How to Wear Men's Shoes for Women
While most stores still classify shoes in men's and women's sections due to average sizing differences, you'll probably have noticed that some shoe styles are more common in the menswear area. Dress shoes, loafers, Oxfords, combat boots... Many women actually find them more comfortable because they are neither high-heeled nor completely flat. Plus, they can look great!
If you want to add men's shoes to your wardrobe but aren't so sure about how to style them, stay with us at OneHowTo. We've compiled a guide on how to wear men's shoes for women so that you can create the outfit that best fits your own style and occasion.
How to wear men's dress shoes
Formal men's dress shoes are usually quite plain; they only require good maintenance and polish. Of course, they are designed to be worn with two or even three-piece suits, but if worn with women's clothes they can fit a wider range of occasions.
Dress shoes will always look a bit formal; they're a great choice for a job interview, an evening party or even a wedding, depending on what you're wearing. We recommend wearing black men's dress shoes with a black blazer and wide trousers or a jumpsuit - roll them up to bare your ankles.
On the other hand, you can wear men's dress shoes in a punk or grunge-inspired outfit. Substitute the laces for bright yellow or red ones, and wear them with leather shorts and torn tights, or an exaggerated version of a men's suit. You'll look like an iconoclast rock star!
How to wear men's loafers
Loafers can be really fun to wear - they have floppy tassels! If you're looking for something to add to your repertoire this fall, choose loafers; they can be worn from casual runs to get ice cream to office meetings.
For a gentlemanly outfit, pair them with a matching, sophisticated cape. If you don't want to catch that much attention, you can wear them with skinny jeans or trousers - again, they should end above the ankle. If you decide to wear them with shorts, let them have a vintage touch.
Here you can read an entire article on how to wear loafers for women.
How to wear men's boots
Boots are often considered unisex wear, except that women have more to choose from among high-heeled or thigh-high versions. However, some kinds of boots - like biker or combat boots - tend to be associated with more typically masculine styles.
- Biker boots: This kind of boots, of course, looks casual and bold - and quite bad-ass. There are biker boots "for women", which tend to be really decorated with studs and patterns, while versions "for men" tend to be pared down. Don't be fooled - you can look amazing with any biker boots no matter your gender. We recommend wearing them with leather and silver, but you can create a softer impression with skinny jeans and a knitted jumper.
- Combat boots: The most famous combat boots are, of course, Doc Martens, which have been worn by many different youth cultures across the years. You can create a punk style by wearing them with cut-out or leather shorts, or wear a 90s grunge-inspired outfit with a lacy dress. However, combat boots can even be office-appropriate when well polished and worn with a sharp blazer.
- Chelsea boots: These boots were the 1960s mods' favorites, and it's no surprise. Their streamlined yet sturdy shape is elegant and sharp, and nowadays they come in different heights, colors and patterns. For a retro look, wear them with a short, geometrical shift dress and big sunglasses. For a more casual outfit, wear them with black leggings, a flannel shirt and a fluffy scarf. For a sophisticated touch, wear Chelsea boots in a full black-and-white outfit.
How to wear men's shoes
There are many styles of men's shoes, of course, but sometimes the differences aren't that noticeable if you are not a fashion expert. It is very common for women to wear English country style men's shoes, such as Oxfords. They are perfect for fall and winter outfits. This general classification includes:
- Derby shoes: The eyelets for the laces are in a separate piece from the rest of the shoe.
- Oxford shoes: The laces are in the same piece.
- Brogues: No matter where the laces or eyelets are, they have small holes as decoration. These perforations - called "broguing" - was originally used to drain water when walking or working in the fields.
These country shoes are often made from leather or suede. While women's shoes can be more colorful, men's shoes tend to be more limited in range, and they come from black to tan - with oxblood as a brighter exception. The toes are often square, giving this shoes a simple and sturdy vibe. They are the least plain of all men's shoes, since they often have wingtips and can come in two different colors.
Make the most of their cozy, whimsical British vibe by wearing brogues, Derby or Oxford shoes with light floral patterns. Go for a college-inspired look, with a white flouncy blouse and round glasses or a floppy hat. The lines should be soft and curved, and your ankles should be bare. The outfit will look better if the hemline is above the knee, but wide legged trousers have a very nice retro flair to them.
Do you know how to match men's shoes with clothes? If the shoes are brown, avoid wearing black and light grays or blues; you will look great in green, khaki, white and deep reds or purples. The general rule for formal men's wear is that the shoes should be darker than the suit, but lighter colors - like tan - will make your legs look longer. It's up to you!
For a bolder, sharper look, wear black men's Oxfords with a Harrington jacket and a cocktail dress in your favorite sweater tone. For a schoolgirl-inspired look, go for plaid or checked skirts and a white blouse. Let the shoes be the centerpiece of your outfit and don't wear very loud patterns. These are perfect all-year-round outfits!
Some popular men's shoes for the summer are boat shoes and espadrilles, that are supposed to be worn without any socks. Your look should be natural and casual, with cotton or linen clothes. Denim or jumpsuits will look fantastic; if you choose to wear a dress, make it informal.
These are our ideas on how to wear men's shoes for women; if you have any tips for stylish outfits with boots, loafers or any other kind of men's footwear, tell us in the comments section.
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