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Essential shoes for stylish men

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Shoes are important, perhaps, the most important item of clothing in a man’s wardrobe, which is why this list of essential shoes for men is necessary. Besides nailing the fit, most men should first start with investing in a few quality pairs of shoes. A good outfit and good shoes must always go together; you shouldn’t have one without the other.

It’s time to take inventory of your current shoe collection, starting from what you have to what you may need. As with any list of must haves, it comes down to your lifestyle or personal preference.

So, let’s get to it. Here are what are essential shoes for men and how to wear them.

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The Brown Brogue
This will quickly become a staple in any man’s wardrobe; it’s as versatile as it is stylish. The term “brogue” is derived from bro, the Gaelic word for shoe. The unique punching or decorative perforations along the shoe’s leather uppers characterise brogues. The brown brogue is a cornerstone of the smart casual wardrobe. It can dress up a pair of well-fitting jeans or dress down a tailored suit, serving you well, day or night, from the office to outings.

The Suede Chukka
Though not as dressy as brogues in the formality spectrum, it does land above sneakers. It’s been said that the chukka boot is the first dress-casual shoe, which allows for tremendous versatility. Chukkas can play nicely with a suit, and can easily be worn casual with dark wash denim and a white t-shirt. The chukka is a simple shoe with open lacing and two or three pairs of eyelets. You’ll typically find this ankle-high boot in suede or leather; straddling the fence between dressy and casual.

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The Brown Loafer
Casual, comfortable, cool. Dress them up; dress them down. Loafers are your everyday go-to. Similar to the brogue and the chukka, loafers work with both formal and casual outfits. Though not recommended to wear with a full suit, loafers look great paired with a sport coat and denim or chinos. You can go suede or leather here.

Another great option is the horsebit Gucci loafer of Italian origins, distinguished by the metal strap across the front. It will surely add a dash of sophistication to your look. Less formal than lace-ups, the loafer comes in a myriad of colors of black, navy, and even green or red for the bold. I suggest a brown pair for maximum versatility. Leather or suede, it’s up to you. Loafers are a staple; classic shoe that’s comfortable, easy to slip on and super stylish.

Sneakers
Sometimes even the most dapper of men like to go casual and with the casual aesthetic popular as ever, it’s good to have a go-to casual footwear option. The canvas sneaker is great for all types of casual outings. Sneakers are stylish, versatile and a great slippers/sandals alternative.

The Oxford/Derby
A black Oxford or Derby is typically the first formal pair of shoes a guy owns. You may be wondering what’s the difference between the two; Oxfords have closed lacing, while Derbys have open lacing. As for colour, black or brown is recommended. Black is appropriate for the most formal of occasions like funerals, weddings, and black tie events. Brown is more casual and versatile, the lighter the shade the more casual. A nice cap-toe Oxford or Derby is recommended for a first dress shoe.

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Boots
You can opt for a more casual work boot or stylish dress boot depending on whichever your preference is. Whatever the case, there’s a certain character about a well-worn pair of boots. A brown pair is recommended because they go nicely with dark wash denim, corduroy, chinos or wool trousers.

The Monkstrap Shoe
Technically, the monkstrap is a loafer because it has no laces; you just slip them on. It comes as a single strap, double strap and even triple straps, with the double being the most popular. Many stylish men have at least one pair of double monks in their wardrobe. Wear them with a pant that has no break (pants cuff just barely skims the shoe) giving the shoe and buckles the spotlight.

The Chelsea Boot
They look really good with jeans and chinos. They can also be worn with suits. They come in a variety of colors and you can’t go wrong with suede or leather.

Slippers/Sandals
Our weather is mostly hot so slippers and sandals are a usual go-to for most men. Ensure they’re of good quality and fit well. There are many options to choose from and as usual, black or brown is best, just ensure you’re wearing them with a casual outfit.

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