I don't know about you, but I greatly prefer brown shoes to black. From what I've read, I have a sense that I am preaching to the choir! They are much more aesthetically appealing and natural in their look. I wear them whenever I have the opportunity. Unfortunately, as a London-based lawyer, that is not as often as I would wish.
(This thread is likely to be of primary interest to UK members, but all contributions are welcome! I am using CBD (Conservative Business Dress) and UCBD (Ultra Conservative Business Dress) in the Mantonian sense, appreciating that the original threads were tongue-in-cheek.)
Anyhow, the pithy adage has always been 'no brown in town'. Like most pithy phrases, it is misleading. It dates from a time when no self-respecting professional man would wear anything but a dark suit or formal dress in 'town' (meaning London).(*) So - while I would never give the adage any heed when wearing an odd jacket - it continues to exert a strong thrall over the English when applied to dark suits.
What I am interested in exploring through this poll and narrative contributions to the thread is whether people think a new, more relaxed norm is developing.
- My impression is that English-born lawyers (in firms that are not business casual) overwhelmingly continue to wear black shoes with dark suits. There is something of the herd here, though, and law obviously a notoriously conservative profession in terms of dress (and much else).
- This is also my impression of the City of London - dark suits and black shoes remain the order of the day in firms maintaining a formal dress code.
- There are increasing examples of men wearing non-black shoes with dark suits. But they are normally appallingly misjudged (example below) - light tan, pointy toe-ed pieces of rubbish.
- What I rarely see is a conservative man wearing brown shoes with a dark suit well.
I appreciate any contributions people might care to make.
I thought the chap on St. James Style had some sensible observations on this issue, and all credit is due to him for the photograph (http://stjames-style.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/101-easy-ways-to-dress-better-no-13.html).
(*) There is an amusing anecdote involving a former Conservative Member of Parliament, who asked on being elected "Does no brown in town apply at the weekend?" The patrician MP to whom the question had been addressed simply replied "No self-respecting gentlemen is in town on the weekend".
Edited by Balfour - 8/22/12 at 8:57am