Shoes, Socks & Ties
It is often said that shoes are an accessory to an outfit. I have never really agreed with this train of thought as I believe that shoes are one of the more integral (if not the most integral) parts of your wardrobe. Without them you can’t really go out in public. And in even in some cases, you would not be allowed into an establishment without them. This clearly contradicts the idea of an accessory, which ultimately is a decorative ornament to add to your outfit, but be optional. Same thing with socks, one must use them (mainly for hygiene). But ties on the other hand, are part of a different category as one really does not need to have one on in order to complete an outfit. Yet, for me, be them accessories or not these are the three things that set one apart from the rest.
As some of you may remember, I used to advertise a hand-made tie maker, named Passaggio Cravatte. As I really don’t write the blog to make money off of it, I usually just exchange product for ad space, which is what I clearly did with them. Works out for me, as I have champagne taste but am currently still dining on a beer man’s budget! To close our arrangement I finally cashed in on my last set of ties and I could not be more thrilled as ties for me, are probably the thing that I love most second to shoes, within an outfit. A distant 3rd is the socks. And it just so happens that I use these three things to base my outfits off of. It usually starts with the shoes, then goes to the tie and lastly the socks (which is also affected by trouser color). This is how I decide my look each morning. It works for me, and could very well work for you too.
It is my belief that these three things are what separate most stylish men from the rest, as they are usually the hardest to be bold with but then get right. It is too easy to simply be classic and look good. But being a bit different and yet staying within the boundaries of style is what is the challenging part. But doing so right and pulling it off, to me, is what makes an outfit that much more admirable and intriguing. You can pay a tailor to make all of yours suit look good, but you can’t really pay someone each and every day to make your sock/tie choices so this is where I believe the skill comes into play. That being, I tend to stick to a few rules (shown in the paragraph below) when creating my outfit, which will greatly be affected by 1. my mood and 2. the weather.
There is a fine line between getting it right and doing too much. That being, if you have a patterned shoe, then you probably want to use a plain colored sock and a either a plain tie or something subtle but not too crazy. However if your shoe is one solid color, then feel free to mix it up a bit in the sock and tie and start adding some colors and patterns to the mix. But having all 3 being in the same category (plain or patterned) is either too boring (assuming only monotone colors used) or too over the top. That is my opinion at least. So take a look at some of the combinations that I have posed here today and maybe play around with your own selection and see if you start creating different combinations that you might never have thought of before……just remember to have fun with it! Style is lighthearted after all….