Business Casual Men’s Shoes & How To Wear Them

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette and our series on business casual clothing. Today, we discuss shoes and we go more in depth about different work settings and how you can put your best foot forward so you could look always stylish. If you have not already done so, please check out our general dress code guides or five different outfits and what to wear to the office here. Business casual today is one of the most widely spread dress codes yet it’s often vaguely defined. Because of that, we created an in-depth guide but the golden rule to keep in mind is that you always have to adapt to your company and the culture within. There’s no point in following all the advice we provide in our video if your company is extremely casual or extremely formal. You simply have to figure that out and the best way to do that is to observe what others are wearing or to ask your supervisor. Well-made shoes from quality leather that is expertly polished can really upgrade a cheap suit, at the same time, a cheap pair of shoes can bring down a $5,000 bespoke suit.

So first, let’s look at what business casual shoes mean in a context of traditional white-collar environments such as law firms. Because you’re on this traditional environment, chances are even business casual is more formal than in other places. Now that doesn’t mean that you should wear your black cap toe oxford because that would still be too formal and while it’s good with suits for business casual, you can be a bit more daring. For one that means wearing a derby shoe. Derbys have an open lacing system and because of that, they’re always slightly less formal than an oxford. Also, I would stay clear of black derbys, instead I would opt for brown ones because brown is one of those shades that has just a hundred or thousand different colors with little variations and so you can never have enough brown shoes. When I say brown I also mean red shoes, either reddish brown, burgundy, or oxblood. These are all fantastic colors for business casual even in a formal environment. My favorite derby shoe of mine comes in Burgundy, it’s made of a Parisian last which is still quite elegant and so I can work with a suit or for business casual very easily.

Alternatively, I could wear a burgundy monk strap, either in dark chocolate brown or maybe in red. Apart from that color scheme, I would not branch out into others because it would maybe be too casual for such a traditional environment. That means no gray shoes, no olive green shoes, stick with shades of brown and you’ll be good. Whether that’s a very dark brown, a medium brown, chestnut brown, or very light tan, is up to you but just keep in mind the lighter shade of brown, the more casual the shoe. Likewise, the more broguing you have on the shoe, the more casual it is. Apart from the color, leather texture can also have a huge impact on how it’s perceived.

For example, suede shoes are always softer and more casual. So for example, a dark brown suede shoe will look about as informal or casual as a regular polished leather tan shoe. Overall, it’s very important that your shoes work well not just with the rest of your outfit but with the socks and the pants in particular because they’re right next to your shoe. To learn how you can put together interesting outfits that work pretty well in a business casual environment please check out this video here. Second, let’s go a notch down and determine what business casual shoes look like in other traditional environments that are not quite as formal. If you work in the service industry, in sales, or other trade positions, chances are you still have client contact and even though it’s not required of you to be well dressed, and sometimes it may come off as aloof or not appropriate, people will still judge you and if you look frumpy in sweatpants with a hole that are all dirty, people will think less highly of you, they will assume that you’re less competent than if you would wear let’s say a nice dress shirt with a pair of chinos.

If you are just at the office and never have client contact, your employer will likely have specific ideas of what’s acceptable and what’s not. If that’s not your office, I suggest to just stay clear of sneakers because sneakers are quite casual. The same is true for tennis shoes, Nikes, Adidas, it’s simply not work appropriate shoes.Fine for gym not for the office. In this segment, one of my favorite colors is green which is highly underrated in menswear and I talk more about why and how in this video. Just think about adding a dark green oxford full brogue wingtip shoe in suede, it’s quite dark, people wouldn’t notice it right away yet it’s very different than a traditional dark brown wingtip oxford.

Alternatively, a nice olive green with a beautiful patina on an elegant long last is really something that will provide a lot of contrast with the pants and slacks you’re wearing therefore, it’ll stand out in a way but it’s still subtle enough that it could be mistaken for a dark brown shoe at first glance. In recent years, dress shoes uppers with white rubber or sneaker soles have become extremely popular. Now personally, I don’t wear those because I either want to go casual and wear boat shoes or some sneakers or I wear leather dress shoes with a leather sole.

That being said, if you really dig the white rubber soles on a shoe, simply go for it, it’s something that you can wear, you can pull it off, it’s definitely more of a statement and I’ve even seen like red soles, yellow soles, or blue soles, so assume that people will judge you, they will make assumptions about you, and if you’re okay with that and you can wear it confidently, go for it. Of course, if you’re into classic men’s clothing and a traditionalist, this is not an option for you and in that case, stay with nicely polished leather shoes. So what about regular rubber soles? While they are acceptable and no one will ever call you out for it, personally, I much rather prefer leather soles. The sound they make, the way they roll on my foot, the way they feel, all of these are attributes I appreciate about the leather sole and I would not switch to a rubber sole.

So what do you do if it rains heavily you might wonder? Well, I have leather boots with rubber soles because they’re usually a little more casual and if it’s raining a lot, having a lace-up boot that is above my ankle always comes in handy to protect my feet from getting wet and cold. Apart from the shoes mentioned, you can also experiment with spectators in this segment which again are quite loud and traditionally, you have black and white ones which I think is not such a good combination because it is black, quite formal, white makes it informal. Instead, a brown and maybe off-white spectator or a navy with a gray spectator are really great. You could think about saddle shoes or just more unusual shoes. In general though, I always suggest you stay clear of square-toed shoes, rubber soles or any kind of metalwork or reflective letters such as silver or gold because they’re not really part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. So what are business casual shoes in a start-up environment? Frankly, the sky’s the limit and it can be anything from flip-flop over vans to very extraordinary Gucci loafers.

Most startups won’t even have a dress code and so it’s all about what you’re comfortable with and about their culture and how you fit in. Now, just because you can wear anything doesn’t mean everything has the same level of benefits for you. That being said, a nice pair of leather shoes or boots will always make you look more dapper and more grown-up than wearing some colorful sneakers or tennis shoes. In terms of colors or leather textures, really anything under the sun goes here. Even flip-flops or alpargatas are acceptable but frankly, I would simply not wear that but I guess I’m not telling you anything new here. Now that we covered three different environments, let’s talk about general guidelines that may help you to look stylish in your workplace. The general advice to your wardrobe and if you want the biggest bang for your buck and the lowest cost per wear, I strongly suggest to not invest in shoes that fuse modern style and traditional style.

Why you might wonder? Well, matching together formal and informal elements will mean it’s a very trendy shoe and it may be great at the moment but it’s just a fashion and a fad and it will disappear in just a few years of time. So even if you have the most highest quality leather shoe with a blue sole, chances are you will be tired of it in a year from now. Instead, buy classically styled shoes and try to find something that works with your style.

For example, you can go with medium brown penny loafers or you could go with cordovan tassel loafers. Alternatively, if you want even more casual, you can have suede green tassel loafers which are very casual yet still classically rooted. Because it’s business casual, broguing or hole perforations or decorations are always welcome and an element you should incorporate if you want to tone things down and make them easier to look at and less formal. Similarly to jeans, that should be avoided in a formal office environment unless expressly approved by management. You should also keep sneakers out of the office. Now that you know a lot about business casual shoes, there are times when you should avoid wearing them and step up your shoe game and just be a little more formal. For example, think of important meetings with a board maybe with their most important client or the CEO who is known to be a clothes horse. In those situations, you definitely want to take it up a notch and put your best foot forward. During work related events, conferences or symposia where you represent your company or maybe during a media interview, it really pays to have nice leather dress shoes in a darker color because they won’t stand out and people won’t just focus on your shoes but rather on what you say and the point you want to bring across.

Likewise, if you’re interviewing for a position, it always pays to put on the proper interview attire and to learn more about that as well as other interview preparation guides please check out this video series here. In summary, the dress-code business casual is not easy to master when it comes to shoes because it can mean different things at different times at different companies, however, using the three-tier approach of formal environment, less formal environment, and casual environment, it can really help you to nail it and put your best foot forward. Last but not least, if you’re unsure whether if something is appropriate or not, chances are it is inappropriate. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have thought about it in the first place and if even that doesn’t help, always keep in mind being slightly overdressed is always favorable to being slightly underdressed. That being said if you enjoyed this video please give us a thumbs up subscribe to our Channel so videos like this come right to your inbox and also make sure to check out our other videos about business casual dress code.

In today’s outfit i am wearing a mid-level business casual outfit that does not contain a tie or any form of neckwear it consists of a white blue check shirt with a button down color which is rather casual I am pairing it with a green sport coat and chinos likewise I’ll add a brown pair of penny loafers it’s medium brown it contrasts for the chinos yet my pocket square picks up the brown tones as well as the blue tones and tie everything together it’s from Fort Belvedere and you can find it in our shop here just like my blue and navy stripe shadow socks that are contrasting between the pants and shoes but since they’re dark and I pick up blue in the shirt and the pocket square it all works harmoniously together

7 Men’s Summer Shoe Mistakes & What Shoes To Wear

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! Today we’ll discuss 7 summer shoes mistakes that most men make summer changes our wardrobes and it’s fun to go along with the seasons but when it comes to shoes, summer shoes are really just for summer and so they’re inherently different to the shoes that you can wear during spring, fall, and winter. Of course, people can wear absolutely anything today and trust me, they do. But as a gentleman, there’s certain classic style rules that help make you look well put together even during the peak heat of summer.

Mistake number one, wearing sandals or flip-flops for anything other than very specific outdoor occasions. Sorry, gentlemen, but if you’re serious about your outward appearance, wearing sandals or flip-flops on a regular basis is simply not in the cards unless you’re rafting or walking in a rocky riverbed. You should never wear sandals; the same is true for flip-flops, they’re really best at the pool or by the beach but otherwise, don’t show up with them at a restaurant. Ultimately, no one wants to see your hairy toes and calluses and that aside, I’ve never come across a really super high-quality pair of flip-flops or sandals that just had piles of craftsmanship in them.

The second mistake is wearing sporty trainers with your trousers and elegant summer outfits. It simply doesn’t go together. Trainers are fine if you ride your bike or go to and from the gym or workout in them but outside of that, there’s really no place for them in your general wardrobe. Nothing makes you look like an old grandpa than white trainers with white tennis socks so just skip them and put on proper summer shoes. The third mistake is not understanding the difference between driving mocs, loafers, and boat shoes. All three of those are great summer shoes because they are slip ons where you’re after tying if so it’s not just convenient but usually they also have deeper cutouts which is exposed your ankle more to the air which gives a nice flow that is cooler than wearing other regular lace-up shoes now what’s the difference between those three shoe types loafers are considered to be the most formal one out of the three you can wear the most slacks with seersucker x’ even a seersucker suit or even a railer suit except if it’s double-breasted then loafers are typically not appropriate but double-breasted is not advisable through hot summers anyways so you’re good here sometimes people even since we were in them barefoot however I don’t suggest that if you want to go for the barefoot look always go with no-show socks it’s much better for your feet and for the hygiene and it makes you more comfortable in your shoes all day next step down in firm melody are driving marks if you want to listen something a little more formal go with a penny loafer a little less casual go with it’s hassle over I like sweet for summer shoes because they’re casual and you can even go in more exotic colors so just maybe gray navy blue or dark green driving marks are a step down in terms of formality they’re usually worn inside the house or while driving but during the summer a lot of people were done just on the street very soft they’re comfortable but with the typical sole that is not solid rubber you probably wear them out prematurely if you wear them outside of the house or your car finally boat shoes are the least formal a classic staple would be a medium chestnut brown if you want to be a little brighter you can go with blues or salmon reds maybe green and blue combinations it’s a fun shoe if you adhere to the kind of waspey northeastern American style the first mistake is buying sewed formal shoes from the uppers such as Darby’s Oxford’s or wingtip brokes that are then combined with colorful trainer soles we get it summer is more casual and it also reflects in your shoe board that being said it’s wiser to play with the colors and letter materials but keeping the letter Sol then switching to a kind of rubber sole that is green or yellow or red yes it makes you stand out in a way but it’s more clownish than tasteful that being said rubber soles wear it much more quickly you can just replace them very easily and so it’s not a really good long-term investment instead buy a classic leather sole or a classic rubber sole and make a change of the uppers it’s a much better investment The fifth mistake is buying sneakers and using them to masquerade other shoes by that I mean people try to buy leather sneakers that are more expensive and nicer and so all of a sudden they think they can wear it for business casual or with a suit and it just looks odd and it’s not meant to be worn in that way the sixth mistake is to pack away all of your other shoes from your closet and simply use the specific summer shoes now yes you want specific summer shoes at the same time you can still get out your old brown loafers for example that you can wear in spring and maybe in the fall or you’re sweet desert boots those are all good shoes that you can utilize also during the summer so it pays to go through your shoe closet and yes you can set aside your black Oxford’s or the triple salt boots because that’s not something you wear during the summer but Brown Jones maybe reddish tones and sweat letters are great for summer combinations last but not least one of the biggest summer shoe mistakes is not owning a fun pair of distinct summer shoes they’re really lots of ways to have fun even with a classic men’s shoe wardrobe and that can include a white pair of buckskin shoes with colorful shoe laces for example and in general if you want to spice things up and you can’t quite afford to invest a lot in summer shoes just going with colorful shoe laces Really change the whole feel and the look of the shoes and you will immediately look summery with a very small investment for a large selection of round and flat high-quality waxed cotton shoelaces in over 15 different colors please check our shop here they’re all made from Fort Belvedere and they come in packages so the more you buy the less expensive they get alternatively if you’re looking for shoes look for a woven leather shoe or maybe something with a perforated leather because that will allow more air to get to your foot so you sweat less and you’re more comfortable if you like softer shoes maybe a pair of colorful boat shoes or driving locks or something to invest in apart from lighter desert boots that are unlined and actually very low I suggest you invest in a pair of green shoes because Green is really underrated especially for summer lately I’ve seen it much more come up in suits and sport coats and even shirts but for shoes it’s still not really popular and it’s particularly good in a darker shade such as for a screen or maybe olive green and with a suede texture apart from that classic spectators can work as well although the black and white spectators work I think brown and white are better suited for summer because it’s a less stark contrast and it just goes weather with the warmth outside if you want to learn more about different shoe types such as loafers or boat shoes Oxford’s Darby’s the differences please check out our in-depth guides on the website and if you are interested in summer suits or to eight hallmarks of a great summer jacket please subscribe to our Channel and stuff like this comes right here in box also use a search function because we have a lot of things about summer and hot weather in today’s Africa combination with an off-white jacket that has Center box pleats which makes it easy to move around it’s made out of a thicker coarser Panama weave fabric it’s from Ralph Lauren purple label and I’m combining it with a light blue open weave summery shirt and a mattr silk tie in dark bottle green with blue or yellow accents Fort Belvedere it matches the green belt as well as my green shoes which are made out of suede leather and are a wingtip Oxford from Scott Oh so to make it a little more summer without being too bright I edit dark purple shoelaces that contrast shoes work with a summery theme but they’re not super loud measures a barrel cuffs because cufflinks would be simply too hot and so I’m wearing a little pinky ring with malachite which picks up the green color just like the pocket square which ties together the green tones of a tie and a shoe as well as the light blue of the shirt Nasir Sakura trousers because the shoes are colorful and seersucker is bright I opted for a dark pair of over the calf Khan socks in navy with clocks because contrasts a shoe as well as the pants and creates a nice combination to learn more about how to combine shoes pants and socks police check out this free PDF guide and if you’re interested in all the four bail deer accessories showcase in this video you can find them in our shop here

Should You Wear Denim Jeans With A Suit Jacket Or Blazer?

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! Have you ever asked yourselves, should I wear a jacket with jeans? Is it too formal, is it just right? Well in today’s video we’ll talk about nothing but jeans, blazers and suit jackets. When you can wear them, when you should avoid them and anything else you want to know about those combinations. Obviously it’s a very similar question to can I wear a jacket without a tie and we discussed it in a separate video here.

When should you wear a jacket with denim is a popular question because many men today wear it, yet it goes against traditional style rules because jeans used to be strictly blue-collar workwear. Today, men’s style is a lot more casual than it used to be 50 or 60 years ago and jeans are probably the number one worn pants by men. As everything gets more casual of course a lot of men try to wear jeans with anything else they have in their wardrobe particularly suit separates because that’s what they sometimes have to wear to work.

In an attempt to dress up their jeans or to dress down their suit they simply combine the two but it rarely works and it hardly ever looks advantageous unless you follow a few clear-cut rules. The issue of suit jackets with jeans is that it is a clash of formalities. Typically it’s a combination seen worn by middle managers who want to seem approachable yet be a cut above their subordinates.

It’s definitely a fine line to walk but dressing purposefully and thoughtfully is the key here. Personally I hardly ever wear jeans with a jacket, it’s simply not my style. But here is how you can pull it off. First of all pair your blazer or sport coat only with your dressiest jeans. That means no holes and no used look. Also it’s really important that you have enough contrast between your sport coat and your jeans. If you have a dark washed denim with a dark navy blazer it’s not enough contrast and it looks odd because it’s similar yet it’s not a suit and it’s just weird. So in general, a medium dark wash or something slightly lighter is best. It’s essential that your jeans don’t puddle and are hemmed to the exactly right length. To learn more about what length is right for you, check out this video here.

In terms of cut, a straight leg or maybe something that slightly tapered works best. Definitely avoid really baggy cuts as well as a bootcut. Also don’t cuff or pin roll your jeans because that’s simply too casual. If you still want to learn how to do it please check out this video here. Two, rather than going with a navy blazer instead branch out and maybe go with jackets that have different colors as well as patterns and materials because that’s more contrasting or interesting, but also more casual and it works better with jeans.

Good features include notch lapels because peak lapels would be too formal. You can also have patch pockets because they’re more formal than jetted pockets or flat pockets. In terms of patterns, you can go with little houndstooth pattern maybe a small micro check or a classic Prince of Wales check. When it comes to material compositions, 100% wool is okay but to make it more casual add cotton and linen blends sometimes wool linen or wool cotton blends or sometimes also a little bit of silk or cashmere for a softer hand and touch. In terms of jacket colors, you can go with lighter shades of blue, maybe a royal blue for example or even a lighter blue. Overchecks could be in red or an orange because that’s a little more casual. In the winter brown tones are great especially as a Glen check with dark brown and off-white or maybe a herringbone jacket in a medium brown. With all those lighter colors, one pair of dark washed denim really works best because it provides a contrast and it’s a classic jeans color.

The personal favorite of mine is the color green it goes really well with dark washed denim. And to learn more about why green is underrated in menswear, please check out this video here. Also definitely avoid white or off-white jackets because the denim will color off on it and the contrast is too strong. Three, make sure to wear your denim and your sport coat with casual shirts to bridge the gap formalities. Long-sleeve dress shirts are good but ideally you should avoid the most formal variations in solid white because they’re just too businesslike.

Instead maybe you go with an off-white or a green shirt maybe something with a rougher texture and maybe skip ironing to create a more casual look. Alternatively you can also go with button-down collars because they are more casual and check shirts, as well as little houndstooth shirts because they’re also more casual than solids. If you want something like a solid I suggest an Oxford fabric with a two-tone maybe light blue and white because it’s durable and more casual. No matter what shirt you choose always tuck it in because an untucked shirt with a sport coat or a suit jacket simply looks odd. Four, wear the combination of jeans and sport coat with the right kind of shoes. Black Oxfords are way too formal and not appropriate here. At the same time boat shoes are too informal and should likewise be avoided. So what should you wear? Ideally go with brown tones or burgundy and oxblood. If you want to be a little more experimental you can think about olive green, grey or maybe navy. In terms of styles a classic derby shoe is good just like those burgundy derbies or these olive green derbies on a very Parisian elegant last.

Because of the color it makes them work with a jeans and a sport coat. Alternatively you could opt for loafers either tassel loafers or penny loafers, both work. Another good options are monk straps such as those brown single monks with some broguing and a wingtip or those more fashion-forward double monks in burgundy. If you want to go with oxfords go with brogues either half brogues or full brogues because that’s casual enough to wear with jeans and it ties the ensemble together with your sport coat. Other good options include chukka boots or chelsea boots. In terms of leather texture, suede is really great to combine with jeans and a sport coat. Why? Simply because it’s a little more casual. It’s less serious and as such it ties together those two elements of different formalities So now that you know how and when to wear a blazer with jeans, the question is, when should you not wear those two items together? First of all the biggest mistake I see men make in this situation is that they pair a traditional business suit with a pair of jeans they have.

Particularly it’s that black business suit jacket or that pinstripe jacket that they wear with dark blue jeans and it just looks weird and odd. As discussed before, while some suit jackets can be worn with jeans especially if they’re more casual any kind of business suit should not be combined with jeans, that includes solid navy jackets or maybe solid grey jackets but also any kind of stripe, pinstripe, rope stripe or chalk stripe. They won’t look good with jeans. Don’t combine jeans with a double-breasted business jacket. Double-breasted is typically more formal. It has peak lapels and as such is even more formal than a single breasted blazer with patch pockets. Hence, avoid. However in recent years double-breasted jackets have become a lot more popular especially at Pitti Uomo. And if you have something that has a nice linen blend maybe with the Prince of Wales pattern and lighter colors, you can definitely combine them with jeans. Never wear a t-shirt with jeans underneath a jacket because it’s a clash of formalities. Either you wear just a t-shirt and some jeans and you skip the jacket all together or you opt for the jacket but you go with a casual dress shirt or this blend of polo shirt and dress shirt I mentioned before.

Four, never wear any kind of black shoes especially not black dress shoes with this combination because it looks out of place. Black is fine for formal business suits and office wear but not when you were jeans. Instead go with browns, tan tones, burgundy tones, greens or anything else but not black. To learn why black is one of the most overrated colors in menswear, please check out this video here.

Five, jeans with a jacket are not ideal if you want to wear a tie, a bow tie or maybe an ascot simply because it would be too formal and a clash. So if you opt for the combination of jacket and jeans forgo your tie and your neck wear instead go with a pocket square or maybe a boutonniere because that creates a visual interest and it just creates for a more polished look. For a selection of pocket squares that are perfect to be worn with jeans and a sport coat please check out our store here. You’ll also find boutonnieres there that will just round out your outfit. Six, you don’t want to wear jeans with a jacket if you want to have a formal dress shirt. That means, double cuffs with cufflinks because that’s too formal for regular cotton denim. Likewise, a solid white shirt is not appropriate.

A light blue might work. Maybe go with a different texture, a different weave that is more open so it breathes better and you’re more comfortable during the summer. Striped shirts can work especially if you have bolder stripes, wider or larger scale stripes or maybe stripes in a different color. At the same time the whole ensemble has to work together. And we’ll cover the specific skill of combining patterns especially stripes in a different video. Don’t wear jeans and a sport coat if you don’t know the dress code or if you’re unsure about the formality at the event or the occasion you will wear it to. Why you might wonder? Well, if you’re not sure about a dress code it always pays to dress one notch up.

In that case it would mean wearing your blazer with a pair of chinos rather than your jeans. Alternatively if you think that’s over-the-top you can skip the jacket and just go with a casual dress shirt and a pair of slacks either chinos or jeans depending on what you think is right for the occasion. By the way during the colder months of the year, a tweed jacket works really well with jeans simply because it’s more casual by definition.

It has a coarser weave. It has more warmer earth tones and so it’s a great jacket that is usually single breasted and has notch lapels which makes it again less formal and therefore perfectly suited for jeans. That being said there are tons of other jackets which are less formal and therefore equally as well suited to jeans as a tweed jacket. Some of them include a Panama jacket which is more of a summery jacket. Another one, the Harrington jacket and you can check out more in our Harrington jacket guide here. So in conclusion, you can definitely wear a jacket with jeans just make sure it’s casual enough and not your typical business suit.

When it comes to foot wear, brown shoes are your friend and make sure it’s not too casual but also not too formal. In today’s video I’m wearing a combination of dark wash denim jeans and a suit jacket which is part of a Prince of Wales suit with a slight brown over check. Obviously there’s a lot of contrast between the jacket and so it works. I combined it with a cream or off-white dress shirt. It has button cuffs, no French cuffs.

And I also decided to leave them undone because it’s a little warmer outside and it simply adds a more casual flare to your overall ensemble. Of course I skipped the necktie and instead I went with a very casual pocket square which is made out of a handcrafted linen with hand rolled edges and X stitches. You can find a rich selection of those pocket squares in this color or others in our shop here. For my shoes I opted for a reddish chestnut brown monk strap with silver buckles and a wingtip full brogue and I combined it with a belt in the same kind of color tone which is alligator and also has a silver buckle so everything is harmonious and works. For my socks I opted for a pair of Fort Belvedere socks in navy blue and yellow because they provide a bit of contrast to the shoe as well as the jeans yet they tie everything well together.

To learn more about how you can combine shoes with socks and pants, please check out this video here. If you enjoyed this video give us a like and subscribe to this channel so videos like this come right to your inbox. .

How Bespoke Italian Leather Shoes Are Made

I think the passion, you really need it to create something on a particular level. You need to give everything from yourself in there and that’s the difference I think. Bespoke means for me, that I discuss really with the client what he wants. You have ideas here, you can see different materials, different models. It’s very important to listen. Nowadays, many people don’t listen anymore. The last is really the copy of your foot on which we create the shoe. But nobody shows you how to make a last, really, so you have to train it by yourself, and to get the feeling by yourself, how you should do it. You have certain measurements from the foot, but the feeling of the client is always different. I love using leather because you get this particular different touches. What I appreciate so much from this tannery is they use a Swiss calf. Maybe it’s because it’s cold and these animals live on a very high level in the mountains.

It’s always a cow, but cows are also different. I think it’s something which you can wear for a long time and the leather the more you wear it, it really gets more life I think. I will draw the model from the client. This drawing, I will translate then on a flat paper model, which I put on the leather, then we sew it together. From there, we start creating really the shoe. I think the handcraft and this concentration of different craftmanships in Florence is really coming up from the Medici family. If it’s a jeweler or if it’s a painter, or a sculpture maker, they’ve always tried to get the best artisans in town. The upper will be nailed and pulled over the last. I will start sewing with the linen thread, which is made waterproofed with wax. When you stitch you have two threads which go into the same hole and as you pull, the wax goes hot, it will seal together, so the water can’t go through. This is a very particular and very old process. It’s very rare to be a woman in this shoemaking world. When I started, everybody looked at me and said, this lady is going to close down in a year.

A woman in a man’s job, it’s not going to work. Now, they all proud in this area that I’m still here. We fill in the wooden shank and back support because that’s the part under the curve of your foot, which will not be bent so it has to be supportive and stiff. The front part we will fill with cork. This is to give you a cushion effect, as you bend it the whole time it’s important to have it soft. We apply the sole. We will glue it on and afterwards make a channel. We will stitch the welt and the leather sole together through the channel so it gets more the shape of a shoe and you see it more as a finished product. When we work normally in the workshop, it’s a very calm feeling. We are in a meditation, because you are so concentrated on what you do. You can feel that all of a sudden, the energy comes down. Everybody’s concentrated on his particular step. The last big step to put on is the heel, which will be built out of single layers of leather.

We will glue them and nail them on, and then cut them in shape. At the end, we pass some glass, sanding it. And then burn it with hot irons, so all the pores are going to be completely closed up. The last step is to shine the whole shoe. And then we can pull out the last and then the client can wear it. If you count the hours, we would work around three weeks on one pair of shoes. When I see a finished shoe and the client really tries it on, it’s always the moment of reality and relief, if it really fits well. When this person is really happy, you can just see in their eyes without explaining that it’s the best feeling ever. I think a shoe is more than an object. A shoe really reflects the person who is wearing it. The leather they choose, the color they choose, and how they wear it.

Because it’s not just the pair in the beginning, it’s the pair over many, many years. .