Thursday, July 5, 2012
Clothes conscious men tend to wear either boat shoes or drivers on informal occasions where slip-on Norwegians will be too much. Each shoe, or moc in the latter case, has its unique place of course. Boat shoes are for pairing with denim - heavier and better constructed, which makes them infinitely more practical for any form of activity other than driving and shopping. Drivers on the other hand are significantly lighter in construction, which makes them more comfortable for running errands as well as somewhat more formal and a better mate for linen trousers. The surprising thing is that both shoes have non-functional laces that exist only for decoration and that goes against the attitudes towards dress shoes with tassels which, in my experience, tend to divide men into two camps: adherents pay them no mind and their opposites hold them to be some sort of affront to manliness.
If I were to hazard a guess, and that is my intent, I would say that the negativity towards shoe tassels and bows stems from the traditional male dislike for excessive decoration. Non-functional laces certainly fall into that category, at least as opposed to trainers and other athletic shoes where the laces have actual function. But, away from the track or the courts, trainers have their own image problems, and those are likely to continue until polyester track suits are more broadly accepted as day wear. Which leaves me wondering why there is not some undecorated casual shoe that falls in between those two extremes. But for summer the choice seems only tassels and bows.