Whenever I put on my trusty boat shoes, I am instantly transported back to holidays on Summers gone by. In fact, there’s often some remaining sand nestling around the toes that further adds to that nostalgia.
With this Summer playing a little differently, boat shoes have instead become a reliable sidekick to my countryside walks. It’s not quite Kefalonia, but there are rugged parts of the Cotswolds countryside that get me reminiscing of warm sunset boat trips around the Greek coastline with my family. Looking back at these happy times has definitely got me feeling extremely grateful for all the amazing trips abroad I had last year and it only serves to highlight that we should all learn to appreciate the smaller moments in life.
Now obviously, the best thing about getting dressed this time of year is not having to think too hard about what you’re putting on. But, if you want to look good, you can’t throw away the rules completely. And no item of clothing illustrates this idea more than Summer iconic boat shoe. Too little consideration for how you’re wearing them and you might look like a guy who just got kicked off his Uni campus. (If you’re over 30, that’s an especially unfortunate look.)
The best way to wear them? Lean into their preppy vibes. Boat shoes will never be badass, so wearing them with a leather jacket isn’t your best bet. Keep that in mind, and observe a few other simple rules and you can basically go on auto-pilot for the rest of the Summer.
Unlike driving shoes, which come in a range of bright colours, I tend to think boat shoes look best when they’re simply luxurious versions of the age old classic, much like this newly launched collection from Russell & Bromley and Sebago. Think: Neutral leather, moccasin-style upper with rugged laces and a slip-proof rubber sole. When it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The boat shoe is a preppy staple, so it’ll feel at home with chinos and polo shirts. Perfectly fine, but never with jeans. The objective is to look like JFK and not your average student. It never hurts to keep it simple, particularly this Summer.
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