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Boat Shoes Guide

Boat shoes were first designed to be worn on deck- but they’ve since walked on in to men’s everyday style. The perfect casual spring/summer shoe, they should be one of the staple shoes in your wardrobe.

The stylish cousin of the loafer

boat1Boat shoes are quite similar to loafers. They’re both an easy slip-on, casual shoe that’s still more respectable than sneakers or canvas shoes. But boat shoes are a little more modern than their more seasoned loafer. They have been a part of mainstream menswear since Sperry invented the original Top-Sider back in 1935, but they’re much more casual than many of the older shoe trends, lending boat shoes to a more contemporary look. Today, they are associated more with preppy style than with being on a boat. Boat shoes usually have rope ornamentation to give them that little extra touch of interest, but if you eschew the nautical look, there are some boat shoes without rope.

Best colors for boat shoes

Some boat shoes are in neutral colors; other come in eye-popping brights. Both can look stylish, depending on how they fit in to your personal style. The safest go-to color for a neutral yet modern look is navy blue, or navy and brown if you’re looking at getting boat shoes in more than one color.

Most exciting of all are tri-color boat shoes in a summery combination such as red, yellow and blue. Boat shoes of the tri-color variety are easier to match with outfits than you might think. If you’re wearing a green shirt with tan chinos, tri-color boat shoes in green, blue and burgundy will match perfectly. It doesn’t matter that you’re only wearing one of the colors of your shoe on the rest of your outfit- in fact, it’s ideal. You wouldn’t want to be so perfectly matched that all three colors feature on your clothing.

Some boat shoes have a print on the part of the fabric of the shoe. Sometimes this is a geometric print, in a more unfortunate example I’ve seen recently, it could also be an anchor print. Patterned boat shoes are gimmicky and the complete opposite of stylish. Avoid at all costs. If you want boat shoes that are unique and edgy, choose an atypical color combination.

In the summertime

Boat shoes are just not a winter shoe. Save them for the summertime, or as a transitional shoe in the spring. Since boat shoes work so well with shorts, they are ideal for creating an outfit that’s functional as well as sophisticated for hot summer weather.

No socks

As boat shoes are cut quite low on the foot, they look cringe-worthy when paired with socks. It’s almost as bad as wearing socks with sandals. Skip the socks altogether when wearing boat shoes- it will feel strange at first, but it will look so much better. They are a laidback shoe, but they look too stuffy with socks.

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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/


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