I’ve never been a fan of Albert slippers with black tie. With a normal tux they look out of place and with a velvet jacket they drag the look back to the domestic engagement that the jacket is trying to escape from.

Equally, patent shoes have never held much appeal. First, because patent leather is essentially cheap skin with a plastic coating – even good patent leather is not great leather – and a beautifully polished calf shines with greater depth and subtlety. And second, because the shoe is so restricted to just that handful of formal occasions during the year.

An interesting alternative is to wear those calf Oxfords with ribbon laces – as shown here, with a pair from Gaziano & Girling. The ribbons can be inserted before an event and removed afterwards, lending a new look to an existing shoe.

Shoemakers buy these in by the box, but I don’t know of anywhere in London that sells them retail. (I acquired my pair from Tony and Dean at G&G.) If anyone does and can recommend a supplier, please let us know.

UPDATE: Cleverley normally sells them, priced at £10, but they are out of stock at the moment. Thanks for your comments.

Photography: Andy Barnham