Men's shoes (and boots) were black for at least 2,000 years. The Roman senators wore them. Then, sometime after World War II, an Italian man whose name escapes me dedicated himself to popularizing brown, and he was followed by various Parisians who made shoes in every hue. Many of those were not fit for public consumption, but the fact remains that color in shoes is with us to stay. Indeed, George Glasgow of G. J. Cleverley, who was kind enough to share today's photos of a newly made pair of definitely non-black de Rede slip-ons, tells me that they sold not a single pair of bespoke black in America outside of New York City last year.
Color in shoes is another outgrowth of the breakdown (or liberalization if you must) of the old London rules of dress and, traditionalist that I am, it is difficult for me to wrap my mind around every possibility. All shades of brown are fine of course, as are cream and dark red. But though I would not hold it against you I am not quite ready to adopt midnight blue or dark green for my own wardrobe. As for purple or bright yellow, they are entirely beyond the pale. Except I guess for drivers and casual shoes of that ilk.
Réginald-Jérôme de Mans
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