The 5 Pairs of Shoes Every Man Needs

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For all the men out there who struggle when it comes to shoe shopping, never fear! I’ve picked out all the shoes you need to complete any outfit you can imagine. You really only need five pairs of shoes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to have lots of options. But if you’re looking to put together a simple capsule wardrobe, or you’re more of a minimalist, check out this list for the top five pairs of shoes that every man needs.

A Cognac Dress Shoe

Cognac is a timeless alternative to the classic brown shoe. It adds a bit of a pop, works in most color schemes, and demonstrates a more elevated sense of style. You can make a cognac pair of shoes work with any color suit or dress slacks, aside from black. Just make sure your belt is also cognac and you can’t go wrong!


Watson Cap Toe Oxford – $130

The Classic Black Oxford

A classic black dress shoe is an absolute staple. You cannot NOT have a pair of black leather oxfords. If you’re a minimalist, or looking to keep a low shoe count, I recommend a more simple style.


Knaggs Cap Toe Oxford – Also available in brown. – $90

The Loafer

A comfortable, flexible, leather loafer is a great way to make a casual outfit appear more elevated and put-together. Many loafers can also be worn with shorts, as a warm-weather option. You can also sub a loafer for an oxford if your attire is more business casual. I recommend colors like olive, navy, or gray.


Jasper Penny Loafer – Available in Olive, Charcoal, Beige, and Navy – $75

A Basic Leather Boot

Having a nice, versatile pair of boots to wear with jeans or more casual attire is essential. I recommend selecting either a low laceless boot, or a chukka style. Opt for black, gray, or tan colors to ensure optimum versatility. Comfort is important, because this is going to be an everyday shoe.


Landon Boot – Available in Black, Tan, Navy, Gray, and Dark Brown – $70

Simple White Sneaker

Every man should have at least one pair of (what people are calling these days) “dress sneakers” meaning sneakers that you don’t wear for athletic purposes. I’m a fan of a simple white leather sneaker. This is a style that will work with almost any outfit, including a pair of slim-fit dress slacks. Can also be paired with cuffed jeans, shorts, or almost any look that isn’t a suit. 


Joe Mama Sneaker – $50

Additional Shoe Tips:

1.) My biggest shoe tip is to always make sure your footwear matches your belt. If you buy gray loafers, make sure you have a gray belt to match. While this is not necessarily true of the white sneakers, you do want to be sure that the belt you’re wearing matches your shoes on the casual-to-formal scale. For example, when wearing sneakers you might opt for a woven belt, over a leather one.

2.) Don’t cheap out! At least not on these five pairs. These styles will likely be your most-worn pairs of shoes, so make sure they are high-quality, comfortable, and easy to clean. The styles on this list are timeless, and biting the bullet to get high-quality styles will mean more years between this purchase and the next.

3.) Piggybacking on tip two: take good care of your footwear. Use a shoe tree, or shaper, inside your leather footwear. Polish, buff, and shine your shoes regularly. Waterproof, and protect your shoes, and remove spots and stains as quickly as possible. Purchase cotton shoe bags for travel. All these things will extend the life of your shoes

Meet Maggie

“What do you do?”

It’s one of the first questions people ask when you meet them. Your career is often a defining factor about who you are as a person. Some people have it easy, their job is easily summed up by their professional title. “I’m a lawyer.” “I’m a doctor.” “I’m a racecar driver.” Those jobs are easy to understand. But there are some of us, especially those of us in creative professions, who don’t have it quite so easy. 

“I’m a personal stylist.”

I always face a series of follow up questions about my line of work. And until very recently I was extremely self conscious and reluctant to divulge the details of my job. My job is centered around fashion. I tell people what clothes to buy and wear. When I simplify my job to just a few sentences, I can’t help but feel shallow and materialistic. Fashion is so frequently correlated to status, and many people fail to see the importance of style. While I love fashion, and style, and shopping, there is so much more to this job. So I feel like I am constantly trying to justify my career choice, without boring people with an endless description of what I do and why I do it. 

For me, being a personal stylist is less about knowing the latest trends or owning the most expensive shoes, and more about helping people create a parallel between the way they dress and their goals and aspirations. 

“Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” 

“Dress for success.” 

You’ve heard these phrases time and time again because they are true. Your clothes, and how you present yourself, are the first indicators to strangers of who you are. Unfortunately we cannot stop and greet every person we encounter, but we can demonstrate a piece of ourselves to the world in the way we dress.

As a stylist, it is my job to learn about my clients. I learn who they are, what they care about, their goals, their hobbies and interests, and the person beneath the surface. I use that information to help them establish a sense of style that reflects those intrinsic qualities. 

Today I want to share a story with you. This is not my story, but the story of a client-turned-friend. Maggie came to me last fall and has been one of the most rewarding people to work with. Here is a little bit more about Maggie, in her words:

Hi! I’m Maggie! I’m a recent college graduate, with my BSN, about to start my career as a nurse. I love coffee, wine, movies, almost anything outdoors, and especially being on the water! I am proud to say I’m finally the person I always knew I was and at age 27 have the strength and confidence to really begin my life. To say it was a journey to get here is an understatement. 

You see I was born a male, yep I’m transgender. I’ve always known I was really, even if I wouldn’t admit it to myself. I certainly wouldn’t admit it to friends and family for a long time. So even though I knew I was different than most boys growing up, because of my own fears and lack of confidence I wouldn’t choose to transition until I was 24 years old. Even then I didn’t dress as “Alexis” (the first name I thought I wanted) in public. And I had no idea how to actually come out to those I loved. 

I was however, able to begin hormone replacement therapy. As the hormones started to work their wondrous magic on my body, it became harder and harder to hide Maggie (by this time I settled on my name now) to a point where changes were being noticed. It was at this time I knew I couldn’t stay in the closet much longer. It was not only the hormones, but by this point I knew that I couldn’t keep pretending to be male when I truly was not. It was eating me up inside every single minute of every day.

I decided to begin to slowly come out, to stop dramatically trying to hide the physical changes I was experiencing. This however led me to probably my second biggest fear (next to friends and family abandoning me) trying to find clothes and outfits that were “me.” Considering I tried so hard to conform to what boys like, I never had anyone to help me with fashion, especially women’s fashion. Cosmo, Glamour, and YouTube don’t exactly teach a rookie too much on these topics. Nor did they help my confidence, they actually sunk my confidence deeper. 

While I began coming out at nursing school and to friends, I decided it was time to seek help with fashion. I went online and sought out a stylist. This is where I met Theresa! She, right off the bat, was nothing short of amazing. She listened to each and every one of my fears and concerns. She listened to my ideas, the things I liked and didn’t like, and guided me in discovering my style. At the same time she was doing this, she also was building my confidence in myself and helping me find the real Maggie. The Maggie that was always there, but I tried so hard to conceal for so long that I didn’t really know who I was. 

Theresa was there through the whole process making me feel PROUD of who I was. It was literally retail therapy. I still do have a lot of “me” to work on, and will continue to do so with Theresa’s help. I cannot even express how much she has done for me as a person and as a woman. 

To anyone unsure of their style, or if it goes deeper than that and they are unsure of themselves, Theresa as your stylist will change your life – and I’m not just saying that. She brought a smile to my face for the first time in a long time and I can now proudly walk into a room, or a job interview, or a myriad of other things with assured confidence. I am secure with who I am. She seriously was a dream come true and I am so happy to call her my FRIEND!

Thank you Theresa!

-Love Maggie

Working with Maggie has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career as a stylist. Seeing her evolve, and watching her personality come to life has made me so happy and proud. It is for people like her, that I do what I do. 

Maggie’s great success in her transition is truly inspirational. She is living her life as her true self, and that is something to be admired. It is our hope that by sharing her story, it will inspire others to look deep inside and ask, “Am I living my life the way I want?”

XOX

Theresa

All About Fur

Fur as fashion has an interesting history dating back 170,000 years. If you own a fur, are looking to purchase a fur, or you hate the idea of wearing fur, here I’ve put together a little fur guide to help you understand why fur is a fashion trend that just doesn’t quit. I hope this also serves to encourage an appreciation of the history of fur in fashion. 

Early human hunters, who donned fur to keep warm, believed that fur contained a bit of the spirit of the animal from which it came. In wearing the fur, it was believed there was a connection established. This connection served to honor the animal. 

Over time, fur evolved from a spiritual protective garment into a garment of fashion. Fur as a statement of wealth emerged in the 11th century, worn primarily by European royalty. By the 1300s, laws regulated which social classes were to wear which types of furs, making furs an easy-to-detect status symbol. 

During the Victorian era, fur grew in popularity. Commonly used to line coats, or decorate sleeves and collars, fur became more easily manufactured and purchased. By the 20th century the popularity of fur began to skyrocket. Technology enabled furs to be produced at a much quicker rate. Designers began to incorporate fur into more designs and fur grew more and more desirable. 

It was in the 1960s that faux fur emerged and enabled anyone to have the expensive look associated with fur, for a fraction of the cost. I 

Today there is somewhat of a controversy as to the ethicacy of fur, and rightfully so. While the first wearers of fur wore it in order to honor the animal, the sentiment was lost over the years, and replaced with a desire to look expensive.

I don’t encourage anyone to buy fur today. While it can be beautiful and warm, there is no question that it is a cruel practice. However if you love the aesthetic of fur, and you appreciate the history of this fashion trend, there are lots of ways to get your hands on a fur garment, without further promoting the practice of farming animals for their pelts.

Because fur has historically been an expensive symbol of wealth, many furs have been lucky enough to make it through the years in like-new condition. You can find high-quality fur garments if you are willing to spend the time to look. Spend time browsing vintage and antique shops and you’re bound to find a piece that is to your liking. 

If you are on the hunt for a fur, or you already have one, it’s important to properly care for the garment. Because it was formerly the pelt of an animal, the condition can easily deteriorate over time, lessinging the value and the quality. To elongate the life of the garment, and enhance the value, proper cleaning and storage is important. 

Furs should be stored in a dry cool location.Ideally you want to store your fur in a place where there is no direct sunlight. You want to hang your fur on a shoulder-shaped hanger to preserve the shape. Never store your fur in a plastic garment bag, instead opt for cotton to protect the garment while still allowing it to breathe. The cotton will protect from dust that can dry out the oils in the fur. Your fur should have a slight oiliness when you touch. If your fur is very dry it can become brittle and break. If your garment is dry, dirty, or damaged take it to professional to have it oiled, cleaned, or repaired.

 

As a lover of fashion, part of wearing a piece is knowing and understanding the history of it. Like fur, most fashion trends have a past that makes them even more interesting. By understanding the history of a style, you begin to develop and appreciation and a more creative approach to wearing that look today. 

Whether you own a fur, or are looking to add one to your wardrobe, I encourage you to embrace the mentality of history’s first fur wearers. By appreciating the animal from which the fur was made, and developing that spiritual connection that early hunters had, your fur garment becomes more than just a fashion statement or status symbol. Instead you are wearing a story. It’s more than just fashion: it’s art, it’s a conversation, it’s history!

I’d love to hear more about your feelings on fur! Do you own any fur pieces, or faux fur styles? Comment below!

XOX

Theresa