As I discuss in Straight Talk for Success. Successful people create positive personal impact. You create positive personal impact by: 1) building and nurturing your personal brand; 2) dressing for success; and 3) knowing and using the basic rules of etiquette.
I saw an interesting on line article the other day, “15 Style Mistakes You Can Fix Now” by Craig Playstead. I really liked what he had to say about feet and shoes.
- Match your belt and shoes. If you’re wearing black shoes, put on a black belt. And brown shoes demand a brown belt. A good general rule is to never mix the color of your leathers.
- Pay attention to your shoes. You could be wearing $100 jeans with a sharp-looking shirt, but you’ll still embarrass your wife or girlfriend with those old loafers that should have been pitched in the 1990s. Buy quality shoes that look smart and stylish. Remember, people check out shoes. Potential employers often will look at them to judge a candidate’s attention to detail. Good rule of thumb: Spend your money on shoes, not shirts and pants. Also, match your socks to your shoes (very easy) or at least make sure they are a nice "bridge" from the shoes to the pants. Save the tube socks for the gym and lounging on weekends.
- No socks with sandals. And if you do wear open-toed sandals, keep your feet groomed. Have you even looked down there since last summer? Trust us on this one.
This is great common sense advice about footwear. The most important piece of advice, however, is to keep your shoes looking good. Shine them regularly.
I buy my shoes at Brooks Brothers. I have two pairs that are twenty years old. They have been shined repeatedly and refurbished twice – and they’re beautiful. I get compliments on them all the time.
After I mentioned the importance of being well groomed in a post last week, I received an e mail from the folks at Kimberly Clark who have a new shoe shine product called “Shine To Go”. They are going to send me some samples. I will try them out and keep you posted.
The common sense point here is simple. Shoes make the man – or woman. If you want to be seen as someone who dresses well, you need to take care of your shoes. I suggest that you buy the most expensive shoes you can afford and shine them regularly. I have found that old shoes take a shine better than new ones. When you are traveling for business, use the shoe shine products you’ll find in most hotels. Failing that, wipe down your shoes with some facial or toilet tissue, especially on rainy or snowy days. Well kept shoes are the sign of someone who cares about his or her appearance.
That’s my take on the importance of maintaining your shoes? What’s yours? Please leave a comment telling us about your favorite shoes and how you take care of them. I appreciate all of your comments. Thanks for reading – and writing.