Black Tie header

With the triumphant return of black tie to red carpets everywhere over the past few awards seasons, we’re especially looking forward to the upcoming Oscars. But with the parades of grosgrain on each red carpet ever-growing, it begs the question: what makes one tuxedo different from—or better than—another? So this week we’ll be dissecting the few subtle nuances to keep an eye out for on Sunday—and to consider incorporating into your own formalwear routine.

First up: the tuxedo slipper. It’s the traditional footwear of the black-tie trads, and if you’re adventurous enough to forgo the ubiquitous patent leather lace-ups, we’ve got a few ideas for you:

Evaluating the many forms of the tuxedo slipper.

 
The Black VelvetsBlack VelvetsHere’s your tried-and-true tuxedo slipper. This one will play well with everything from your tux to your smoking jacket—which means you should choose a comfortable pair like these, straight from the Brits at Shipton & Heneage.

 
The Patent LeathersThe Patent LeathersThis one is for the new convert who still wants the formal shine that his patent leather lace-ups provided, but realizes the next-levelness of the slipper. Justin Timberlake favors these (from Tom Ford, naturally).

 
The Go-to-HellsGo-to-HellsHere’s where things start to get eccentric—the novelty embroidered tuxedo slipper. We’d reserve these for times when you’re feeling particularly bold, formal events you’re hosting at home (people still do that, right?) or a typically luxurious morning with the Sunday paper.

 
The All-TerrainsAll-TerrainsHere’s a newcomer on the scene that we’ve become fans of: the Bull + Tassel tuxedo slipper with a sturdy, gripped sole. It’s like a cross between your favorite driving loafers and formalwear. They were designed for a private club in California, where you can be sure to get away with wearing a pair of these to anything formal—or anything involving a post-soiree beach excursion.

 
The MistakesMistakesAnything beyond a little embroidery should be avoided at all costs. That means don’t even think about these metal-studded Louboutins—in fact, you should probably steer clear of any men’s slippers made by high-heel labels.

—N.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Najib Benouar