This is one of those gaps I'm always helping men to fill when we go on a shopping trip. When it comes to Summer those leather brogues you have may suddenly seem too heavy and chunky for hot days, but it's not always appropriate to wear trainers either.
Here are my suggestions on what to wear for Summer that fit into the smart casual area.......that is, they can be worn with chinos and a blazer, as well as jeans and shorts.
I took a client shopping last week and one of his requests was to get some summer shoes. He's not a trainer wearer, so wanted something different. He got a pair of these Cole Haan shoes in grey - they're brilliantly lightweight and look smarter than trainers but are just as comfy. They're also light and breathable as the upper is in a knit type fabric.....a great buy in fact! I'd put the blue ones with light grey or beige cotton trousers or they'd go with an air-force blue but I'd avoid wearing them with navy which would be a bit 'matchy matchy'.
Blue Zero Grand StitchLite Oxford Shoe - Cole Haan at Liberty - £145
A classic pair of boat shoes doesn't really go amiss in any man's wardrobe. These are a little more on the casual side of things but you could still wear them with an unstructured beige linen jacket and some tan chinos for a more dressed up look. I like the mix of leather and suede on these which makes them slightly more unusual.
'Downeast' suede and leather boat shoes - Quoddy at Mr Porter - £155
And back to a smarter look with these very elegant Edward Green loafers. These could go with a linen suit or perhaps a very lightweight navy seersucker one. I think they're more suited to a slim guy as the soles are very thin, if you're heavy set I'd stick to a chunkier sole to balance your frame.
You can wear them sockless but if you're not keen on that look, or don't find it comfortable, think about what socks you're going to wear with them - you see more of your socks when wearing loafers, so don't leave it as a last minute after thought! If you're planning to wear lighter coloured trousers you might like to have a look at this post on what socks to wear with lighter coloured trousers.
'Portland' green suede loafers - Edward Green - £475
Though usually I tend to recommend browns and blues for summer shoes, if you wear a lot of grey, black and navy then perhaps you'd prefer a black pair. Another super lightweight style from Camper, with a cushioned insole which also keeps your feet cool and dry, plus the white sole stops them feeling wintery. I think black and white can look very chic in summer (see this Pinterest pic) or they'd go really well with a grey cotton suit and white shirt.
'Bill' black shoes with white sole - Camper - £80
Canvas espadrilles are traditionally beach wear, but the suede elevates these to a smarter level. You do have to be a bit careful they don't look like slippers but these would look great with some lightweight linen trousers and a 'shacket' - something in between a shirt and a jacket. Very European chic, don't you think?
'Pablo' light brown suede espadrilles - Castañer at Mr Porter - £90
Like to go on a Personal Shopping trip to find some summer shoes? This is what a recent client said about his shopping trip:
"I’d heard of Sarah through a mutual friend who gave his shopping experience with her a glowing review. And straight away I was impressed by the amount of preparation she gave to our trip prior to meeting up. After completing her detailed questionnaire she made several trips to London to find the appropriate shops with the right price point and styles that would match my taste and budget. This saved so much time when we did meet several days later. In fact I bought two jackets in the first shop we went in! I then added a further 3 shirts, a pair of trousers and a pair of shoes to my hoard. And all in just 3 hours.
It really was time and money very well spent. In the days after the trip, Sarah followed up with further research into some of the items that I would have bought had the sizes been right. As well as a very useful guide on creating combination outfits from the purchases we’d made.
Sarah’s experience in the fashion industry, her insightful menswear choices and easy manner made the whole experience one I would happily repeat."
And in case you're wondering about how things are in the shops, since lockdown has been eased......here's my experience of it so far:
- Hand sanitiser at the entrance of every shop
- Mask wearing to become compulsory in all shops from Friday 24th July
- Most fitting rooms open in the smaller stores + Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. This hasn't been a problem so far and if there are one or two stores where the changing rooms are closed, we've bought the items and taken them to a shop close by to try on.
- Central London is nice and quiet at the moment - I haven't come across queues to enter shops - other than Selfridges but it's been less than a minute's wait
- Opening hours have been reduced in some shops - opening at around 11am. Also there are some shops closed on Mondays, so that's not the ideal day to shop.
If you have any questions or would like to book in a shopping trip, you can do so here:
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