Lace-up boots are staging a comeback in the men's aisle.
Oxfords are a good solid pair you can wear with any suit. Ditto for casual driving loafers that you can wear with jeans. And everyone should have a pair of white leather sneakers that you can wear for exercise or weekend socializing.
Once you've already supplied yourself with these essentials, though, a pair of lace-up boots can be an inexpensive, useful and versatile addition to your wardrobe. A pair of fine leather boots blurs the line between corporate and casual. It can inject a mega-dose of affordable style into an otherwise plain vanilla wardrobe.
In Pictures: Fall Shoes For Men You really can't go wrong, for example, with a pair of Paris boot maker John Lobb's Brooklands--lace-ups hand-finished with a plain vamp. They have a beveled waist and are available in no less than 13 color and skin combinations, from sea green suede to chestnut calf.
These boots can be custom-made, or, you can purchase them ready-to-wear at Lobb's Madison Avenue boutique for $1,500.
Too pricey? There are many good but less-expensive boots to choose from.
Consider Marc by Marc Jacobs' spectator lace-up . The designer may have made roughed up-grunge cool with combat boots in the early '90s, but this time around, his look is much more refined, created with Italian leather and available in black and cognac, with a burnished finish.
If you like to play with color--but safely-- Paul Smith's Page boot pairs Cuba Nero black leather with navy blue laces--once considered a fashion faux pas--to add a slight quirkiness to the look. Pair with your standard navy blue suit.
More casual offices will welcome these Buttero work boots . Great with a pair of well-worn jeans, or fall-friendly corduroys, these leather lace-ups hit high on the ankle, supported by a sturdy rubber/leather heel.
No matter what the cost of your lace-ups, follow Manhattan designer and style expert, Erika Chloe's advice when it comes wearing them. Chloe has plenty of style experience. She's been custom-fitting her E.C Stitch line of shirts to clients for 6 years.
"Lace-up boots can be worn for a more casual look paired with jeans, khakis or a long trench coat," she says. "For a business casual look, try the wingtip boots combined with a button down oxford and sport jacket."