News & Politics

Shoe Styling Tips for Men

Nordstrom fashion director Gregg Andrews shares his shoe picks for the four looks every man wears at some point in life.

What Should I Wear With . . . ?


Brown loafer

Like this Lacoste Concours Tassel 3 Loafer, $150 at

Even dressed up, denim is a casual fabric. A slip-on loafer works with or without socks, while a golden, cognac-hued brown creates a nice contrast with blue denim and feels less dressy than black, mahogany, or oxblood.


Boat shoe

Like this Sperry Top-Sider Authentic Original Boat Shoe, $74.95 at

“Khakis are in between jeans and dress pants, and men often go too formal or too informal,” says Andrews. A boat shoe is perfect—both it and khakis are preppy basics. “It looks especially right in DC because it has an East Coast feel.”


Brown driving moccasin

Like this Prada Suede Penny Driving Shoe, $480 at

The deconstructed suede leather and hand-stitching make this casual enough to wear on a bare leg. Because socks are a no-no, choose a brown or tan shoe, which blends into your skin tone; black looks jarring.


Black patent-leather or polished-calf oxford

Like this Boss Black Mellio Plain Toe Oxford, $225 at

Look for a style that’s the very definition of elegance: a sleek silhouette with some sheen but no perforations and no more than five eyelets. “Let it be understated so it virtually disappears,” says Andrews.

What Not to Wear

To err is human. Avoiding shoe faux pas is divine. Here’s more advice from Nordstrom’s Gregg Andrews.


“Unless you live in Hawaii, anything braided or strappy or high up the foot like a fisherman’s sandal looks cheesy,” Andrews says. “If you must, go with one wide band or a simple flip-flop.”

Brightly colored leather shoes

“Attracting attention to the feet is not the smartest thing for a man to do. If you want to express your personal style, put the focus up toward your face.”


“There are a lot of comfy, stylish shoe options out there. Clogs are not one of them.”

Converse sneakers with a tux

“It seems like a desperate attempt at being nonconformist, hip, and cool. There are other ways to do that, like opting for a white dinner jacket.”