The Blazer at Night - Which Shoes?
I believe time of day always takes priority over location to a reasonable extent, going by pure rules. Night time is always, supposedly, black shoes, and day time leaves the option open based on location and activity.
The rules are fun to know, of course, but I'd still say playing with some sort of brown sounds more fun here. Simple captoes with a little broguing in a deep chocolate suede would be wonderful, especially with grey trousers.
Blazer and greys are a good option for informal evening wear. I have a distant recollection of Manton saying that this was the only (or one of the few) odd jacket combinations appropriate for black shoes, although I think he stipulated non-oxford.
I think this is one of the occasions where black slip-ons have much to commend them (heretical as some may find this). The informality of the slip-on matches the informality of the blazer. The black colour and sleekness of the slip-on fits with an elegant evening look.
I would steer away from black oxford captoes (per Manton). Brown, never. But I am a limey.
Edited by Balfour - 9/25/13 at 3:14am
My inclination in these circumstances is towards brown shoes, though I admit I have considered a pair of black loafers or monks for just this kind of thing. I have a pair of very dark brown calf shoes and those would most likely be my choice. Mink suede would be cool. I don't subscribe to Manton's "no bals with an odd jacket" rule.
I suppose I think of the navy blazer with gray trousers as a tipping point. Below that level of formality, I'm willing to wear shoes that are more formal than the rest of the rig (brown calf half-brogues with a tweed jacket and flannels, bit loafers with jeans), and above that point in formality, I'd be willing to wear shoes that are a little less formal than the rest of the rig (suede shoes or monks with a suit). There really isn't a style of shoe I'd hate with a navy blazer and gray trousers -- with a light enough gray, even tan shoes could work.
Thanks - that was the quote! I'd forgotten what he said about loafers, but I think he's clearly expressing an opinion there rather than a rule.