Recently, a friend asked that I give him some advice regarding clothing. He usually dresses pretty casually, but wants to start expanding his wardrobe a bit.
This isn’t the first time someone has asked me about clothing. I’ve had people ask me about what gifts to give their male partners or friends. One good friend asked me to help him pick out a suit for a wedding. As someone who is interested in clothing, I’m happy to do so.
The truth is, the language around clothing can be pretty daunting. For example, here are a list of words associated with men’s shoes:
Balmoral, blucher, broguing, cap toe, cordovan, derby, driver, last, medallion, monk strap, oxford, straight bar lacing, vamp, and wholecut.
(This list isn’t exhaustive, and doesn’t cover some of the more esoteric words, like spectator, winklepicker, and brothel creeper).
There’s no secret knowledge associated with these words. There’s no hidden arcana of footwear that is only accessible for a few. But for those unfamiliar with shoes, the foreign vocabulary can make it intimidating to step foot into this space.
I’ve chosen to learn this language, partly by choice and partly as a necessity for my profession. And I’m always happy to help those who are trying to learn the language and change their look.
So if you’re confused about clothing, that’s OK! Clothing is weird, and I’m still learning too. I’m always happy to help explain what I’ve learned, and I hope that it is useful.