When it comes wardrobes, men and women are VERY different. Especially when it comes to a “working” wardrobe or anything that you would wear for an interview, a biz event, or meeting a new client.
Women tend to have many outfits that they rotate throughout the year depending on the season, the weather, or the trends. Each outfit usually has a pair of shoes that matches it and since most women love shoes, they tend to have many pairs of them. It is rare that I see a woman “wear out” a pair of shoes.
Men typically wear a dress shirt, pants, a sport coat and maybe a tie. They usually have one or two pairs of shoes that go with everything. And they wear these same pieces All. Year. Long. Often times, for many years. Most men would rather spend money on football tickets, a new gadget or a round of drinks vs. of a new pair of dress shoes. This only leads to one thing…worn out shoes.
You can tell a lot about a person (male or female) by the looks of their shoes. If they are scuffed and dirty, it shows that you can’t take five minutes out of your busy day to clean them up. Your desk is probably a mess. And, your car probably has empty soda cans in the back of it. That is what we think when we see your messy shoes.
So guys…here are a few tips to help you present yourself in the best way for biz, in a club or on a date.
* Shoes don’t have to be expensive to be great but they should cost a little more than you think. What? Yes. Remember, you are going to wear them possibly 5 days a week for about two years. Invest in a great pair of leather classics. Brands to consider? Cole Haan, Ralph Lauren, Paraboot or Johnston and Murphy. Brand to stay away from (because they will go out of style or have poor quality)? Aldo! Styles to buy? Oxfords and Loafers.
*If you have owned them for two years or more, they probably have gone out of style. Check…if the toe is extremely pointed, toss them. Super squared off…donate them.
*Take care of what you buy! Learn how to shine your own shoes and do it twice a month. Once or twice a year, take them to a real shoe shine place. Check your heels! Are they worn down unevenly? Get them re-heeled. Are the soles wearing out? Get them resoled. If you invest in a great pair of classic shoes, they will last longer than two years with proper care.
*When all else fails…ask a woman. Are these shoes out of style? Does this shoe look beat up? Will you go shoe shopping with me?
In a perfect world, people shouldn’t judge us by what wear. In biz, they do! Make sure you are putting your best foot forward (ha ha) and making the right statement about who you are. It is great BizEtiquette.