A few people will disagree with some of these rules, some others will have an “ah moment”; whilst a significant number of people will relate with them and are already abiding by them.
Whatever it is for you, here are a set of rules put together by a few “Fashion Forward” individuals. Do your best to use them as a guide; even the ones that you don’t completely agree with; you have nothing to loose; but gains.
1) Buy High Quality Shoes:
This is very important. A good, well made pair of shoes can last for many years if it is properly maintained. Most of them could be very expensive but think of it as an investment.
2) Use a Shoe Tree:
Shoe trees are great tools used to prolong the lifespan of your shoes. They aren’t only for people with lots of money or for expensive shoes. Shoe trees help to preserve the shape of the shoes, making them look newer and firmer. There are different types of shoe trees which vary based on their prices. There are the plastic ones which are relatively cheap and then the wooden ones which are more expensive. As the feet perspire, the moisture from the feet finds its way into the shoes and makes them wear out faster. Using wooden shoe trees (e.g. Cedar wood), helps to control odor and absorb moisture.
3) Match your shoes to the occasion:
A lot of men are guilty of this. Patent shoes (Shiny leather) should NOT be worn to offices, business meetings, or any casual setting. They should be worn ONLY at black tie (semi-formal) and white-tie (formal) occasions. Very few people can pull off wearing sneakers with a suit, and the odds are against you being one of them. The dressier the occasion, the dressier the shoe. Keep sandals and slippers for causal events or when wearing certain traditional attires. You must NOT wear sandals / slippers on an Agbada outfit. That’s an insult to the attire.
4) Use a shoehorn:
Stop creasing your shoes by forcing your heel into them. Always use a shoe horn (we at Idong Harrie have started offering them for free when you purchase a pair of shoes from us). Using a shoe horn will keep the back of your shoes from getting old fast; and also, your index finger will thank you for reliving it off the painful process.
5) Your shoes MUST match your belt…not anymore:
There used to be a rule that says “Your shoes MUST match your belt”. Over time and with the rate at which fashion has evolved, there is a new rule that says “Mix it up — but with caution”. Your shoes can be different from your belt but they MUST be within the same colour shade. However, black shoes with brown belts are still OFF LIMITS (I bet some people just took a look at their belts and shoes). You CAN’T wear Burgundy shoes with Blue belts. That’s a no no!
6) Own MORE than one pair of brown and black dress shoes:
These two colours of shoes are essential in every man’s shoe rack. Owning more than one pair of each colour provides variety for you and keeps you from wearing the same shoes everyday.
7) Purchase shoes that fit properly:
In fact, this ought to be the first rule, but since we are writing this in no particular order; here we go. No matter how great those shoes look and you think you have finally found the best shoes to match that suit; if the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t buy / wear them. Shoes that fit, last longer, feel more comfortable and create no blisters.
8) Always have your shoes well cleaned and shined:
No matter how great your shoes look, they won’t get noticed with dust and dirt all over them. An occasional shoe shining helps to preserve the leather and makes you look and feel good about yourself especially when you have to stand in the midst of people with great looking and shined shoes.
9) Do not wear running shoes unless you are actually running:
It doesn’t make any sense wearing Nike trainers meant for the gym or trail outside such occasions. If you want to dress casual, wear boat shoes or casual refined sneakers.
10) Say NO to white socks:
After wearing white socks in Nursery, Primary and Secondary school, I think we have had our share of them. You can only be allowed to wear white socks to an all-white party. Invest in black dress socks, ankle socks, brown, blue, and coloured patterned socks.
11) Buy good quality leather, or other natural materials:
You cannot over emphasis on how important it is to buy shoes that are made from genuine leather. Buying original leather shoes in Nigeria are more affordable than buy foreign ones. “Manmade materials,” most times don’t last as long as genuine leather. Invest in genuine leather.
12) Own at least a pair of Oxfords:
You can buy as many types of shoes as you wish, but make sure you own at least one pair of classic Oxfords. They NEVER go out of fashion.
I would like to hear from you, please share your ideas in the comment box below,