A Guide to Shoes

This is a guest post by Kian Concepcion, a Style Crew member. 

“Button-up shirt? Check. Leather jacket? Got it. Black jeans? Yep. Hmm, now what shoes should I wear?”

Shoes can make or break your look. You can have a great outfit, some eye-catching accessories, and a nice fragrance to top it off, but if you end up with the wrong pair of shoes, your outfit will detract rather than attract people. That is why it is highly important to invest in your footwear.

At times, it can be confusing which shoes you should pick for a certain occasion. However, there really is no need to stress about it! In this simple guide, I go over 6 essential shoes you need to have in your closet that will cover any life situation you face, from formal events to days where you’re just relaxing.

There are two types of shoes to own: dress and casual.

Dress Shoes

Dress shoes are primarily paired with formal and dressy outfits. Think suits, tuxedos, dress shirts, and other formal/dress items. It’s notable to remember that the less details or decoration the shoes have, the more formal the shoe is.

Black Dress Shoes

Having black shoes in your closet is as essential as wearing your seatbelt while driving. This will be your most formal pair of shoes. Wear black shoes to important events such as weddings, funerals, black tie, and other formal occasions. You can also wear them to date nights when bringing your significant other to fancy restaurants that have a formal dress code.

Brown Dress Shoes

Brown dress shoes are less formal than black ones. They can be worn to the office, to personal events, and less formal occasions. Wear brown dress shoes to pair with your light-colored clothes such as khaki or beige pants, white trousers, etc. They also pair well with navy suits.

Double Monk Strap Shoes

Consider the double monk strap as your hybrid dress shoe. To get the most versatility out of it, opt for an oxblood or dark brown color. Double monks are incredibly versatile. You can dress them up with a suit or with a dress shirt and trousers. You can also dress them down with jeans and a casual button-up shirt.

Pro tip: In order to maintain the shape of your dress shoes, it is highly recommended you buy shoe trees. Shoe trees will help extend the life of your dress shoes since they prevent your shoes from developing creases.

Casual Shoes

White sneakers

No man’s closet will be complete without a pair of white sneakers. This will be your most versatile casual pair of shoes because it works with anything and everything. Wear them with jeans, chinos, shirts, button-ups, and yes, even suits – but only if you’re into that. Since dirt and stains will easily show up on white sneakers, it’s highly practical to buy white leather sneakers so you can clean them easily.

Athletic sneakers

For running errands and everything in between, a pair of athletic sneakers has your back (or feet in this case!). Feel free to choose which color and style you want and inject some of your personality in this look.


A dark brown pair of lace-up boots will give you the most bang for your buck. Boots protect your feet from the elements like snow, rain, and mud. They give any outfit a masculine vibe, so they’re perfect to wear on dates. Also, an added benefit to wearing boots is they can give you an extra inch in height. 

Wait, are you telling me I only need 6 pairs of shoes?

Treat this guide as having the bare essentials when it comes to shoes. Depending on your lifestyle and career, the types of shoes you purchase for your closet will vary. The shoes mentioned here will get you the most versatility because it covers every life situation or occasion that comes your way.

The next shoes you buy will be up to you. Do you mostly work with executives and high-level people? Then fill your closet with dress shoes.  Into running? Buy a pair of athletic shoes that will properly support your feet. Being fully aware of your personality and hobbies will help you purchase the right type of shoes.

Kian Concepcion is an Ash & Erie Style Crew contributor. Follow him on Instagram: @elevatestyle_