Late summer is often a grey zone for suede shoes. What to wear, when, and how? A lot of guys are unsure how to wear this more challanging breed of footwear, but there should be no fear – from white bucks to dark chocolate boots, suede shoes are cool, individual and a key part of this fall’s style guide.
So, what exactly is suede? Simply put, suede is the other side of leather, brushed to a soft napped finish. There are several classic styles when it comes to suede footwear, any of which are a great addition to your wardrobe. This season suede shoes are back in a big way. While some guys are genetically attracted to the natural versatility and innate swankiness of a pair of dark suede Gucci loafers, others need a little help. Don’t worry, we’re here for you.
Take comfort in knowing that some of the most stylish men in history – Prince Edward, Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Gary Cooper, and George Clooney – have all confidently wore suede shoes. Heck, Elvis sang about blue suede shoes and no one would call him a geek.
Although you have a bunch of options when it comes to suede footwear, the the basics are laid out below. They all look great, but I do have to add a price alert; with footwear in particular, you get what you pay for. So feel free to check out J.Crew’s offerings, but if can swing it, invest in shoes from Brooks Brothers or Church’s. If you have an extra box of cash under the bed, get a pair of custom shoes from Edward Green. You may go broke, but they will fit you foot like a glove and last forever. Anyway, here is a quick overview of your options.
Suede ankle boots are extremely classy but at the same time more casual. Desert and chukka boots have a more informal profile that works well with jeans or khakis. Desert boots gained their fame in, well, the desert. Chukka boots got their name because polo players would switch into these soft and comfortable boots in between “chuckers,” or the periods in a polo match.
As far as figuring out what to wear with suede shoes, that’s the easy part. Pretty much everything goes with them. Just pay attention to color and tone as you would with any shoes. Chocolate brown shoes look equally great with grey flannels or jeans. Instead of traditional leather cap toes, wear a nice dark suede version with your pinstripe suit. For summer, bucks in particular look great with shorts and an old oxford shirt – not to mention a seersucker suit. Taking care of suede shoes is fairly strait forward; you don’t polish suede, you brush it with a stiff wire brush to raise the napp and loosen dirt and dust. Always use shoe trees to maintain shape and resole when needed.