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Shoe Complete Me

There are at least two fast ways to judge a man: by his books and by his shoes. "It’s the classic stereotype," says stylist, consultant, and former Saks Fifth Avenue menswear director Michael Macko. Unlike what a man reads on the train, his footwear is on display throughout the day—from board meeting to bathroom stall. And those shoes are always saying something, especially at the office, where these days "we’re seeing all kinds of great shoes," says Kevin Harter, director of menswear at Bloomingdale’s. Men now are able to get away with wearing a much greater variety of shoes during the workday, in materials ranging from canvas to suede—even alligator—and in styles from strap closures to slip-ons. Color, Harter adds, is one of the moment’s big trends. But before you swap out your black oxfords for a pair of yellow suede loafers, stop and consider what that might communicate about you. Better yet, have our panel of experts do it for you. In addition to Macko and Harter, Bloomberg Businessweek tapped William White, founder of the high-end shoe brand Di Bianco, and Paul Grangaard, chief executive of Wisconsin shoe manufacturer Allen Edmonds, to offer insight into your sole.
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