The weather is changing. I am not referring to climate change but the cyclical changes in the seasons. The northern hemisphere is beginning to turn a little warmer with summer looming and the extreme heat in the southern hemisphere (especially in Australia) is cooling. Spring and Autumn are typically the time for weddings. ‘Love is in the air’ and the weather is a little more predictable and much more pleasant than the extremes of summer and winter.
Have you ever wondered about the etymology of the white dress and black dinner suit that have been de rigueur for weddings for almost two centuries?
As has often been the case with style cues, both the white wedding dress and the black dinner suit have their beginnings with the Royal Family.
Queen Victoria wore a white wedding dress when she married in 1840 and it subsequently became popular and a tradition was created. The black dinner suit has its beginnings with the Prince of Wales in the mid 1800’s. The Prince was later to become King Edward VII.
The black wedding suit was always paired with black shoes and the safest option was often the venerable ‘black oxfords, not ‘brogues’. This is probably one of the most popular styles of shoe and is a must in every man’s wardrobe. It is a style that is timeless and elegant, fitting for a Prince at a royal wedding and even James Bond as he is saving the world from disaster and anarchy. If you are a prince or a ‘spy who loves’ the black oxford not brogues, you can’t go passed the Herring Knightsbridge or Charles II. Both are exquisite examples of the black oxford not brogues. The Churchill has a contemporary chilled toe whereas the Knightsbridge a more classic almond toe.
As beautiful as the ‘black oxfords, not brogues’ is, is it the only option for a wedding, today? The answer is an emphatic, no. The reason for this is black oxfords are a classic styled shoe and quite formal, weddings today are more eclectic and relaxed than in the past. Black suits, white dresses, black shoes are no longer de rigueur for weddings. They can be but they don’t have to be.
Whilst the wedding day is still an auspicious event in a couple’s life and there are many months and sometimes years of planning, couples today have more freedom to create a unique and individual day that expresses who they are. Weddings in gardens, on a beach or a tropical paradise are now becoming more popular. As a consequence, the black dinner suit and black shoes for the groom is no longer de rigueur.
Weddings always stop traffic and a few weeks ago, I saw a wedding party posing for their wedding photos. To be honest, I can’t remember what the bride or bridesmaids were wearing, but the guys looked smashing. Being summer in Australia, the weather was warm but thankfully not too hot and the guys nailed it with mid blue window pane and checked 3 piece suits and navy monks with an Oxford cap. If that is your fancy, you can’t go wrong with the Herring Cadaresa in navy. Would the ‘black oxfords not brogues’ have worked on the day? The answer is yes, but on that day, ‘navy Oxford monks, not brogues’ was coined. It was a great day for classic self-expression.
The point is, that we longer have to be tied to tradition, we have so many options to express and depict who we are. And, in my opinion the wedding day is always a day when your individuality needs to be expressed. For instance, if you are wearing a navy or grey suit for your wedding day, consider that vast array of options available like, the Chamberlain in mahogany, the Henry II in chestnut or the elegant Eden II. And if you really want to make a statement the Philip II single monk is fabulous, as is the Orwell. All the styles I have mentioned are timeless, elegant and offer a little bit of panache and flair.
On the other hand, if your outfit is a little more relaxed, whilst the styles I have mentioned are still terrific options, you may want to consider something a little more contemporary and adventurous. How about the Chaucer wholecuts in rosewood or tan. Wholecuts are beautiful and given that they are made from one piece of leather, they require a craftsman with the highest of skill and flawless leather to be constructed. The Chaucer colours are very contemporary and would accent a relaxed ensemble perfectly.
There are other styles that I will quickly mention that are also good choices to consider, like some of the boot options, such as the Thatcher Chelsea or the Milton Jodphur boot and the three Blamoral Laverton II options.
In short, the message is to explore the many options that are available and to consider a pair of wonderful shoes that expresses your personality and compliments the bride’s and the rest of the bridal party’s outfits.
Be daring … be dashing.