England vs Italy.
No, it’s not a football game. This is about their very different styles. For decades, a gentlemen had to choose which he wanted to follow. The British school is all about rules and codes that are very established. The Italian school is more about freedom, seduction and comfort. This is also the case for shoes.
For example, nowadays we can see a lot of men wearing their loafers without socks or with invisible socks. This is a typically Italian look that, for a British gentleman, is highly unorthodox, and constitutes sacrilege! In the British view a gentleman must not show his hairy ankles and I agree. Wearing formal or business attire can inspire a â€œstyle savingâ€ restraint. This helps you to appreciate that you do not only wear clothes and shoes for yourself, but in a large measure as a way to communicate about yourself, to help other people understand you.
So British is best? No.
It can be very “coolâ€ to rock your nice tassels and even monk shoes with more casual combinations. It says to the world: “hey, I’m a gentleman but I’m not that obsessed by myself. Iâ€™m open, Iâ€™m alive, Iâ€™m dynamicâ€. Italian style takes the essence of British style, the best of it, then modifies and softens it. They learnt the rules so they could break them.
So Italian is best? No.
You can like both schools as I do. Elegance is all about balance, not rules. First and foremost it is about knowing what flatters you and how you feel about what you are wearing. Which style you find most suitable can vary depending on your emotions, your social life and your work.
Thankfully our world is not as small as it used to be. Our tastes and inspirations have been evolving as influences from around the world inspire us. Good taste can be found in Asia, America, Africa, anywhere. But don’t forget gentlewomen and gentlemen, classic style is timeless, secure and understated but should never be boring at all.
So gentlemen, it is a draw, Italy 1- England 1 and we are all winners.
Shoes speak louder than words,