Hardy Amis, that great arbiter of the 1950s, said, “It’s almost impossible to dress well in cheap shoes.” Well-made shoes are worth it, and in winter we rely on a well-made oxford, derby, brogue or boot. We know where we are in standing shoes.
However, spring shoes are a tough road to tread. Are the shriveled legs popping out of their shells like crustaceans into the sunlight? not good. Here’s how to put your best foot forward…
Don’t blame me, I didn’t name it, but “dresspadrille” is now a thing. The humble Catalan shoe, much loved by Picasso, is smartly designed – in leather and suede, making it the perfect alternative to formal events. The patrician’s older brother is the loafer: still as safe casual, as reliable as a button-down shirt, and not scaring the fashion horses.
Espadrilles, £29; John Lewis
Choose comfortable shoes
Orthopedic prescription shoes are also “Duke of Edinburgh”. Gorpcore — the American trend for outdoor adventure wear — spawned like-minded footwear like the Geox trainer-sandal, then yellow toenails and chunky heels. Yuk
A great pair of shoes has a place in most people’s wardrobes – think Alain Delon in Purple Noon, The Talented Mr. Ripley’s first film – and the humble, well-made leather pair can be a thing of beauty. But outdoor, functional species are meant to paint the edges of your surroundings, not weekend lunches.
Leather shoes, £155; Ancient Greek shoes