Edward Green Pimlico, unlined
I have been searching the internet but not really found anything that
really helps, unless I have been asking Google the wrong questions.
Anyway, with the weather finally being that of the south of France, going to work is even more of a pain than usual. Of course dressing correctly is easy with the help of a few different clothing choices and cloths, but my main issue is with the lowest part of the body, the feet. What appropriate footwear can a man wear in the office, without feeling like his feet are in a microwave?
First off, thank you for cursing the good weather. It will now rain constantly until October.
On the off chance that it doesn’t, my best advice on shoes is to try trainer socks – the type that sit just below the level of your shoes and are virtually hidden. Don’t stress too much about them not showing – some sartorialists would say a thin band of sock is actually more stylish – but do make sure they are not the type made for women, which usually finish just above the toes. That will make the vamp of the shoe rather painful. Trunk in London does some good branded ones, as does the ASW store in the US.
Personally, I find that these socks are actually too cold for me in an air-conditioned office. But if your office is as hot as you say, these could be a good solution. Like your wrists, a lot of veins run close to the surface of the skin around your ankles, and so exposing them is disproportionately cooling. Unlike your wrists, it’s not a good idea to run water over them in the sink. Colleagues might complain.
The shoes themselves depend very much on the dress code of your office. Where I work, many men wear trainers or plimsols, which will often be cooler by having various synthetic membranes (with the former) or being made of a cotton canvas (with the latter).
With more formal shoes, the best thing is go for slip-ons over lace-ups, and get them unlined if possible. Edward Greenhas a really nice line of unlined shoes at the moment, in either suede or nubuck (suede Pimlico pictured top). Having them unlined means there is one less layer of leather between your skin and the outside. And leather, being a natural skin, breathes well. Some people say they find suede and suede-type leathers to be cooler on any structure of shoe, but I can’t say I’ve noticed.
The other advantage of a slip-on or suede shoe is that it will look much more appropriate with the aforementioned trainer socks. Black wing tips without socks don’t really work.
If your office is smart enough that bare ankles are not appropriate, try the slip-ons and wear lightweight cotton socks or even linen. Again, ASW has a very good range.
I hope that helps
Another good option is the Strawfut model from Allen Edmonds. I especially like the brown + linen combo.
My hunt for that elusive sock still haunts me!
Where can one buy good quality silk, linen or cotton (long socks of course) over the net? The ranges and colours available are too small (Dandy Store for example) and when one adds up the vat and the delivery cost then suddenly it all becomes expensive, especially since we all know socks do not seem to last long these days.
Can you also shed some light on the different types of socks and their materials. For example what is the ‘feel and wearing of’ different between egyptian cotton, lisle cotton, sea island etc. Having no experience of such things to date, i just buy mine from New and Lingwood or Harvie Hudson but i am desperate to break out of this mould.
For preference socks without ribs is what i think looks very chic and stylish. Can you or anyone help?
May I suggest the “poor man’s version”, C&J Teign. Also an unlined suede loafer.
Personally I don’t think there’s much of a difference between the various cottons. A Suitable Wardrobe has the best range out there, but then you are shipping them in, as you say.
It sounds like you are buying pretty good socks, you just a greater range. ASW may help. Plus, are you washing them by hand or on a very gentle wash? They should last quite well!
I think the problem is that today, manufacturers are reluctant to make shoes that are lined with canvas in the front since this is shunned by todays prestigious-minded consumers. We all know that leather is more expensive than canvas, but in my experience, shoes with canvas lining in the front are much more comfortable than fully leather-lined ones. Also, I think that lined shoes are preferable to unlined since the lining (preferably canvas) absorbs moisture. And incidentally, I do not Jeeves would agree that a gentleman wears shoes with no socks in the metropolis.
Bradley, the socks from both Bresciani and Pantherella lasts for many years. Wash them cold, with a mild detergent, and do not tumble them dry. That’s my recipie and my bresciani socks lasts for years.
Many thanks for your help in this matter, sorry to delay, but I feel you may of been right and I did curse the summer weather.
Simon, do you have a recommendation and preference for invisible, no-show socks to wear with loafers, Sagan’s, etc? Apart from the ones for use with trainers (which aren’t suitable (as they show with shoes!)) do you have any current suggestions in terms of make, quality and where to purchase them? Thanks for any thoughts!
Hi David. There was a good conversation about this on the site last summer, but I can’t find it anywhere! If any reader can remember where it was, please remind me.
Briefly, I’ve used Pantherella, Falke, Uniqlo, Tabio and Anonymous-ism (the latter at Trunk).
Of those, I’ve found Falke the best, but they are expensive. Of the cheaper ones, Uniqlo were by far the best.
There are broadly two designs – ones that are low enough to be invisible with a trainer, and those that are even lower, so they’re invisible with a low-cut loafer or Belgian loafer, like a Sagan. The latter are hard to find, but both Falke and Uniqlo do a version that’s that low.
Personally I find I need both, as the very low ones aren’t that comfortable inside something higher, like a trainer.
Thanks for that information, Simon. That’s really helpful and much appreciated. I’ll pursue those options, especially Falke.