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Shoes, Shorts, and Summer sans Sneakers and Sandals

JFWR

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Regretfully, the time for warm weather is upon us. I say regretfully, as I find a lot of style options are limited in the summer. In effect, it's hard not to look like a jerk, especially if one is trying to dress for the weather and it's hot enough to warrant shorts.

What are some stylish choices for summer foot wear that don't involve one wearing sneakers or sandals? What are the materials, colours, and styles that best work for day or night time wear with shorts in a casual, hot weather outfit?
 

Jan-Mikael

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With your criteria I think a penny loafer is the way to go. Perhaps unlined. Dark brown suede? Col. 8 cordovan?

I think espadrilles, huaraches and boat shoes look good with shorts, but that's close to sandal/sneaker territory.
 

JFWR

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With your criteria I think a penny loafer is the way to go. Perhaps unlined. Dark brown suede? Col. 8 cordovan?

I think espadrilles, huaraches and boat shoes look good with shorts, but that's close to sandal/sneaker territory.
I was expecting to hear penny loafer. I think that is a good stylistic option, though one which I struggle with personally because I quite simply don't have the feet to wear loafers. I do like the idea of suede or cordovan, though.

Boat shoes obviously do work, though I tend to wear them strictly as a beach/boardwalk sort of shoe. I don't particularly like wearing them on the street as I don't find them especially that comfortable.
 

maxalex

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It sounds like you’re planning to wear shorts in town (you mention “the street”) as well as in the evening. Many on this forum will disapprove on general principle, although we appear to be a diminishing cohort.

The principle, specifically, is a belief that shorts make men look like boys and thus are only appropriate in outdoor, recreational environments like the beach or the mountains where men can be expected to act, and look, like their inner lad. Even there, not after dark.

Beyond that is a more practical problem with wearing shorts in town, which you have in fact identified—namely the problem of footwear. As noted by others, the best shoes with shorts are espadrilles, huaraches and other such casual, closed-toe footwear originating in tropical climes. But they are unsuited for padding about on pavements all day, or night.

The solution is not to wear shorts in town.

I realize you probably don’t want to hear that, but the fact is that legs don’t actually perspire all that much. (As proof, consider that men who wouldn’t think of wearing the same shirt two days in a row in summer will regularly wear trousers over multiple days.)

Is your town such a living hell that wearing slacks while darting from one air-conditioned building to another is untenable? If so, and if loafers aren’t your thing, you must resign yourself to sneakers.
 

Jan-Mikael

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I was expecting to hear penny loafer. I think that is a good stylistic option, though one which I struggle with personally because I quite simply don't have the feet to wear loafers. I do like the idea of suede or cordovan, though.

Boat shoes obviously do work, though I tend to wear them strictly as a beach/boardwalk sort of shoe. I don't particularly like wearing them on the street as I don't find them especially that comfortable.
Then I'm out of ideas.
 

JFWR

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It sounds like you’re planning to wear shorts in town (you mention “the street”) as well as in the evening. Many on this forum will disapprove on general principle, although we appear to be a diminishing cohort.

The principle, specifically, is a belief that shorts make men look like boys and thus are only appropriate in outdoor, recreational environments like the beach or the mountains where men can be expected to act, and look, like their inner lad. Even there, not after dark.

Beyond that is a more practical problem with wearing shorts in town, which you have in fact identified—namely the problem of footwear. As noted by others, the best shoes with shorts are espadrilles, huaraches and other such casual, closed-toe footwear originating in tropical climes. But they are unsuited for padding about on pavements all day, or night.

The solution is not to wear shorts in town.

I realize you probably don’t want to hear that, but the fact is that legs don’t actually perspire all that much. (As proof, consider that men who wouldn’t think of wearing the same shirt two days in a row in summer will regularly wear trousers over multiple days.)

Is your town such a living hell that wearing slacks while darting from one air-conditioned building to another is untenable? If so, and if loafers aren’t your thing, you must resign yourself to sneakers.
That's an entirely fair response. We might say that shorts are just strictly for athletic/leisure purposes. I can buy into that idea.

Let me give you the context in which I am thinking. I will be spending a good portion of the summer in NYC. NYC is not especially that hot, but it is obnoxiously humid in the summer. Wearing long pants in the summer, especially with a jacket, can be extremely uncomfortable. Now, when the weather permits, I like to wear "big boy clothes" and not wear shorts at night, or at least, not if I am going to do anything involving actual night life; however, there are times when it is 90 degrees with 95% humidity, and it is friggin' awful.

NYC is also a very walking-heavy town, so even if I am going out on the town at night, I can expect to be walking a few miles hither and tither. So whereas I might have some nice AC locations to go to, there are also going to be significant periods of time where I am walking from point to point and sweating ****** off. It's not a good look to be sweaty, and if there is a way on those specific nights to not look like a jerk wearing shorts, I'd like to avail myself of that opportunity.
 

JFWR

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Then I'm out of ideas.
Yeah, I might just have to see if I can pick up a pair of loafers I can actually wear. The prospects are glum from historical precedent, but perhaps Allen Edmonds, Crockett and Jones, or some other brand has something I can wear.
 

maxalex

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That's an entirely fair response. We might say that shorts are just strictly for athletic/leisure purposes. I can buy into that idea.

Let me give you the context in which I am thinking. I will be spending a good portion of the summer in NYC. NYC is not especially that hot, but it is obnoxiously humid in the summer. Wearing long pants in the summer, especially with a jacket, can be extremely uncomfortable. Now, when the weather permits, I like to wear "big boy clothes" and not wear shorts at night, or at least, not if I am going to do anything involving actual night life; however, there are times when it is 90 degrees with 95% humidity, and it is friggin' awful.

NYC is also a very walking-heavy town, so even if I am going out on the town at night, I can expect to be walking a few miles hither and tither. So whereas I might have some nice AC locations to go to, there are also going to be significant periods of time where I am walking from point to point and sweating ****** off. It's not a good look to be sweaty, and if there is a way on those specific nights to not look like a jerk wearing shorts, I'd like to avail myself of that opportunity.
I live in Rome but I'm from New York where I worked in a jacket and tie every day, year-round. Walking the streets, riding the subway. Over my adult lifetime there, I might have worn shorts in public once or twice--to concerts in the park on weekends. (The NYC equivalent of the beach.) But...times change. I remember when even tourists wore big-boy pants in New York. Now I get texts from female friends in the city about guys who show up for a first Tinder date in shorts. There is never a second date...

I still think wearing shorts at night in NYC is a losing look, even in 2022. I'm pretty sure my son, who lives in Manhattan, doesn't wear shorts out to bars and clubs at night although it's too early to text him. That said, there are no dress codes anymore so no one will stop you.
 

JFWR

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I live in Rome but I'm from New York where I worked in a jacket and tie every day, year-round. Walking the streets, riding the subway. Over my adult lifetime there, I might have worn shorts in public once or twice--to concerts in the park on weekends. (The NYC equivalent of the beach.) But...times change. I remember when even tourists wore big-boy pants in New York. Now I get texts from female friends in the city about guys who show up for a first Tinder date in shorts. There is never a second date...

I still think wearing shorts at night in NYC is a losing look, even in 2022. I'm pretty sure my son, who lives in Manhattan, doesn't wear shorts out to bars and clubs at night although it's too early to text him. That said, there are no dress codes anymore so no one will stop you.
I fully recognize that there are no fashion police that will come and arrest me. I am not concerned with that. I am only concerned with looking like a jerk.

I mean, also: I don't know, man. I have seen some outrageously bad fashion cases in New York and elsewhere and they still get female companionship. So I am not so sure I would look quite out of place.

Maybe I have less tolerance for the heat than you do, or I am more prone to sweat or feel uncomfortable in the heat.

But okay, your position is well articulated and noted. I appreciate the insight.

As you do seem to have some experience with dealing with NYC summers in better clothes, what do you recommend for keeping cool in respect to the non-short options? Like, what should I be looking for to try out instead?
 

maxalex

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I fully recognize that there are no fashion police that will come and arrest me. I am not concerned with that. I am only concerned with looking like a jerk.

I mean, also: I don't know, man. I have seen some outrageously bad fashion cases in New York and elsewhere and they still get female companionship. So I am not so sure I would look quite out of place.

Maybe I have less tolerance for the heat than you do, or I am more prone to sweat or feel uncomfortable in the heat.

But okay, your position is well articulated and noted. I appreciate the insight.

As you do seem to have some experience with dealing with NYC summers in better clothes, what do you recommend for keeping cool in respect to the non-short options? Like, what should I be looking for to try out instead?
First, I totally get feeling hot and uncomfortable, especially in a jacket and tie. I just have never considered "leg heat" to be such torture as to merit wearing shorts in town.

Alternatives would include loose-fitting chinos, or tropical wool or linen trousers. The worst possible choice is denim, which to me is very hot.
 

TomTom

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I used to live and work in Bangkok and Singapore and only wore shorts during the weekend when I went outside the city or to a barbeque , sports even etc. Other than that I used to wear a lot of linen trousers as I found out that there can be a very good alterative even in the stifling tropical humidity. I always tried to wear long trousers to restaurants or evening cocktail events.
 

emptym

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@JFWR, If you don't like sneakers or sandals and have are a tough fit for loafers, you might try desert boots They can look good w/ shorts imo:
CKVaAWh.jpg

A crepe sole would be great for walking too. Similarly, bucks might work. If you didn't want to give up on loafers, I would guess that Rancourt would be able to find something that would fit you. Camp mocs are prob my favorite shoe to wear with shorts. If you don't like sandals because you don't like showing your toes, Birkenstock Bostons or Amsterdams could work well.
 

bicycleradical

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Yeah, I might just have to see if I can pick up a pair of loafers I can actually wear. The prospects are glum from historical precedent, but perhaps Allen Edmonds, Crockett and Jones, or some other brand has something I can wear.
The Nomad penny loafer from AE fits me pretty well with my 3E wide duck feet. That may be one worth exploring.
 

andrewstonnis

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Do let me know if you find something new to wear in summer, i am such a fashion freak but as you know we don't have enough choices to wear in summer because of the warm weather, am also looking for some new style of shoes for girls and boys.
 

maxalex

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My 20-something son in NYC (single, heterosexual if that matters to anyone) reports that he and his friends never, ever wear shorts out on the town at night. He describes the look as "douchey." I will add that while he does own some bespoke suits for formal events, he is not really a CM guy; he mostly wears higher-end streetwear--Japanese brands etc.
 

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