At Crockett & Jones HQ, we’re feeling upbeat about January. Naturally, it’s a tricky time of year; it’s grey outside, rather chilly and the peacefulness (for those without children) of the Christmas break feels like an age ago already. But, there are some upsides. The days are getting longer, New Year’s resolutions bring with them the chance to cut some long-held bad habits and it’s also the perfect time of year to sharpen up your working wardrobe (any excuse for a stroll down Jermyn Street, eh?)
For the vast majority of professionals, black calf footwear is de rigeur for the office, but to lump all business shoes together into one homogenous mass is to do them a disservice. Different styles will change the impression of your tailoring – albeit subtly – and choosing one style over another will also help to express something of your personality, even within the constraints of a formal dress code. Yes, we should all own a trusty pair of cap Oxfords, but there are other 'suit(able)' options...
First up, we have the quintessential choice. Our Hallam toe-cap Oxford shoes are as smart and yet as understated as can be, lasted on the crowd-pleasing 348 last with chiselled toes that lend the Hallam a well-balanced silhouette. Moreover, shoes as timeless as these can afford to be paired to with a suit that makes something of a statement. We’ve chosen to opt for classic black and white Prince-of-Wales check trousers from Kit Blake London, finished with healthy two-inch turn-ups (a measure of choice). Subtly textured cotton socks by Pantherella pick out the navy in the trousers’ check, and add a little extra visual interest.
Next, we have an ever-so-slightly less fussy option, Sydney in Black Calf. Historically, loafers have always been considered the most relaxed kind of dress shoe, thanks to the lack of lacing and their ‘sporty’ credentials (we mean sporty in an old-school, tweedy kind of way), and in polished black calf our Sydney loafers are perfect for business-casual offices. Again, their unfussy silhouette helps them to sit comfortably beneath a suit or separates, and these charcoal fresco trousers have a fine texture that compliments the smooth black aniline calf. Fine burgundy ribbed socks (also from Pantherella) add a touch of colour to dark shoes and trousers, but remain relatively sober. Note that we offer the Sydney in no less than seven different leather and sole variations, including an unlined version (Teign) for the summer months.
Last, but by no means least, we have an option for snappy dressers. Lowndes is a double monk shoe styled with silver buckles and a straight toe-cap, on the same last as the Hallam: the 348. Its angled straps and sleek looks lend the Lowndes a rakish air, which again ensures that they’ll set off a well-cut pair of strides. Here, we’ve styled the Lowndes with a twist on the classic navy business suit. This navy worsted wool trouser from British tailor, Chester Barrie, features a soft steel blue windowpane check – a suitably polished match for an effortlessly stylish pair of business shoes.
Of course, there’s one other commonality that binds these three pairs together. Each is shod with our City Rubber Soles. These are a relatively recent Crockett & Jones innovation that is exclusively ours; discreet and practical rubber soles with the profile and appearance of classic welted leather sole. Lightweight, shock-absorbent, good in the rain and every bit as long lasting as the regular Dainite sole, City Sole shoes are perfect for all-day workwear. They are particularly appropriate for regular commuters, for whom a seat on the train and a dry platform are not always guaranteed.
That fine balance between discreet looks, our usual high-quality construction and practical design is what sets Crockett & Jones’s formal shoes apart. These three pairs mean business, and whichever you choose they will make for the perfect way to put your best foot forward as you return to work this year.