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Which shoes do best in Black

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Patrologia, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    Which black shoes does the well dressed man need, or at least need to consider? I'm a person who doesn't generally like black shoes. I hate the very idea of black wingtips - shortwings, longwings, or any other wings you can conceive. I like browns, and I like burgundy, but in spite of the fact that I have what I think is a SF approved dislike of black shoes, I think we all need some in the closet. The cap toe oxford seems almost obligatory. There are few shoes I think I would actually rather have in black than something else, but what are the shoe styles that either SHOULD be black, or that work particularly well in black. In short, which styles should be black, even in the wardrobe of those of us who prefer brown?

    Pics are, of course, welcome, even desired. I'd feel obligated to start the thread with some, or even one, but frankly, I have no black shoe pics to share. If I had, perhaps I wouldn't be starting this thread.
     


  2. glenjay

    glenjay Senior member

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    There are only two types of shoes that I know of that are really required to be black, unless you are trying to make a major fashion statement: 1) an opera pump, and 2) any men’s shoe in patent leather.

    A plain cap toe, a quarter brogue, and a semi brogue all look very nice in black, and every gentleman should have at least one of these in that color in their collection.

    I would also suggest at least one wholecut in black for occasions when you need to look as formal as you can with what you’ve got.

    Other than that I’m a big fan of the latitude all the shades of brown allow in building a stylish wardrobe.
     


  3. Pliny

    Pliny Senior member

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    Specialized numbers like court shoes - formal pumps - and ball room dancing patents should
    be black.



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Ox caps r hard to beat in black.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    And mebe I got no imagination but can'tsee these Wentworths looking better in another color.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011


  4. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    As others have said, a formal pump or patent leather shoe should be black.

    Anything else can be black but does not have to be black. Much like you for years I had an aversion to black. I would look at shoes and find that you could see more of the leather's natural beauty in brown or burgandy. However, all men must have some good black shoes in their wardrobe.

    A nice brogue always looks good in black. I also like have owned a black monstrap that is made from one piece of leather and is simple and smooth without any extra stitching or designs on it. I also have a pair of double monkstraps that are beautiful. I find cap toes classics that can be in any color (but often I find their toe boxes cuts across my foot do to the placement of the "cap"), hence I usually prefer a wingtip to a cap toe.

    I think a simple black shoe with very little in terms of perforations and stitching can be incredibly elegant in a nice smooth calfskin. But if you are looking for something that looks more rugged and which will be worn with greater frequency, then I like a wing tip or similar design in a pebble grain leather. The textures, stitching and other pieces of leather that sometimes overlap on a wing tip help hide scuffs and scrapes.
     


  5. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    A black cap toe or plain toe looks good for formal business occasions. I, too, dislike black wingtips.
     


  6. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  7. Patrologia

    Patrologia Senior member

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    These are interesting responses. I think that I see black as formal, and broguing as informal, and so once you get to a wingtip I can't make sense of the shoe anymore. If it happens to be pebble grain ...

    Those Wentworths are beautiful, in spite of the fact that the broguing pattern pretty clearly tries to evoke its wing tip heritage.

    I also like the Monk Strap shoe - I think I can do that in black.

    I'm surprised not to see any slip on ideas (not counting the patent pumps - I guess I'm thinking more of real life than of "dress to this formula" events, of which I have precious few). Anyone want to suggest any others? Frankly, although I like several of the shoes posted, I'm not sure I see a shoe that gives a compelling reason to justify space in the wardrobe. once you have a good cap toe oxford, most of the rest of these can be replaced by that, can't they?
     


  8. AlexE

    AlexE Senior member

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    What you really have to have in black (assuming you work in a business environment and attend black tie events):
    - Black patent plain-toe oxford for black tie
    - Black cap-toe oxford for business

    What I still like are quarter and semi-brogues in black. For everything else I'd opt for shades of brown. Black tassel loafers seem to be popular in the US, but since I dislike tassels...
     


  9. kashmir

    kashmir Senior member

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    Chelseas are at their sleekest in black. They carry a certain attitude (possibly because of its mod-related significance back then?). Other than that, possibly balmoral boots and some plain derby boots will look good in black as well.
     


  10. Dino944

    Dino944 Senior member

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    For me slip on shoes (loafers) work best with casual clothes, such as a driving shoe or as a rubber soled shoe from brands like Paraboot. They can look fine with jeans, khakis or cords depending on the cut. Also if you are going to choose a slip on shoe skip the tassels, they are dated and silly. Go for something clean and simple.

    Since you do not like wing tips this should not be a problem for you, however, I think its a big mistake when people buy a "dressy slip on." With the exception of true formal wear slip ons are not dressy. I really dislike wingtip loafers/slip ons. They are very 1980s and always look like something a sleazy used car salesman would wear with a suit.
     


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