by Aspect County

Best Foot Forward

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. 

She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.”

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The answer surely is to get another shoe, because we all know that a good pair of shoes can take you far! John Lambert, of the new gentleman’s boutique Suits Shoes Sir in Sevenoaks, shares his knowledge on some of the most desirable styles of footwear for men. With a change of season, he also offers us tips on how to care for our shoes in wet and cold weather.

A traditional welted shoe with a punched effect upper. Derived from the old Gaelic word bróg’, meaning shoe’ the brogue was once a very basic shoe worn by wayfarers who had to cross boggy terrain. What were then, fully perforated holes to allow the water from the bog to drain, are now decorative punched holes characteristic of the refined and stylish shoes for both men and women.

At the other end of the scale are moccasins. Lightweight in construction, these heelless shoes made of exceptionally soft leather encompass the foot in a single piece of leather gathered and stitched together at the top to meet the apron front. The classic moccasin makes for the perfect choice of cosy, winter footwear.

A dapper must-have for the modern man. These slip-on shoes with a strap usually sewn across the upper are traditionally made in suede although available in tanned leather. Slip your feet into a pair of loafers to complete the look of a sophisticated ensemble.

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Lace ups
A classic apron front, a toe cap or a short or long wing brogue can all constitute to a lace up shoe. With either a Derby front, where the tabs’ which the laces pass through are not restricted at the bottom, or an Oxford which is where the tabs are stitched down at the bottom to the apron front.

* Shoe fact – the end of a shoelace is called an Aglet.

Sole construction and finish can vary greatly, the most traditional would be a leather Goodyear welt (yes, from the people who brought you tyres!). This is where a strip of leather is stitched to the edge of the upper and the sole is then attached to the strip (the welt). Other materials can be used for soles such as vibram, rubber or crêpe.

* Shoe fact – the thickness of a leather sole is measured in irons; one iron is equivalent to 1/48th of an inch.

Shoe care
In order to maintain the life of your shoes a little care and attention must be given to keep them looking tip-top. It is important to look after your shoes, whatever the style or material. Dirt and grit should be removed with a soft cloth or brush, and a cream or wax should be applied to tanned leather to safeguard against the damaging effects of water, mud, snow, and ice. When it comes to suede shoes, a rubber or brass suede brush should be used, and further protection can be given with a Scotchgard™ spray, or similar, to help maintain a stain-free, water repellent, finish.

Suits Shoes Sir
Suits Shoes Sir, men’s shoes and personal tailoring, offer the ETCH Personal Tailoring Service for both formal and casual suiting, you can expect a tailormade fit with a personal touch, achieved at a fraction of the cost of a bespoke suit. With a variety of fabrics and a wide choice of lining and buttons you can create the desired finish and personalise your garment(s) right down to the colour of the stitching. A monogram, unique embroidery under the collar, or in the jacket, can give you the ultimate styling to match your personality and the occasion. With the festive season just over the horizon this service allows you to create the perfect two- or three-piece suit, an individual jacket and/or trousers to match, for delivery in approximately five weeks. 

SUITS SHOES SIR, 48 London Road, Sevenoaks. Kent TN13 1AS

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