Q I’ve lived long enough to see the pink and black era of the 50s, the Nehru jackets, then the denim suits, the slim fit menswear of today and all the crazy stuff in between! But my note to you today is for the guys who wear beige shoes with dark suits. I was at a wedding last weekend and the groomsmen and ushers were all wearing beige shoes with navy suits. I guess my black shoes with a navy suit made me feel a little old fashioned. Is this a new trend?
A What you are describing is not exactly a new trend, but rather a variation on a change in fashion that some stylish dressers have embraced in recent years.
I am not sure there is a term for a start of a start! This specific departure (which I talked about recently) is the new style of wearing medium to dark brown shoes with navy and gray suits; both are usually worn with black shoes. The lighter the shade of brown in the shoes, the more trendy the look is considered. Brown shoes that are most often worn with blue or gray range from a deep chocolate brown to softer colors often referred to as “cognac”, https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/jun/06 / tan-shoes-with-dark-suits-a-fashion-useful / “chilli” or “copper”. All of these shades are included in the list of shoes well dressed men are likely to wear.
But, and this is a big “but,” when the color scheme of the shoes gets as light as “tan,” I tend to draw the line. Looks like you do too. I would group beige dress shoes with gray and navy dress shoes: colors that are too trendy and too far from the norm to be appropriate or acceptable as high-end men’s dress clothes.
Despite my attitude (perhaps suffocating?) On this subject, I wish to address the notion of exception to the rules. I have always believed that when you break a rule, purposefully and elegantly, you dress with distinction and style. When you break several or go too far, you’re seen as someone who just doesn’t know the rules. Wearing an offbeat garment draws attention to this garment. Others will notice it and focus on it (like you did at the wedding). Not only should the choice be in the area of reasonable variation, but your unusual shoes should be of high quality, in perfect condition, and well polished.
All of the above being said, there is another mitigating factor regarding the shoes that you have noticed; they were on men at the wedding party and therefore were worn to attend an event / occasion. Weddings have generally chosen combinations, to some extent dressing “in costume for a role”. That, added to their youth, allows for a bit of leeway and flexibility. For all matters relating to dress and acceptability, it is important to keep the appropriate age in mind. While sometimes it is worth trying a more current or younger style, it is important not to look silly. Your desire to follow traditions supports your experience and your classic style.
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