Boat shoes are a fun, hip choice of footwear that can be worn practically year round — spring, summer and fall. They’ve been around since the 1930s and are now available for men, women and even children. No longer regarded as a solely preppie staple in sleek navies, browns and whites, they’ve changed a lot over the years, especially for women. You can find a huge range of boat shoe styles ranging from solids and stripes to even leopard print!
Socks or No Socks?
There are few rules when it comes to making a boat shoe look good with an outfit, but there is one highly controversial topic: socks. Some people will tell you “Absolutely no way, forget about it,” while the other camp simply shrugs and says “Why not?” For the most part, we suggest that you ditch your socks when wearing boat shoes with shorts. If you like having a layer between your feet and the shoes, consider a low-cut pair that can remain hidden below the shoe’s collar. This will not only keep your feet cool in the summertime, but also prevents sweat from soaking into and smelling.
For a Nautical, Beach-Themed Look
Styling a boat shoe is easy, as it is versatile enough to be paired with many diverse ensembles. Women can play up the beachy vibe by complementing the footwear with a pair of cuffed jean shorts and a thick striped, Parisian-style cotton top. Accessorize with a large brimmed hat made of natural, woven fibers and a pair of thick-framed sunglasses. A great look for men would pair boat shoes with some khaki shorts and a polo shirt.
Styling with a Skirt or Dress
If you’re looking for something a little more feminine, don’t be afraid to wear boat shoes with a skirt or even a dress. The slip-ons will keep the overall appearance casual, so this look is ideal for shopping or other informal events. When choosing a skirt or dress, knee-length or a shorter hemline is recommended; boat shoes can look too heavy when paired with a full-length skirt.
Dressed Up with Jeans
When the weather cools, boat shoes will almost always look fantastic with a pair of jeans — especially straight-legged, so the shoe isn’t masked by the longer pant leg. For a fun, preppy look, complete your outfit with a light sweater, layered with a collared shirt underneath.
The boat shoe has been a staple footwear style for nearly a century, and provide a wide variety of wardrobe options as you incorporate this style into your repertoire. Nothing says “polished yet casual” like an attractive boat shoe, making it a must-have for every man and woman.