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The saying is the first thing a woman notices about a man is his shoes. As much as I like figuring out my own personal style, I’ve never been into owning a bunch of really nice shoes. Any truth to this tired (or maybe true) saying? And if it’s not the shoes, what do women notice first?
Honestly, I don’t think there are many women who notice a man’s shoes first. We notice them eventually, that’s absolutely true. Teeth, smile, skin, hair, whether your clothing is clean, wrinkled, well-fitting, any of these areas probably get the once-over before we look at the shoes. But yes, women notice shoes. And we judge. We judge your shoes.
The good news is that we’re not expecting you to have “a bunch of really nice shoes.” It’s neither practical nor economical for every guy out there to have an extensive collection of shoes. If you’re climbing utility poles in work boots five days a week, why on earth would you need a closet full of expensive shoes? (Though if you’re litigating in a courtoom five days a week, then yes, you probably need–and we might expect you to have–a variety of good quality shoes.) That said, women don’t want to see those work boots on the weekend or after you get off of work. And save the running shoes for when you’re, you know, running.
In an earlier draft of this week’s column (what? you write multiple drafts of this thing? yes, nothing short of perfection for my fellas) I tried to make a list of what a basic, bare bones shoe wardrobe should have. But I was adding all these caveats depending on what climate you live in, how many vacations you take, whether you were a devoted follower of Lost, you know, all the critical demographic info, and it got a little complicated. So I’ll just say this: a pair or two of nice dress shoes, a pair or two of nice sandals, a pair or two of loafers or boat shoes. Fashion sneakers and boots would be great additions as well, but perhaps have less universal appeal.
Corry, seeing as you’re someone who enjoys exploring style, I would encourage you to begin thinking about shoes as an integral part of your style. Shoes can be as important as your choice of pants or the pattern on your tie. Plus…shoes are fun! I think all of us here can agree that style is entertaining, otherwise we wouldn’t spend so much time and energy thinking about it, chatting about it, spending money on it. Shoes are just one more area toward which you can direct that creative impulse.
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