As a fashion editor and menswear enthusiast, it’s hard to ignore the fluctuations in what we all wear and how we choose to wear it. For years, we have seen a strong dominance in Italian tailoring in classic menswear. The soft construction of a jacket often associated with southern Italy in general and Naples in particular has become more than the go-to choice of bespoke aficionados. Today, it is the dominant style of jacket in all ready-to-wear menswear, and across different price points.
The reason behind the success of soft and deconstructed tailoring is probably the slow and steady emergence of a more casually dressed workplace. Businesses that historically were associated with suits and ties may today accept blazers, knitwear and open-neck shirts.
What has this got to do with British footwear? Well, my point is that despite the more casual nature of the average office in my native Scandinavia, classic British shoes are thriving. Maybe it’s the similarity in our climate to that of the UK, where the Italian Blake or Bologna constructions feel limited to the warmest summer months, or perhaps it’s the fact that British Goodyear welted shoes can be worn anywhere by anyone. Anyone!
The company’s ethos is to create shoes that are 'made to be worn', a concept that’s more important today than ever before.
Let’s say, for example, that you still work in an office that requires staff to wear suits on a daily basis. A pair of classic cap-toe Oxfords in black or dark brown are probably your wardrobe staple, but the student who might wear denim and a sweater has just as much use for the same kind of model in suede or perhaps a classic pair of cap-toe Derby boots. Seen through this lens, the variety of Crockett & Jones’s footwear is incredible, but all its different styles all share a common trait.
The company’s ethos is to create shoes that are 'made to be worn', a concept that’s more important today than ever before. With climate change one of the hottest debates in Sweden right now (pardon the pun), many people feel a clear sense of responsibility to invest in clothing that is sustainable. When it comes to footwear, Goodyear welted shoes are one of the smartest choices out there. Compared to mass produced sneakers or cemented sole shoes, the production of Goodyear welted footwear is dominated by quality materials and a rigorous construction with soles and heels that are replaceable. The result is a potential life span of 20 years or more.
Those who have had the pleasure of owning a pair of British Goodyear welted shoes for five or ten years can attest to the beauty of their natural patina. In my view, if cared for properly they will only look better after your first refurbishment and re-soling than they did when they first came out of the box. It’s a unique philosophy in today’s world of fast fashion and throwaway consumerism, and in Sweden at least, we value it. English shoes aren’t just elegant to wear, they’re ethical too.