And a Happy New Year from Amy and Rachel
Today was our first snow. Usually I detest snow. I traditionally complain and pout in a very unbecoming fashion. Today was different; today I actually dressed appropriately for the weather: jeans, over-sized sweater, and boots. I believe it’s the fact that I wore weather appropriate footwear that I could appreciate the snow and not whine like a 4 year old at bathtime. I, perhaps, might have even considered it breathtaking, and maybe even wanted to go out and frolic in it and catch giant flakes on my tongue. That’s the power of appropriate footwear. Never underestimate it.
So what does appropriate men’s footwear look like right now? Let’s start with what it doesn’t look like, shall we?
Why are these wrong? I don’t even know if I should dignify that with a response, but I will try.
1. The terrible color and stitching in all of them.
2. The rounded toe of awful.
3. The completely obvious tread and traction.
4. Why do the ones on the left have such a heel? I don’t get it
5. The complete lack of form or shape in any of them.
We’ve all seen these shoes in our lifetime. Every time I see them I cringe. I understand if you’re a farmer or you work in construction. I get it. Steel-toed-what-have-you. Go for it. But if you’re not at work or on the farm I suggest something a little more…appealing.
I would venture to say that not all men would find the above footwear necessary at work. So here’s what I deem appropriate (snow-proof-ish) winter work footwear (these can also work incredibly well for parties, dates and other social outings):
Notice the understated toe, the thinner ankle, the pronounced shape, and the lighter feel, in general. These are still boots and will still keep your feet warm and dry, but you can also be taken seriously at a business meeting with any one of these choices.
I also understand that there are certain instances where you want to feel a bit more manly and rugged. Say you’re going to chop down a Christmas tree or wrestle an alligator. These are what I suggest:
A nice weather proof base with a solid leather upper. A perfect mix of elements. If you want to also throw on a pair of distressed jeans and sit in a field as well, I won’t judge you. Boots can be pretty spectacular and inspire you to do some bizarre things.
Quite awhile ago I was around some old friends, all of the guys were in nice button-ups and ties, but I couldn’t help but notice how great one looked. Sure he is a handsome guy and his clothes routinely fit well and look classy and clean, but something was different that day. The answer was simple: Suspenders. His shirt was crisp and white and accented by a thin black tie and thin black suspenders, instant extra Dashing points.
Now I would guess it has been over a year since said outfit (and I am STILL talking about it) and I have been loving suspenders more and more lately. And the trick to wearing this style couldn’t be simpler: don’t actually need them to hold up your trousers. They work because they accentuate flat abs and already well fitting clothes, no gaping or gapeing shirts please. Also keep them thin and tasteful.
Don’t believe me that these old fashioned articles are back for more than hipsters dressing like your grandpa? Just check out some of the trendsetters I found wearing them.
Sure they are a little bit of a throwback, but there is a reason they are back. When done right they are sophisticated and might conjure images of a romantic old love story. If nothing else, you won’t be forgoten.
And I can’t resist a shout out to Oregon’s own On the Rocks who have made suspenders part of their formal uniform.
A word from Rachel: I have to agree with my colleague. Suspenders are quite dashing and they make a statement without being obnoxious or over the top. Three cheers for suspenders!