Fashion Basics – Dress Shoes

For all the words I write about t-shirts or sweaters, trousers or jeans and all those colours I eulogize over while tapping away at the keys on my laptop, the one item I love the most but actually talk about the least is footwear.

Footwear is the essential ingredient no matter our wears; we can be wearing the best suit in the world, the coolest t-shirt or the latest, must have jeans, but if we are wearing them with the wrong shoes, then you may as well not bother.

Fashion and style start from the bottom up and yet surprisingly we seem to pay very little attention towards our choices in the footwear department. Just as I often do in my articles, people seem to neglect their feet in favour of the more obvious elements of fashion, concentrating their efforts on the end product rather than starting with the basics and working their way up.

What we wear on our feet can tell us so much about someone’s character, what people do for a living, their hobbies and interests; our choice of footwear is in essence, who we are. 

The classic black lace up is one such shoe which should not only be in every mans wardrobe but also helps to convey a narrative of who we are both professionally and personally.

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The lace-up speaks of class and elegance, it is the elder statesman of sartorial style, it is a classic that has stood the test of father time and outlasted a thousand fashion fads and timeworn trends to reign supreme in the footwear stakes.

It doesn’t matter if you are Frank Sinatra, Daniel Craig or the man walking to his daily job, nothing quite says suave and sophisticated as much as the lace up.

And the beauty of this shoe is that while it’s main purpose it to serve as the final, but don’t forget, most important piece in the suit jigsaw, they work just as well with a pair of slim fit jeans or chinos ensuring that while this shoe remains a classic, it is not afraid to step foot into the contemporary world of a more relaxed style.

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This forthcoming fashion season highlights just how relevant the black lace up is to modern times. Designers including Agi & Sam, Jil Sander, Junya Watanabe and Marc Jacobs all have very different outlooks on colours, cuts and key pieces for their S/S’14 collections yet they all found room for this seminal shoe. Whether you are wearing all black or a myriad of colours, shorts or trousers, a shirt or t-shirt, there is always room for the traditional lace up.

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As these renowned designers prove, there are no hard and fast rules as to what you should wear your black lace-ups – as with all our clothing choices it’s all about what feels the best for you – and you may think one black lace up looks just like another but here’s just a few for you to mull over and see that just because they’re black and have laces, every pair has their own individual identity that we can mix and match with the rest of our wardrobe.

leather oxford shoesderby leather shoeshigh shine shoes

hudson laceup shoesorleans laceup shoespatent dinner shoes

oxford black shoesblack square broguesbase laceup shoes

macey derby shoesfantino oxford shoesmix toecap shoes


We all have our favourite items within our wardrobe, those ‘go-to’ pieces we can find solace in when the style chips are down. The classic black lace up shoe is one of those pieces, a trusted friend who never doubts us, a reliable mate who always has our back.

No wardrobe is complete without this essential piece of footwear, it covers all occasions from the formal to the casual and can be worn all year round. It’s longevity and diversity makes this shoe the perfect all-rounder so whatever you wear this year, make sure there’s a pair of these well polished shoes ready to go.