There is no telling where the current rush towards color in men's shoes will end up but, curmudgeon that I am, I was conflicted by the display in Edward Green's shop in London earlier this Fall. The two patent leather designs on the bottom shelf struck me as entirely inappropriate for evening, one because it is a blucher and the other a perversion of a shoe meant for day wear. The two pair on the top shelf though are something else. One is a classic pump and nothing wrong with that. The other, the pump with a red bow and red trim, is more interesting. On the one hand I could classify it as another sign of a man who does not know any better but wants to be different (red bow ties come to mind), but then again the shoes themselves look pretty good and though they may not have been seen before I am not aware of any rules against them. Indeed, men have been wearing colored velvet slippers with black tie since the whole thing started.
Regular readers will have heard me rail against color in black tie, with the exceptions being dress sets, socks and pocket squares. And though white tie has not gotten more varied as it has died out, the insistence of Hollywood stylists on untraditional black tie accessories seems to have broken down some sort of barrier. Men are taking on peacock touches formerly reserved for the ladies, and that is how I look at those pumps. If the wearer is a publicity seeking male he might wear them without my blessings but years ago I knew a woman who wore black tie and a top hat around New York in the evenings and she would have looked great in them.