As I am about a month into the spring semester, I am starting to feel my friends’ anxiety frantically radiating off of them like heat from a terrible sunburn. The main concern? The future, as unpredictable as the recent presidential election. As you are pouring over your resumés and having professors proofread your cover letters, you want to also starting thinking about what you are going to wear. I like to plan my outfit around the most important element of any outfit: shoes. I know, as a male my options seem limited, but you could not be more wrong. There are hundreds of options for men’s dress shoes these days. It is important to have the right shoes as it is to have the perfectly articulated resumé. Every choice that you make is an indication of who you are as a person.
The Right Choice
The Monk Strap
You can never go wrong with a rounded Oxford, but there are other more exciting options such as a monk strap dress shoe. To me, these are just the right amount of detail to add sophistication to any look. There are options for single monk strap or double monk strap dress shoe. I bought these in a medium brown, perfect to be paired with either gray or navy dress pants. You could be adventurous and choose a light blue too. (Never wear with black pants)
The Patent Leather
While some might argue that the patent leather shoe is not a professional choice, I consider these my go-to option. I have had these since my freshmen year of college, and consider these my lucky pair of shoes. They were past down to me from my dad, who wore them in the Army. They are majorly cushioned, perfect for dashing across Downtown Chicago to make it to several interviews in a single day. Comfort is a must in selecting footwear.
The Tragic Choice -Learn From My Mistakes
The Scuffed Shoes
There is nothing more than a major turn off than poorly cared for shoes. While having a nice pair of light brown Oxfords should be a staple in any man’s closet, they will not do you any favors in the condition these are in. Properly taking care of your shoes is just as important as properly taking care of your car. You wouldn’t let your tires bald down to the point of danger right? Every choice that you make, the interviewer is noticing. You don’t want his/her attention focused on your damaged footwear. A simple leather protector will help prevent long lasting damage.
The Chunky Choice
I will admit that these are a pair of shoes that I have worn to an interview. I know, what was I thinking. The truth of the matter is that they were a crisis moment purchase. I had travelled to an interview in Chicago for a fashion PR internship, and when I got off the train I realized I did not pack my proper dress shoes. I only had 30 minutes to get to the office, so I searched the closest store and grabbed a pair from what I can only describe as a CVS-Dollar Tree hybrid. During the interview, the lady commented on my shoe choice. You want to aim for footwear that looks professional. A chunky, cheap option does not say, “Fashionisto,” rather a, “Disaster.” A sleek black dress shoe should always be found in any man’s closet.
Avoid loafers or any kind of slip-on shoes. An interview is more of a formal setting. If you are unsure of the proper dress code for the company, you always want to dress up a level. So even though the company dress business casual, you should always prepare to dress business professional.
<h2> The Finishing Touches </h2>
Please remember to match your belt to your shoes. I great tip is to find a reversible belt, perfect tool to both save money and save space in the closet.