Dress Code: Choose the right shoes for the occasion

Simply purchasing high-quality shoes is enough to bring a buyer joy. However, he becomes a true connoisseur when he learns how to wear them. Correctly combined shoes and suits are the calling card of the successful businessman.

Dress Code

Merely possessing a pair of elegant, high-quality men’s shoes will bring the wearer happiness, but true joy and appreciation first come when he learns how to properly wear them. Although men in the 21st century are no longer subject to the strict style rules of yore, one shouldn’t be fooled into thinking that anything goes nowadays.

A well-dressed appearance conveys an unconscious message

A little patience and ambition are all it takes for an inexperienced shoe buyer to become an informed and sophisticated men’s shoe expert. The value in understanding general dress codes is plain to see; a glance at office apparel confirms this. Those who want to create a good first impression should dress accordingly well. Moreover, a salesman’s good dress sense speaks in favour of the product he’s proffering. A well-dressed appearance quietly upholds traditional values, and unconsciously conveys this message to peers. This in turn can definitely contribute towards building advantageous business relationships.

»Can I wear my shoes without socks?«

What are the generally accepted dress codes when it comes to men’s shoes? Of course nobody would wear wellies to a festive occasion or highly-polished patent leather shoes to the office. Matters of style such as those are easily recognized—we have a general sense of what is or isn’t appropriate. We might need help, however, when it comes to the specifics. Which types of shoes are the best choice for celebratory occasions, and which ones are better off left at home? Can I wear my shoes without socks? What should the buckle on my monk shoes match, and which shoe colours are appropriate for which settings?

Here, we provide answers and assistance for these and other style questions. Take note, however: these are naturally mere suggestions, and apart from the fact that one should never wear white athletic socks with sandals, nothing is set in stone. However, if a man is interested in dressing elegantly and striking the right chord, he needs to be familiar with general style guidelines. Once he has attained the necessary level of experience, he may create and experiment with his own sense of style.

A look back at shoe history reveals that certain longstanding traditions remain in place today. Classic types of men’s shoes and their construction have hardly changed over the past hundred years. High-quality leather was and remains a prerequisite for high-quality men’s shoes—shoes which, when treated with the proper care, can come to look even better with time. The perfect shoe fit that these types of shoes provide guarantees wearing comfort and helps support healthy feet. Shoes are further distinguished by the production methods with which they are assembled. From choosing the right shoe colour to selecting the perfect model for the occasion, we let you know what to wear.

For further consideration…


The following rule of thumb holds true: the smoother and less decorated the shoe upper, the better suited the shoe for special occasions. Highly decorated shoes belong to leisurewear.

> Broguing

Shoe Colour

Black shoes are traditionally worn in the office, while brown shoes are reserved for leisure activities. Naturally, however, there are exceptions to this rule, and there are other shoe colours beyond just these two.

> Shoe Colour

Body Type & Shoe Selection

A man’s body type determines the types of shoes he should wear. Thickset men do well with sturdy footwear, whereas slender types should choose light men’s shoes.

> Body Type & Shoe Selection

Special Occasions

The more formal the occasion, the smoother and simpler the men’s shoe upper. A plain oxford is therefore the perfect choice for very special occasions; to a lesser extent, so is the plain derby.

> Special Occasions

Smart Casual

There’s no need to stick to black. Brown, in all its many shades, is the shoe colour of choice when it comes to a relaxed dress code.

> Smart Casual

Casual & Leisure Wear

Anything goes? Almost! There are many options out there for leisurewear, but rules still apply. You just need to find your personal style, and avoid suffering style blunders along the way.

> Casual & Leisure Wear


It takes a good eye to accessorize men’s shoes with belts, socks, and gloves. It’s easy to commit a faux pas, but it’s also easy to avoid doing so.

> Accessorize

Shoes for the right occasion at Shoepassion.com

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