Working during the summer offers us gents the opportunity to simplify our wardrobes. The hotter it gets, the less elements there are to think about, which means that every piece you wear really gets its chance to shine. The good news is, when it comes down to it, you only really need to consider one critical element, your shoes.

You heard it here first: your shoes are the most important part of your outfit, always. And nothing looks goofier than wearing clunky, thick black shoes to work in the middle of July.

Here are five office-appropriate footwear alternatives to your tradition work shoes that are sure to be great investments. Like everything we recommend, utility is the name of the game. With some creative styling, any of these shoes can and should be paired with t-shirts, chinos, jeans, blazers and suits.


FOR THE DAILY GRIND
Buc Wild
You can never, ever, go wrong with a pair of suede bucs from a classic brand like Bass. With one pair of shoes, you can play the part of off duty stoner English professor, chic throwback bohemian or weekending power broker. That’s a lot of look for the buc (buck?) ! Pair them with white jeans for a 60’s-spiced mod look, or olive chinos for a cool neo-prep vibe.


FOR SUMMER WEDDINGS
Swag And Marriage
Chances are, you or your special someone are going to be invited (dragged?) to a summer wedding this year. Be the best dressed dude on the dancefloor by investing in a pair of elegant cap toe oxfords in a summery color like caramel or walnut. Lighter colors pair perfectly with breezy summer weight suits and also look killer with cuffed chinos and a barely buttoned button down.


FOR SLICK PRESENTATIONS
Dream Weavers
Woven shoes can add just the right touch of dandyish pizazz to your office wardrobe. Rock these to work and everyone will assume you are either coming from or going to someplace very elegant and cosmopolitan. Another selling point? Their semi-open, woven texture will keep your feet looking, and more importantly, feeling, very cool indeed.

FOR WORK AND PLAY
Retro Kicks
It’s (mostly) ok to wear sneakers to work, so long as it’s very obvious that your dogs are for ballin’ and not balling, you feel us? Fortunately, thanks to an amazing selection of re-issued classic kicks from the 80s and 90s, you can dress the part of Agassi or Barkley without breaking a sweat. And when in doubt, you can never go wrong with Air Max 1s, the greatest sports lifestyle sneaks of all time.


FOR CHIC LOUNGING
Penny Party
Penny Loafers have come a long way since the days of you and your moms hitting up the local Tom McCan store to find decent shoes for the school assembly. Nowadays, lots of brands are keeping the shoe’s iconic silhouette, but upgrading every other detail, like crafting them from materials like rich spazzolato (google it) Italian leather and luxe suede. These look great with everything from suits to t-shirts, so invest in the best and nail the high/low thing like a true pro.


FOR A WORK TRIP
Laid Back Suedes
We get it. You are heading someplace sunny and need something dressier than a canvas sneaker and less fussy than loafer. Luxe low top suede sneaks, like these super stylish joints from upstart footwear brand Aprix, perfectly split the difference between casual friday and elegant vacationing. Packing for a trip that blends business and beach? Grab these and look the part no matter where your jaunt takes you.
FOR A CASUALLY COOL TIME
Boot It
When all your work shoes are feeling a little snoozy, you could explore rocking a desert boot. In an earth tone like sand or light wheat, these guys come off super polished and clean (even when they are a bit scuffed up), qualities that go over very well in a professional environment. Pair them with a striped shirt and white chinos for classic bohemian look, or dress them up with a blue blazer and blue jeans. Perfection.