This year, we celebrated New Year's Eve at our golf club's dinner-dance. Most of the men in attendance made the effort to wear black tie but I was a little surprised to see few formal shoes. More accurately, I saw only two pair, and I was wearing one of them. That represented a missed opportunity for about fifty men.
Now the advantage of patent leather shoes on a dance floor is that one's feet reflect the light as they move about, and I'm in favor of anything that makes me look lighter afoot. Silk laces and maroon silk hose are complementary.
Of course, patent leather oxfords are not the only style of evening shoe. The club dance is a low key affair, and I had been wearing green velvet slippers and a green velvet smoking jacket the past couple of years. Black calf dancing pumps with black silk bows would have been equally appropriate.
But, as I wrote, instead of formal shoes I saw a sea of black calf lace-ups on New Year's Eve. There's nothing wrong with black oxfords, especially considering the alternatives (I dread the day when black Crocs appear on the dance floor), but they are a bit dull in more ways than one. A man can easily improve his black tie look by investing a modest sum in a pair of patent leather evening shoes.