You have dreamt of it for so many nights, you have saved up each euro/pound/dollar/yen and now you’ve finally got it: your own suit from Brioni. However, when you walk down the streets, the girls don’t turn their heads to look back and Scott Schuman doesn’t ask you for a photo to post on his website… Oh Georges “Beau” Brummel , God of the Dandies, please tell me, what’s my problem?
The problem lies in the fact that most men do not think enough about their shoes. Let me tell you this: you could have the most perfect suit from the most prestigious tailor but without beautiful shoes, it’s all over. The right pair of shoes will help lift up a middle-quality suit: nothing is impossible.
Think optimistic about it. Quality shoes are an investment. Shoes that are made with the Goodyear Welt method allow multiple sole replacements, extending the life of the footwear. So if you take care of your investment, you will keep them for a very long time: some of my shoes are more than 15 years old and I get asked frequently where I bought those new shoes.
Let me give you the rules to the game. Firstly, when you buy new shoes, make sure that you have shoe trees made out of cedar wood. This wood will better absorb the moisture and take away the smell. The shoe tree itself will help to keep the original form of your shoes. So when you are not wearing your shoes, use shoe trees! Secondly, you should not wear your shoes for two days straight to let the perspiration exit. Thirdly, regulary nourish the leather with a shoe cream; if you want your shoes to shine, you could add a drop of champaign or white wine (or a drop of water if you have a money problem due to the economic crisis), mirror effect guaranteed. This technic is called “freezing the leather”.
Shoes are a real passion for a lot of men, so perhaps tonight you will dream of going to John Lobb on St.James Street, London. This shop is the church of the beautiful shoes. Lobb has handmade his shoes for the Royal Family of Great-Britain for several generations. Kings and smarter-dressed men from all around the world have been served by Lobb ever since 1849, which is still a family-owned business. Their warehouse stacks wooden sculptures of each of their customers feet; Lobb only makes bespoke models, their prices start at € 2500 and there is 6 month delivery time. Note that you can also find Lobb ready-to-wear (property of Hermès) in some selected shops for around € 750.
It’s a lot of money for shoes, but at least you can promise your bankclerk that you will keep them marvelous for the rest of your life: your very own investment.