Ladies, Your Man Only Needs 7 Dress Shoes—Here Are The Ones He'd Love To Have
Ladies, we get you. Finding the perfect Valentine's gift for your man can be tricky—what more looking for a pair of shoes that’s sure to win his seal of approval? But hear us out. When in doubt, consider dress shoes. Stylish and practical, these leather picks are the perfect wardrobe investments for the man who wants to create a good, lasting impression among business partners, investors, colleagues, and even friends.
To make shopping easier for you, we've compiled the seven essential pairs of dress shoes every man must own. Whether you're gifting these for Valentine's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, or even for his birthday, these classic picks are every man’s definitive must-haves.
Classic Black Oxfords
Let’s start from the basics: a black pair of Oxfords is the gentleman’s version of a woman's little black dress. Its defining characteristic is its streamlined, enclosed lacing system. Timeless and elegant, a pair of oxfords is exclusively formal footwear, reserved for the most important occasions: black-tie events, formal dinners, business meetings, and even funerals.
Classic black oxfords from R.E. Craftsman
Less formal than oxfords, derby shoes are the perfect everyday footwear of choice. Contrary to oxfords, the latter features an open lacing system for a more relaxed look (notice the lacing flaps sewn on the upper part). Derbies are appropriate for almost all occasions: formal events, smart casual parties, and even for weekend leisure. Just as your man can wear derby shoes with suits and trousers, he can also sport these with jeans and casual chinos. The best of both worlds!
Derby shoes from Pedro Shoes
Brogues are dress shoes, typically oxfords and derbies, with decorative perforations. They were traditionally considered to be outdoor shoes—the perforations allowed water to drain through the shoes. But today, its unique design is now purely decorative, and it is now acceptable to wear brogues to semi-formal occasions.
If you're looking for the perfect semi-formal and smart casual footwear to give your partner, brogues are the way to go. These versatile picks can dapper up your man’s look—whether he’s dressed in jeans or even two-piece suits.
Brogues from Marquina Shoemaker
Brogues from Sapatero Manila
Double Monk Straps
The versatile double monk straps can be worn in business casual to casual settings. If your man is looking for alternatives to brogues and derbies, double monk straps are the way to go. These standout pieces can be worn two ways: with socks or without, depending on the dress code.
Double monks from The Signet Store
Brogue Double Monk Straps from Cole Haan
Ideal in warm weather, loafers are an outdoor wedding-favorite. These comfortable, laceless picks are perfect for everyday use—your man can wear these with shorts, jeans, chinos, and even linen suits. Usually worn sans socks, these versatile shoes can easily add a dash of smart casual touch to any basic outfit.
Loafers from Felipe and Sons
Loafers from The Signet Store
Help your man elevate his everyday casual look with these classic ankle-high boots. Deriving its name from the seven-minute period of the game polo, Chukka boots are ideal for casual to smart casual occasions. Ask your man to wear these with his favorite pair of jeans, and you’ll be surprised with how much a difference these can make.
Chukka boots from The Signet Store
Chukka boots from R.E. Craftsman
Completing the the list of essential dress shoes for men are the classic Chelsea boots. Featuring an androgynous silhouette (chelsea boots are favored both by men and women), these shoes are a fuss-free yet sophisticated pick that can upgrade any smart casual ensemble.
Chelsea boots from Topman
Chelsea boots from Kenneth Cole
Lead photos from @davidguison, @erwan, and @jerichorosalesofficial