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The Shoes of a Style Chameleon

Nigel Cleaver is a man of many outfits. Here, he explains why Crockett & Jones makes shoes that can keep pace with his ever-changing whirligig of tailored wardrobe choices.

The Shoes of a Style Chameleon

Work? I suppose someone has to keep the wheels of industry turning!

I’m particularly fortunate in that my current means of earning a living leads me to places, many and varied, calling for a different ‘uniform’ each day. Should I be plying my trade at the invitation of Her Majesty’s Courts then blue pinstripes and Crockett & Jones Connaughts, the original classic cap-toe Oxfords, are the order of the day. I do find it puzzling how many ‘well-heeled’ Barristers and Solicitors pay so little attention to their footwear though.

Some play a ‘smoke and mirrors’ game, in that if they look the part then they’ll gain your confidence. Some just couldn’t care less which should sound alarm bells. Others pay attention to the details just so. I know who I’d like in my corner. A black oxford well-polished and lightly shined speaks volumes – every time.

I can often be found in Northampton (always a pleasure, never a chore) where calls on my time offer something of a menswear quandary. I may have to attend a HR meeting, respond quickly on a ward, visit a well known factory (guess who’s?) and have a beer with the lads when home. No room for lazy choices or bowing and scraping to whatever this ‘dressed down Friday’ lark is all about. So, when busy schedules abound versatility wins the day – Pembroke it is.

Often imitated and never beaten, this full-brogue classic derby shoe can go for miles. Mine are C&J’s Tan Scotch Country Grain beauties that get knocked around a bit, though still come up smiling. They’ll get a brush over with whatever is around, be that black, dark brown or burgundy polish, all adding to the ‘patina of life’ that good shoes so often develop over the years.

Other days may take me down the corridors of academia where tweed and corduroy rule the roost. Hallowed halls, hushed libraries and book crammed offices call for suede often in the guise of Westfield, a semi-brogue oxford shoe with a straight toe cap and a little extra punching detail. I’ll play the suede card quite often, Chukkas do it for me too, lined or otherwise they work great with a shorter trouser hem. After all, there has to be some kind of ante-dote to ripped jeans and the endless student squelch of Vans and Converse on parquet!

Which leads me a to final thought, I don’t have to go to work to wear such handsome shoes. It might well be best then if someone else turned those wheels of industry for a change…

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Nigel Cleaver

Nigel Cleaver

Academic, Freelance Writer, Customer & @ignoreatyourperil

Nigel (or Cleav as he is known to many), is an academic and experienced father of the world. Fascinated by menswear and the nuances that surround this fine topic, particularly Crockett & Jones, Nigel’s journey began with an innocent meeting with one of our own Mark Hill, Manager of Crockett & Jones Birmingham. Their shared passion helped light a fire that resulted in Nigel becoming a forerunner on the highly regarded StyleForum as well as an Instagram sensation of a totally organic nature. Another with exceptional C&J experience, Nigel will be our ‘Customer Authority’, discussing those interesting and probing questions that are in the minds of many.

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