Choosing the right pair of shoes for a formal event, special occasion, or even for everyday wear is often no easy feat. There’s a lot of choice out there, and finding footwear that can fill multiple niches in your wardrobe is important – especially if you’re on a budget. Thankfully, Crockett & Jones has a collection that’s designed to complement each and every part of your life – albeit busier than ever. Here are four important moments for your warm weather wardrobe, and the shoes I’d choose to go with them. Hopefully these will provide some food for thought, and some style inspiration as we head into summer.
When the occasion demands morning dress, it is important to do it properly. A stiff collar and a tightly knotted woven-silk tie anchored with a pearl stick-pin will always look dashing, as does a well-fitted plain coloured double-breasted waistcoat. With so many elements to get right and small details to attend to, I prefer the simplicity of a good pair of black Chelsea boots with formal day dress. The toe and heel should be bulled to a mirror-shine and sitting beneath perfectly-pressed striped or plaid formal trousers. The combination is absolutely correct as the Chelsea boot, like the morning coat, has a 19th century equestrian heritage and both have been refined for formal dress. The C&J ‘Chelsea 8’ model also has the comfort of a rubber sole – useful for events that are often hosted outside.
Curating an elegant vacation wardrobe can be a challenge to even the most confident of dressers – attempting to negotiate that fine line between style, comfort and not trying-too-hard. For a sophisticated and modern approach, consider packing velvet Albert slippers for your next trip to warmer climes. No longer the preserve of smoking jackets, itchy tweed and single malt whiskies; they are a perfect and rakish complement to Mediterranean evenings of cigars and Negronis on the terrace. Pair with a dark knitted shirt, full-cut lightweight trousers and tanned ankles for contemporary, confident style.
For summer weekends of family barbecues or casual picnics at the polo, footwear doesn’t need to be formal, but it should still be smart. We can all do better than the ubiquitous sports shoes or pool-sliders that are worn without consideration. A handsome unlined chukka boot, such as the C&J Hartland II, is both comfortable and lightweight. When worn with slim jeans in denim or needlecord, they pair perfectly with a cotton piqué tennis shirt. Confident dressers even wear this style with khaki cotton drill shorts and an oxford button-down shirt. Bonus style points if your shorts are cut with a Gurkha waistband.
Modern business travel requires versatile clothing – shorter trips and tight schedules demand hand luggage-only itineraries. An unlined navy blazer in a breathable material that resists creasing is the backbone of the business wardrobe and can be dressed-up with a collared-shirt and tie for important presentations or dressed-down with a T-shirt for relaxed dinners. You need a shoe with the same attitude. Slip-ons avoid the fuss of unlacing shoes at airport security. Plus, suede is comfortable and requires minimal care. The Camden loafer from C&J is unfussy, modern and versatile. The mid-brown snuff is always appropriate but I like the ocean blue as an elegant change of pace. Think of it as the blazer of shoes – just don’t step on them.