What I love about Summer is the rise in people breaking out their spectator shoes. Those two-tone shoe styles often lay dormant pretty much the rest of the year (unless you live in Florida). All of a sudden the sun comes out and there are garden parties, derbies, outside weddings, and the like, people then want to show their skills. They start getting a lot more colorful and playful in their outfits. I love that! As you do not catch these people in the street that often, I love the rise in shoe brands showing what they have made for their clients, on IG and the like.
It used to be that the two-tone brogued oxford was a staple piece in any man’s collection, at least in the US circa the 1930s-1940s. Then it went super conservative, think the Mad Men era, and after that the free-loving 60s where all dress styles went up in flames. Now, maybe I am subjective, but feel that even though the majority of men just want that cushioned-sole-comfort, there is a rise in people ‘dressing up’. I have been seeing younger guys in their 20s not dressed like your typical +20 year old and I always find myself surprisingly dumbfounded when I catch it.
It makes me question the rise in social media: Is it helping or hurting? I can’t tell.
Your classic spectator will have either a white calf or suede and/or some sort of light canvas. And traditionally speaking it would be on a full brogue. But I love the modern adaptations of the spectator and how you find them now in unique color combinations and on loafers, with a white vamp on an apron style. And I believe that the push towards making them more than just the traditional idea is what will help grow their prevalence in men’s wardrobes.
I personally love how I feel when I wear a spectator. Naturally, they scream attention, but that is not what I like about them. I know that when I do wear one, I am dressing my best and I often feel good when I dress my best. I never feel great when I am just in my jeans. I feel physically great, but not mentally. When I know that I tried my best in my outfit, and therefore know that I am looking stylish, I feel great. You cannot half-ass it with spectators. You really need to go the whole shebang to do it right!
That is why I love them and am happy that it is spectator shoe season. Are you spectator ready?!
See here a couple of my favorites as of late.