal shoes should also be glossy in appearance. The most common are patent leather shoes, but if you’re uncomfortable in patent leather, you can wear matte black leather shined to a high gloss.
Business casual shoes
Having built a collection of high-quality men’s business shoes, you’re probably all set — except for when that invite comes for the company picnic, afternoon on the boss’ boat or client event at the stadium. If you’re putting on casual pants, denim or shorts, dress shoes aren’t going to work. Your wingtips will look very out place (particularly with the shorts).
For a professional appearance in casual wear, choose men’s casual shoes like boat shoes or loafers. Your boat shoes should be made of leather and in good, clean condition. You can also find less formal loafers that will work with casual pants if you’d prefer those. Sandals and flip flops are only acceptable at home or at the beach; never wear those to work or a work function.
Caring for your business and casual shoes
Properly caring for your shoes is key to looking your best. If you own proper men’s business shoes or patent leather shoes but wear them out, they’ll quickly look dingy and unprofessional. Follow these tips to protect your investment and your reputation, all at the same time:
• Store them with cedar shoetrees to help draw out moisture and maintain their shape.
• Use a shoe horn to slip your shoe on rather than jamming your foot into it.
• Polish the shoes regularly to keep them looking clean and new. Having polished shoes indicates that you care about your professional appearance and pay attention to details.
• Alternate a couple pairs during the week so you don’t wear them out. Even if it means you own two or three identical pairs, wear a different pair every day to prolong their lifespan.
Stop into a JoS. A. Bank store location near you to select your next pair of men’s shoes. We carry fine dress shoes from Johnston & Murphy, Cole Haan, Allen Edmonds and our own JoS. A. Bank Collection shoes. Our expert associates are ready to help you find a pair of shoes that fits you well and looks great.