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Casual Shoes for Men: Office Wear June 22, 2010

Weekends are casual wear in office. The one day men in offices revert to jeans. Since shorts are not allowed in a formal office environment. Most men to severely lack in the imagination department. For them formals mean black or brown trousers and casuals mean jeans. This post is for such men. Especially. (for the rest with some fashion sense, its for you as well! And for women suffering from fashion loss thanks to being with fashion deprived men)

Man in Casual Wear

Man in Casual Wear

Why only jeans qualify as informals, is something I havent deciphered. Especially since all clothing companies try so hard to educate them about: linens, khakis, cords, canvases. And of course, for the more experimental, trousers in innovative cuts, including (yes, I will say it) the Jodhpurs (see image on left).

Coming to shoes, the other fallacy I have noticed is the simple bifurcation in Men’s minds about shoes:
a) Formal shoes: Black, Brown
b) Casual shoes: Sports shoes (sneakers)

While formal shoes are experimented upon to some extent, with laced, slip-ons and even innovative leathers, its the casual shoes that take a beating.

There is nothing worse than the sight of men in office, wearing jeans coupled with black, formal shoes. No, jeans coupled with floaters and socks come a close second, but black formal shoes definitely win. (It is so horrible, even Google doesnt store an image!)

So what can be worn as casual shoes in office?
Well, the standard sports shoes and floaters are there. However, sports shoes all the time are boring. They may be comfortable, but be truthful. Do you really always want to wear sports shoes? Also, it gives the impression you have only 2 pair of shoes – one for office and one for running. Not Good.
As for floaters, they are not a feasible option in formal offices, which promote ‘Friday Dressing’. And I despise them anyway. Sorry.

In such a case, I offer to our dear fashion deprived men, the quaint, old-fashioned product, universally known versatile shoes known as ‘Loafers‘.

Men's Loafers - Louis Vuitton

Men's Loafers - Louis Vuitton

Loafers are typically slip-on shoes, with a mocassin construction. Traditionally made from leather, loafers are slip-on shoes that resemble a moccasin on top, but have a wide and fairly flat heel. They can sometimes be worn for formal wear, but a pair can be owned, which scream casual. No man can go wrong with loafers – they are as masculine as they come, no matter the colour.

Loafers with Show Bows

Loafers with Show Bows

Loafers are best in brown, white, or even black (and sometimes deep wine red). They can be soft leather, with stitches showing on the sides, have tassles (like cowboy shoes) or metal decorations (as popularised by Gucci)

Tassled Loafers_Gucci

Tassled Loafers_Gucci

Dress loafers are those which are more moccasin-like, with deeper cuts, but they look more formal.

If however, our fashion deprived men find it difficult to identify loafers, the famous suede shoes can be a substitute that can be considered by them.

Blue Suede Mens shoes

Blue Suede Mens shoes

Suede Mens shoes

Suede Mens shoes

Suede shoes in light brown, less heels, with or without laces, can work wonders as casual wear.

Suede Boots

Suede Boots

Boots are another option, though they may not be perfect for office all the time, they can look very good with jeans, especially when the correct pair is worn. Boots dont always have to be high, ankle length boots do just as well. Suede boots can be wonderful as casual wear, if worn with the right pair of jeans.

athletic inspired shoes

Athletic Inspired Shoes

For those, whoever, who do not want to venture into loafers, mocassins, suede shoes and boots, ‘athletic inspired shoes’ are an option! These are a mix of boots and sneakers, while being actually shoes. They can be just upto the ankle, and are usually in the garb of mountain climbing shoes.

Athletic Inspired Woodlands

Athletic Inspired Woodlands

Some of the best places to buy casual shoes for men in India:

–Β Rockport: A great option for long lasting shoes, especially if you are loathe to buy leather since they have a good collection of non-leather. Rockports are always sturdy, long lasting, comfortable and yet quite stylish.

–Β Woodlands: They offer some of the best athletic inspired shoes in India.

– Regal Shoes

– Mochi Shoes

– Clarks Shoes

– Levis Shoes

– Inc 5

– Chain stores like Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Westside, etc.

So, considering there is a last working day for the week, every single week of your working life, I suggest to all my male readers – go ahead and get some casual wear shoes. C’mon! I a sure you are tired of wearing the same old shoes all the time! At least if you are not ready to get rid of those jeans every weekend, get a pair of shoes that make those jeans look good πŸ™‚

Happy Shopping! Here’s to more Stylish Men at workplace!

 

Boots! Boots! Boots! Buy Boots for Winter and Shoots December 29, 2009

Alright, so enough. I have been away for simply too long. I must admit I started on a post, but then work caught up and it still lies unfinished. However, I think it is an interesting post and I will soon finish and upload it. It is about shoes you want to have for an Indian Wedding. Yep, its important. And if you know more than 3 Indians, its a must-have. There is bound to be at least one wedding you need to attend every year.

Boots Time!

However, we are sitting in December, post Christmas and pre-31st. This is the time most of the world population is experiencing cold. And this is the perfect time to take out your boots.

Since man invented footwear and since the time there have been winters, Boots have been worn by Men and Women, and I dont see them going anywhere away in the long term future either. They are way too wonderful to vanish!

Those lovely creations that cover up all of your feet and sizable parts of your legs yet look great. Yup, Boots are In.

Till recently all you needed was a pair of Ugg‘s and you were as hep as Britney Spears or <insert name of celebrity here>. However, times have moved on and it is time to update your shoe closet with something prettier.

The word of Boots is so large that I really do not know where to begin. So I will begin with me.

Boots for Hot India

I am in Bombay. And this place is probably worse than Australia when it comes to December chills. The temperature varies anwywhere between 30deg Celcius and 40 deg Celcius. Whee! What fun isnt it? I hate it. I hate having no winters. No chance of taking out the wollens, the boots, covering yourself up, snuggling up with hot coffee and putting my feet out to warm in the pale golden sunrays.

So, when I went to Calcutta recently, I prepared myself for a fun Winter Vacation. Even though its almost pleasantly cool there (between 10 to 15 deg celcius)

Considering where I live, I have invested in a pair of boots that dont necessarily keep me warm. They are made of Jeans. Very cowboyish but not really. They have a nice long pencil heel and pointed toes. They also have brown threadwork on the sides of the blue denim calf-length boots. Rather sassy. And very wearable. In any weather. From? A UK brand I cant remember now.

Ive always wanted leather and fur boots though, but since Delhi is probably the only place I can wear them without seeming daft, I have stayed away from them since I left that city. So instead what I did was get a pair of shoots (shoe boots). They are faux leather, have a not-too-high heel, and fold down near my ankles like elve’s shoes, exposing an inner lining of velvet. Yum!

What are Shoots? (Shoe boots)

Peep toe Shoots

Classic Black Shoe boots

They are basically shoes, but look like boots. So, they end somewhere near the ankle and have the shape a boot typically has for the foot. So, they give the convenience of shoes, but look like Boots. They can be worn with anything from midi-length dresses to jeans. They keep your feet warm enough and yet keep your ankles and legs free. A convenient addition to your wardrobe.

Boots for Winters

If you are getting boots to wear for colder climes, one of my favorites of course is the black leather look, with a bit of fur and lots of heel. Be careful though, because not only is it a difficult style to carry off with elan, its also a difficult one to get without being sleazy. Be careful about the loops and buttons and studs on such a boot! And of course, the shine factor. Try it out with what you would probably wear it with before purchasing it. You dont want to look like a slut, and neither do you want to look like a Ninja!

Length is personal choice as far as boots are concerned. Longer they are, cooler they look. Of course, the most standard length for a good boot is calf length. Its convenient and yet its boot-ish enough.

Thigh High Boots

If youve got the thighs for it, try one that reaches above your knee cap.

Flat Boots in soft leather

Heel height is also a personal preference. If you can walk with stillettoes, go in for high heels. But remember, with boots there is restricted leg mobility. So whats easy in a pump can be a little difficult in a stiff boot that covers up your shins, restricting movement. So try on the shoes and walk keeping in mind the kind of floor you will be on! Block heels also look good on boots, so dont you worry. Try out wedge heels for your boots as well.

There are flat boots apart from Ugg’s. And these too look pretty decent. I, however find them a tad difficult to walk on since the length of the boot restricts my calf and shin bone mobility. In case you want to go in for a flat boot, try one made of velvet or of a soft leather, which probably crunches up into confortable wrinkles all the way up your leg. Try some with ribbons and buckles in that case. Way cool.

What I would thoroughly recommend

This season shoots are in, in a major way. They can be worn with slim fit jeans and look great – just like the high heel pumps with ankle length jeans. So try and get a pair of warm comfortable shoots. Boots of course are classic and will make a re-entry every year for the wallet conscious. For the fashion conscious, the world is open!

And a word for Men:

There is no season for Boots for you! Men in boots always look good πŸ™‚ Go get a good pair, probably tan leather?

Where to shop?

There is no dearth of boot and shoot sellers. However, if you need a guiding hand in India, follwing are some shops that I have seen with good designs. I wouldnt say collection, because they stock only 3-4 types, but the designs are decent without being OTT or sleazy. Remember, its my top-of-mind recall here, and not necessarily the only, or the best. Also, I dont have any tie-ups with these shops or their owners or anybody!

If wallet is no constraint, you know where to go. Sky is the limit and there is no lack of designers catering to your boots-whims!

Otherwise, Look out for boots and shoots at –

Premium Shops:

-Aldo

-Charles & Keith

-Nine West

-Catwalk

Medium Range Shops:

-Metro

-Regal

-Mochi

-Inc. 5

-Levi’s

Multi-Brand outlets:

-Lifestyle

-Marks & Spencer

-Shopper’s Stop

Happy Boot Shopping! Have a WONDERFUL 2010! One New Year resolution for you?

Get a bigger Shoe Closet! πŸ™‚

(PS – Thanks to the many many websites I accessed for the photographs! I forgot to keep your links, but some are:

http://twistedphysics.typepad.com, http://www.shoemall.com, http://styletips101.com, and of course, the mighty Google)