The PAUSE Guide to Smart Casual: Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Someone once said that the first thing a lady notices on a man is his shoes. However true the saying is, shoes are always an important part of an outfit. It does not matter if everything else you’re wearing is super expensive, very on trend and fits perfectly. If your shoes are wrong, or even worse, grubby, you may as well have not bothered leaving your house!

As PAUSE continues its guide to decoding the Smart-Casual dresscode, we now shed the spotlight on shoes.

Smart Shoes

smart menshoes

Have you ever got dressed for a ‘Smart-Casual’ event and just worn your smart work shoes? It may sound like an easy option, and a quick fix, but this is a mistake for two reasons: 1) because you wear them often, they are more than likely to be battered in such a way that even shoe polish couldn’t cure. 2) They may not even match with whatever else you’re wearing. It’s hard to come up with generic rules here, as there are many types of work shoe, however if your work shoes are pointy, plain and scream ‘I work in an office!’, it probably means that these smart shoes should only be worn with smart trousers and a shirt. It’s also worth keeping your work shoes as work shoes and buying another pair of smart shoes as going out ones, such as a pair of Brogues. But if you’re wearing chinos, or jeans, what are your alternatives?


mcq loafers

Loafers have sprung up in popularity, and this is because not only are they a sturdy shoe that can withstand whatever the sky throws at us, but they also reek of style. Wear with slim or skinny (not ridiculously skinny) chinos in complimentary tones. As previously said, if worn with denim, stick to darker shades.

Chelsea Boots

chelsea boots

As England enters its sixth month of Winter, and the weather is still changeable, investing in a pair of Chelsea Boots is a sensible idea. Worn with a shirt and jumper, it’s the perfect outfit for going out on Friday night for a couple of drinks.

Desert Boots
desert boots
Thanks to Clarks (and a certain song about Clarks), the Desert boot’s revival has now meant that it is ubiquitous. Although it isn’t suitable for wearing with smart trousers, or a blazer, the desert boot can be worn with chinos or jeans, and a cable knit cardigan or jumper for occasions more casual than smart (i.e. the organiser just didn’t want guests turning up in an attire consisting of snapbacks and trainers).

Someone once said: ‘Shoes maketh the man’. Whilst this isn’t strictly true in the most literal sense, shoes do play an important role in what you’re wearing. So make sure they aren’t an afterthought.

Smart shoes: Magnanni
Loafers: Alexander McQueen
Chelsea Boots: Jil Samders
Desert Boots: Clarks

Words: @MasterNath

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