I was recently in town with a young lady and we were talking about fashion choices. I was explaining to her that although I was interested in fashion, I was completely uninterested in buying socks or underwear. My reasoning was that no one was going to see me wearing these items and they would be invisible underneath my outer clothes, so they were of no interest to anyone. To say that the young lady disagreed with me was an understatement.
We were in a certain department store in London and she had wandered off into the shoe section for the ladies. She asked me my opinion on some of the shoes and we started talking about my own shoe collection. I informed her that besides two pairs of the standard black shoe (one set shiny, one matt), I also had a pair of white shoes and a pair of brown shoes. The young lady seemed to be slightly shocked. “A pair of white shoes?” she asked me, incredulously. “And what do you wear them with?”
Now it is worthwhile letting the reader in on a little secret. For a man to wear white or brown shoes in little old England is regarded as quite a fashion faux pas, especially by the ladies. Ladies always notice a man’s shoes. In fact, this little fact is so well known that it is offered freely to people about to go for a job interview. They say that one has to make sure that one’s shoes are presentable, especially if in the company of a lady. However, it must be added that the ladies in England are particularly hypocritical on this little point, since they wear all the colours of the rainbow in their own footwear. Their assertion that men can only wear black shoes is therefore arbitrary and pure fashion fascism.
However, I love my pairs of shoes, especially the white shoes and the brown shoes. I have worn my white shoes with a black pinstriped suit, with my brown suit and with blue jeans. I only ever wear them in summer, when the risk of them becoming bespattered with mud is slight. I believe that the white leather signifies my uniqueness and quirkiness. The colour is also symbolic because it shines in the sunlight and signifies cleanliness and purity. I also wear my brown shoes with suits and jeans, taking care to complement the pair of shoes with my brown leather belt, which is almost of the same colour. The brown shoes again give that sense of uniqueness and the air of the knowing insider of fashion – a man that is not afraid to go against the conventional dress code, but sets his own rules about what to wear.
So my answer to the question in the title of this little blog is clear. It is always alright for a man to wear white or brown shoes. The rules of fashion are there to be broken. It is the individual’s sense of style that is of paramount importance. Sorry to the ladies of England if they’re not impressed!