Reason 1: Style
I’m a simple person who likes simple things. Given too many choices, I am a basket case of indecision. My husband won’t go to Chinese or Mexican restaurants with me anymore. There are just too many damn things on the menu. We’re there half the night because I can’t decide what to order.
I’m like that when it comes to fashion, too. Too many choices, and well, I am late for work.
That’s why “style” is the first reason I love mens shoes: They are elegant, streamlined and simple. They fall into four main categories:
The fundamental shape (dare I use the word “footprint”?) of each shoe is similar. All are closed-toe and closed heel. The derby is nearly identical to the oxford, so much so that most men can’t even tell the difference. (If you’d like to know how read my post on Colin Firth.)
The variations don’t change the shape, just the decorative accents. An oxford or derby, for example, can come in a wingtip or a cap toe version. Toes can be burnished, medallion, apron, bicycle. A wingtip can be a long wing or a short wing. But the shoes are all reassuringly similar. The material of the uppers and the heels is nearly always leather, in rich shades of black, brown, tan or cordovan. To me, they are little works of art that enhance the overall look of an outfit without drawing the viewer’s attention downward.
Versus complete chaos
Now consider women’s dress shoes. I tried to make a list of the main categories, but got so exhausted I had to lie down. Every different kind of shoe has multiple, myriad variations. Pumps, stiletto heels, kitten heels, slingbacks, mules, ballet flats, sandals, thongs, wedges, gladiator, open toe, closed toe, peep toe, platform. The shape, height and footprint of each shoe is incredibly varied, as are the colors and materials.
And that’s before we even think about the decorative accents. I’m not sure which is most offensive, the spikes, the bows, or the plastic jewels. That’s a briefcase I’m carrying, hon, not a spear or a scepter. And I Goodwilled my Bedazzler back in the 80s.
And that, in a nutshell, is why I love the style of men’s shoes. Classic, gloriously neutral, understated. Call me crazy, but I long for a day when my biggest workday shoe decision is black, brown, or tan.
p.s. Please excuse the lack of apostrophes. I know better, but must sacrifice them to appease the search engine optimization gods.