Men's Style: Leave The Ship in the Harbor

Here’s an activity for you gentlemen. Look down at your shoes. Done? Good.  Did you see anything down there that would suggest some sort of sailing activity?  If yes, then bad.

Sorry guys, but unless you’re on a boat, leave the boat shoes at home. I know that you might be thinking: Beau they are comfortable, where I’m from everyone wears them, they are cool! My response is simply so what, who cares, and with a suit you just look like an idiot. 
The last image you want to come across at work is that you’re some Nantucket bred trust fund baby who doesn’t really need this job. God forbid you wear these things without socks. This is work boys, you have a tie on, even in recess, put some socks on. You don’t believe me? Fine, pick up any fashion magazine, you don’t have to read this blog. Have you ever seen an ad for a man in a suit — not a white linen suit without a tie worn by some prima donna in the Mediterranean — while he was wearing boat shoes? It’s just lazy. 
Never fear, I’m hear to help. You don’t want to lace up in the morning? No problem, just stay away from the boat shoes. And unless you want to look like your grandfather, let’s lump those penny loafers in here too. Here are some stylish, professional, and easy to wear shoes for those of you who don’t like to lace up every day.

Johnston & Murphy Philmer Moc (Zappos, $150)

Steve Madden Virage (Zappos, $85)

Girogio Brutini Slip-On (Zappos, $59)

Beau is a Capitol Hill staffer with a fabulous sense of fashion who would never think of wearing boat shoes to work.  His column, Men’s Style (working title), appears here every week.  If you have a question for Beau, please send it to capitolhillstyle (at) gmail (dot) com.


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  1. Leg. Ass. says:

    I think most boat shoes look bad with socks. And look at this picture from the Sartorial
    Looks good to me.

    December 16, 2009/Reply
  2. Julie says:

    What is your take on boat shoes in casual attire on the weekends (i.e., khakis and a polo, perhaps), but not on a boat? I have never thought anything was wrong with that…. but I agree that they are a big wrong paired with a suit.

    December 16, 2009/Reply
  3. WashingtonMen says:

    Yeah, Beau is an idiot! No wonder men in DC are clueless when it comes to style, they are listening to idiots like this. Certain boat shoes can definitely find their way with certain suits. Men should start experimenting more with suit textures to find out.
    Plus, going sockless is the newest trend. Tons of magazines have men without socks while wearing suits. GQ’s pages are full of it. They have tons of boat shoes in their pages as well. And wearing socks with boat shoes is ridiculous and looks horrible. Only old, retired men do stuff like that. Im through with this Beau crap.

    December 16, 2009/Reply
  4. Hmm... says:

    …said the man wearing boat shoes in December.

    December 16, 2009/Reply
  5. DC says:

    December 17, 2009/Reply
  6. Allison says:

    Hey now, no need for name calling WashintonMen guy. I love Sperry’s, I do think that are great for non-boat things like warm weekends in the summer, but definitely not with suits. Boat shoes make your suit look cheap, and like you are a frat boy who doesn’t know how to dress himself. Update to adult shoes with your suits, there are so many well made shoes for men out there! I’ve got to agree with Leg. Ass. boat shoes would look rediculous with socks, but I don’t think that’s Belle’s point. I think the point is, where nice shoes with a suit. (I like the sans socks satorialist shots, but I can’t help but think how sticky their feet must be in there…ew. Boat shoes are breathable enough to not need socks.)

    December 17, 2009/Reply