Within every gentleman’s wardrobe, certain essentials are seen as the foundations of dressing and offer timeless style no matter the occasion. Wardrobe essentials include a white t-shirt, the classic navy suit, smart dress shirts, a full purpose hoody and raw selvedge denim jeans. When it comes to what you wear on your feet several shoe styles cover all the bases from dress shoes, everyday business professionals and the weekend casuals.
1. Oxford Shoes
The first shoe every man should have in his shoe rack is the classic black Oxford shoe, an essential style dating back to the era when the office dress code required a suit. The black toe cap Oxford is a true workhorse that can be worn at weddings, funerals or for special occasions and make for a great companion to any type of dark suit. Popular Barker Oxford shoes include the Arnold, Burford, Malvern, and Winsford styles which are all available in black as well as shades of brown. The only shoe style dressier than the classic toe cap Oxford would be a whole-cut which offers refined style and is made from one single piece of leather such as the Nelson.
2. Brogue Shoes
The English full brogue is the epitome of Country outdoor style and is recognised around the world, impressive considering its humble Scottish and Irish beginnings as an outdoor shoe for removing bog water when crossing wetlands. The Barker Country collection features several Goodyear storm welted Mens Brogues including the Charles, Kelmarsh, Calvay and Westfield. Formal brogue options can also be discovered in the Handcrafted, Professional and BarkerTech collections.
A classic Chelsea boot should feature in a gentleman’s wardrobe as this versatile boot can be dressed up or down depending on the construction, materials and the occasion. A popular Chelsea boot by Barker is the Mansfield, a refined boot made on the 486 last from premium calf and grain leather as well as burnished suedes with a choice of full leather or Dainite rubber sole. Other notable Barker Chelsea boots include the Bedale polished professional style and the casual suede Freddie boot from the Creative collection.
A slip-on staple that can be worn with or without socks depending on the season is the loafer, an iconic shoe style championed by good dressers around the world. The penny loafers have a great history, worn by the Ivy League and Presidents alike, the Barker Caruso is the oldest style remaining in the current collection and is made on the number 10 last from high-grade polished leather. The Portsmouth penny loafer is another slip-on from the Professional collection that compliments any gentleman’s wardrobe. The tassel loafer is another slip-on style worth considering especially the Studland and Newborough styles.
5. Derby Shoes
The plain toe Derby is a unnuamsing staple every gentleman should appreciate as its generally more comfortable to the Oxford counterpart and can be worn dressed up or down. A highly recommended formal leather derby shoe is the Nairn from the Country collection alongside the Ellon and Skye classic Derby shoes.
6. Double Monk-Strap Shoes
The double monk strap shoe is another shoe rack essential that may not be worn as frequently as some of the other shoe styles but offers a stately alternative in your shoe rotation.
7. Casual Shoes
Casual shoes can include moccasins, driving shoes and slippers but the shoe rack staple has to be the classic white sneaker, an athletic option that used be worn for physical activities and weekend wear but can now be seen in the office accompanying a suit. The Barker Axel trainer is a contemporary lace-up style made on the 484 last from premium grain and suede leather.
Investing in a pair of Goodyear-welted handmade shoes no matter the style is the best advice that can be given as they benefit from being able to be repaired years after wear.