How do you measure someone up?
You know what I mean.
You meet someone new and make a quick first impression.
The truth is…
…those indicators change quite often.
But one that has stayed the same?
I know it sounds odd.
But people (especially the ladies) take notice of men's shoes almost immediately.
This is article is going to cover how to use bold shoes to level up your wardrobe.
1. Add A Twist To What Exists
The first step is to take a look at your shoes and figure out possible tweaks. It’s not about purchasing a brand new pair. You just have to breathe new life into what you already have – especially if it’s fully functional.
Add Colored Laces
Round colored shoelaces are an easy way to improve your shoe style. They’re a super cheap alternative to buying new shoes. The ones I find very effective are the Fort Belvedere kind that’s available on Gentleman’s Gazette. They come in 15 different colors and cost only under $10.
These laces are designed to be highly resilient because of the waxed cotton material. That means whenever you try to pull them hard, they aren’t prone to wearing or snapping off.
Mix In A Darker Polish
Darker polish changes the color of your shoes slightly. It does just enough so that the shoes become sleeker while still looking the same. If you’re wondering which brand works best – try Meltonian shoe creams. They offer products with a rich texture that come in a wide range of colors.
Meltonian cream includes a natural wax that gives a nice, glossy finish to the shoes. It also adds conditioning agents to the leather. It does a great job with shoe colors ranging from oxblood to tan and more. Just make sure to use a soft cloth in applying the cream followed by a brush or cloth buff (no drying in between).
2. Consider Contrasting Leathers
When it comes to your style, it helps to use multiple articles of clothing that are made of different leather types. Not all leathers are the same or come from the same animal – especially for jackets.
You can amp up any given outfit by wearing a leather jacket which contrasts the material of your shoes. Some of these different leather surfaces are:
- The most common type used for the majority of leather jackets
- Thicker and tougher material that takes a while to break in
- A lighter, more refined and flexible version of cowhide
- The finished surface has a softer texture with a little nap or fuzz
- A rugged and textured type that’s used for protective jackets like motocross jackets
- Its natural color is reddish or ruddy
- Has fine creases running all over it
- The texture when it’s new is more visible than cowhide
- Develops a pattern of creases and surface lines over time
- Used for light, three-season jackets
3. Use Suede Or Exotic Leathers
Your shoes are more likely to stand out if they’re made of leather that’s less commonly found. It adds sophistication to your look – and we know a guy’s taste in shoes says a lot about his style. One good example would be using suede.
Suede is a specialized kind of leather that comes from the layer right below the animal skin (split grain). It’s softer than standard leather and feels great to wear during any season. It’s meant to soak up light and look darker during the day. That’s why it suits all classic colors like black, gray, navy blue and white.
I also recommended that you invest in high-quality dress shoes that are produced in other countries. A fantastic company I know is AceMarks – which sells shoes made in Italy. I've met the founder and I’ve seen their stuff in person. Their handwork is world-class.
AceMarks shoes are the definition of quality. Their Italian calf leather is carefully picked out. They use unique combinations of colors and materials. The crafting, dye and burnishing are all done by hand. The shoes include a Blake Flex construction and leather outsole which make them easy to move around with.
I myself own a pair of AceMarks shoes it’s really one of a kind. Not only are their prices affordable – their products rival those of the top luxury brands today!
4. Bring In The Brogues
Brogues are those shoes with punched holes (perforations) that originally started somewhere in the UK and Ireland. They were initially functional – used to help water flow out of thick leather shoes whenever men had to walk along marshes or wet fields. Now we see lots of shoes with brogueing for decorative purposes.
What brogues can do is add detail to your shoes so that they don’t appear too plain. You need to choose the type of brogues that will go best with your outfit. In general, more brogueing means more casual.
Full “Wingtip” Brogues
- A historically casual style of shoes
- Includes brogueing on top of the toecap and along the toecap seam
- Extends the brogueing along the seam diagonally in a wing-like manner
- Offers a two-tone “spectator shoe” variety in which the toecap and the uppers are of contrasting colors
- Similar to wingtip shoes but not as busy-looking
- Has a wing-like brogueing that goes all the way to the back, forming a complete circuit of the shoe
- Has brogueing along seam of the toecap as well as on top of it
- The most formal style of brogues
- Only has brogueing along the toecap seam
5. Focus On The Extras
You might also want to capitalize on certain extra features. This is where you’ll have to consider laceless dress shoes. The following features “replace” the laces in becoming the focus of the shoes.
- Seen most often on Monk Straps (which resemble Derby shoes based on the design of the upper quarters)
- Used together with a dual strap to secure the feet instead of a traditional lacing system
- Trying matching the color of the buckle with your belt buckle to make your style even sharper
- Found on Tassel Loafers which are the most casual types of loafers
- Use primarily as a decoration dangling from the top vamp of the shoe
- Larger tassels make a pair of shoes more casual
6. Jar The Outfit
Simplifying your wardrobe is one sure-fire way to bring focus to your shoes. It’s just like the way you choose a necktie – where the color and pattern are different from the other clothes. You want to minimize details so that nothing clashes with the key item when you present yourself to others.
Try keeping your shirt and trousers as similar to each other as possible. Maybe you can a blue top with denim jeans (not that they have to be the exact same shade). The idea to make your wardrobe sort of a background for your shoes – which helps them stick out from other people's footwear.
7. Kill It With Color
This one comes last for a reason. You want to use color in a way that complements your shoes and still makes for an awesome style. This is more important for casual outfits since the rules that apply to them are much less strict. This is where striking the right balance among colors is key.
Take the time to understand color and contrast. The more you know about them, the easier it’ll be to find the right shirts and pants that help draw attention to your shoes. Most men might find bright colors distracting – but they don’t have to be. The reality is there’s a strategic way to use every color or shade.
A perfect use of color makes all the pieces of the puzzle fit. It will help make your shoes look striking – and even become a conversation starter. And if your shoes can impress, it’s a big step towards a great first impression.