It is said the truly great things in life are things one desires, not things one needs. This can be said for great Bourbon, a fast car or a luxurious smoke.
IT is further said you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes, but what about when shoes need to be 1) comfortable and 2) thoroughly decadent?
What if such a shoe need s to find itself appropriate for the opera and as at home for wearing around the house?
These shoes, potentially, can be worn with smartly cut dark jeans and a black velvet jacket to go about town and are, not anything a man truly needs, but they still manage to be the perfect gift.
Enter: The Velvet Slipper.
True, the notion of a man in a seemingly precious pair of slippers is enough to send shudders down most guy’s spines, but, alas, the velvet slipper has its place! A casual night at the local cigar-lounge, hanging by the pool in the moonlight at the Soho House or a chic evening outing, a velvet slipper can add a touch of nonchalant elegance to any man’s wardrobe.
Like anything that straddles that line between utterly and stupidly pretentious and smartly stylish and classic, it’s all about the details (and the rules that govern such details…)
Places to not wear one:
– The local Pub.
– The Office.
– The Hardware store.
Places to wear them:
– At home, chilling.
– Whilst enjoying a cigar and a Scotch.
– A brothel.
Otherwise go nuts with the following guidelines:
– Do NOT wear with casual or sports clothing.
– Do NOT wear them to walk around the town.
– Keep embroidery to a minimum… some guys like skulls on them, some want their initials (keep them simple) but keep the snobbishness to a minimum (i.e. no crowns, fleur-de-lys or ‘family shields’ – unless, of course, said wearer belongs to a proper royal household).
– Wear them well: Don’t cook in them, don’t mow the lawn in them, don’t run in them.
– The shoes are the statement- keep everything else tame.
– Wear with confidence.
The Color Protocol
– Colors Light: Light blues and yellows can be worn with slim cut, flat-front khakis or white pants, even very faded well-cut jeans. This is important, when one wears velvet slippers one must account for them, that is, the velvet slipper is the punch-line and very much a central part of the outfit, and by wearing them one is referencing a very specific European lifestyle ‘look’ therefore if you are not comfortable with this look- ditch the velvet shoes (at least in lighter colors). Otherwise, wear as you would
– Colors Dark: This is the safest bet! Black (classic), navy or hunter green. As for the first two wear them with similarly colored blazers and either dark jeans or grey trousers. Dark ‘hunter’ greens get trickier but with a similarly colored polo or a khaki suit they may look appropriate. If “less is more” was ever a stand-by, this is it.
– A Word on the “red/Burgundy” slipper: Should you be the ‘smoking jacket type’ (see our post about said smoking jacket here) in that classic shade of velvet and burgundy then by all means; but tread carefully—it is but the boldest men who can pull off this look!
In truth a great pair of velvet slippers could well be the most versatile shoe you own.
Where to find them
A small army of great suppliers feature velvet slippers; from Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren to venerable houses like Paul Davies London and John Lobb. We like Del Toro Shoes for their fantastic range and custom-options. For your first pair this is the way to go!
Enjoy (and don’t say we didn’t warn you!)…