Mr. Beautiful Shoes feat. Bill White
April 27th, 2011
I thought I knew a lot about men’s shoes, and then I met Bill White of Scarpe di Bianco.
Bill, a refined gentleman, fellow Canadian and all-around great guy has been manufacturing handmade luxury footwear outside of Naples since 2009 and already has some of the finest shoes on the market.
The best part is, if you visit his NYC showroom you can design your own custom pair by choosing from over 50 leather/suede/exotic swatches and combining any of the details found on the 60+ pairs on display (broguing styles, medallions, burnishing gradients, sole compositions, welt constructions, fabric blocking etc).
I am officially addicted and in the process of designing my 7th pair. Although nobody, of course, has a larger collection than Bill himself.
So we followed him for a week last month to get a taste of what a real shoeman has on his feet.
“Texture in Context. These loafers in finely stamped calf skin are a perfect example of how pebble grain is not only for old-school advocates, but can be brought up-to-date with a little help from a lighter tone contrasted with dark burnishing on the toes.”
Bonus Tip: A monochramatic look always let’s you draw a little attention to some rich footwear.
Bonus Tip II: Grey & brown, as I’ve been preaching. I think we’ve established that charcoal and chocolate works (and is relatively easy), here Bill takes it up another level with light heather and cognac.
- Grey flannel down coat by Moorer
- Medium brown loafers by Scarpe di Bianco
- Grey v-neck sweater by d’Avenza
- White dress shirt by d’Avenza
- Grey suit trousers by d’Avenza
“To Suede or Not to Suede? I like to follow in the footsteps of the Prince of Wales who was first seen sporting a pair of suede (also called reverse calf) shoes to an International Polo match in the USA in 1924. Although he gave up the throne for a divorcee with a checkered reputation, he is still renowned for having been an extremely dapper dresser.”
Bonus Tip: As you’ve heard me say before, brown suits are underrated, versatile, and neutral – not to mention a great way to stand out from the usual crowd of blue and grey. Make it flannel and throw some chalkstripes on it? Now that’s a bossy suit!
Bonus Tip II: Leave the skinny ties and tiny lapels for the hipsters and kids, a refined man looks more appropriate in substantial proportions (not a rule just a guideline, as always). As Bill jokes: “The more money you make, the fatter your tie, haha…Eh?”
“There will be Blood. This loafer with heavy broguing has a strong profile, even more so in burnished Anima or ““Blood” in Italian. This shoe provides perfect balance when combined with a uniform made up of a navy blazer and grey trousers.”
Bonus Tip: Try looking at this picture/outfit from the ankles up, without the shoes in the screen. Now scroll down and look at the entire photo including the shoes. Bang! Now that’s the right shoe selection.
Bonus Tip II: Another good example of a classic/neutral base (light grey trouser, white shirt, navy blazer, navy tie) as a clean canvas for a rich shoe.
Bonus Tip III: Don’t hide them, show them off – a shorter inseam and 2″ cuff is the perfect reverse-pedastal for a beautiful piece of footwear.
“They say the Devil is in the details. This whole cut has a Reverse Stitch (also called a Ghost Stitch) cap toe that sets it apart from a typical oxford cap. It is understated, except to those in the know, making it perfect for a serious suit.”
Bonus Tip: There are a million shades of “brown”, so why go with the same old chocolate? This pair has an interesting green tint that sets them apart. They say you can tell alot about a man by looking at his shoes – these tell me that this man knows his sh-t.
Bonus Tip II: Custom handmade Italian boots might not make you a better man, but they sure as hell make you feel like one.
- Grey suit by d’Avenza
- White poplin shirt by d’Avenza
- Brown tie by Michael Andrews Bespoke
- Reverse stitch laceups by Scarpe di Bianco
- Navy unlined cotton topcoat by Theory
- Brown herringbone tweed vest by Michael Andrews Bespoke
- Green striped oxford shirt by Gitman Brothers
- Slim washed denim jeans by Polo Ralph Lauren
- Oxblood captoe dress boots by Scarpe di Bianco
“Double Up or Double Down. Monk straps can be used to make a serious suit less so, or give a casual combination an upgrade. Lighter colors aren’t just for those with a real ““Pair” but anyone interested in showing they put a little thought into their wardrobes.”
Bonus Tip: Spring is here, perfect time to break out those white jeans. A tan/light brown shoe is the ideal color for them.
Thanks for reading and special thanks to Bill for participating!
Yours in style,
Photography by Alex Crawford.