With the summer fast approaching and the polo season already begun, it’s high time to start thinking about summer footwear. It may be tempting to rely on sandals and comfortable trainers for ease and comfort, but there are so many more options available. Here’s a few trends predicted for 2017, so you can be stylish AND summer ready, whilst you are lounging on that spectator balcony.
To some, brogues may seem a little formal for a summer day, but combining them with the proper attire can be very successful. Opt for lighter-coloured suede, such as tan or grey, and pair with chino trousers or shorts for a sophisticated summer look. Light brown and tan colours suit navy blue and tortoiseshell pairings very well, so experiment with accessories like sunglasses, or belts.
If you have formal black brogues, don’t despair; a lighter suit will lift the colour, keeping you cooler too. Remember all leather (but particularly suede) needs to be looked after, lest they fall victim to the predictably unpredictable British weather.
One of the most versatile styles in men’s fashion, loafers are the perfect transitional footwear to move into summer with. Whether you prefer tassel loafers, penny loafers or the Gucci horse bit design (which is very fitting for polo!) you are guaranteed to find a style that compliments your wardrobe.
Easy to slip on and off, these make for perfect driving shoes as well as working well with smart or casual attire. Loafers are the perfect accompaniment to flannel slacks, chinos, corduroy pants and, during the summer, even linen or seersucker suits.
In terms of formality, Penny Loafers rank just slightly below a Tassel loafer and make great companions to blazer outfits with Oxford shirts, and a tie or bow tie. Every man should own at least one pair of loafers, but if you are unsure which style to pick for your first, Tassel makes for a good, all-round choice. You can do anything with this style that you would with penny or Gucci loafers, but the tassel design can also bring a little alternative flair to your wardrobe. As a general rule, loafers can replace any other shoes style and compliment your look, but bear in mind that it is recommended they are worn with socks, unlike Boat Shoes.
The classic, and one of the most widely recognised styles of summer footwear, a good Boat shoe guarantees a little notice on the pitch. The short laces, rubber sole and tight stitching design has given the Boat shoe worldwide popularity. Both presentable and sophisticated, this shoe style offers the support and comfort of a trainer, without compromising on style or etiquette.
They can be made from leather or canvas, and the soft rubber sole makes them very popular amongst grooms and players; just imagine the relief a professional feels when he can ease out of his riding boots after a hard match, and slip into his boat shoes instead!
Opt for a reliable flat colour, such as brown or navy, which will suit pretty much any combination of chinos, trousers, shorts and slacks. Alternatively, boat shoes are often multi-coloured; finding a nice pair with complimenting stitching or laces can be highly rewarding, as it will highlight subtle colours in your outfit.
Remember; no socks! Boat shoes, or deck shoes, are traditionally worn without. And, try not to get too precious about keeping them in pristine condition. Just as with TOMS, you can really embrace the connection with polo culture, and allow them to get a little dirtier than you would perhaps allow loafers, or brogues.
Ah, what better way to get to the Argentine heart of polo than to wear these? The Californian company has based their designs on the Argentine alpargata, and it’s been a hit throughout the polo world, many of whom have been wearing the traditional alpargatas for years. The company founder, Blake Mycoskie, was inspired by a trip to Argentina, where he immersed himself in the Argie world- even playing polo!
Since 2006, the company has grown massively in popularity across the USA and UK, and now offers a range of beautifully crafted designs to suit all casual attire. And, if the design itself wasn’t enough motivation, the company has a wonderfully innovative scheme in place too; when Toms sells a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child in developing countries.