Dress codes and the shoes to go with them          

Women may think that when it comes to dressing up that the men have it easy, but we gents know that’s really far from true. There’s much more to it than just throwing a suit on and contemplating a tie if the invitation says ‘smart casual’, and let’s not even get started on the footwear. Here’s your fool proof guide to dress codes and the shoes that go with them, to ensure you never put a foot wrong in the style stakes, whatever the occasion.


This is your most relaxed look, and therefore anything goes really. If you’re trying to update your casual wardrobe add some new white t-shirts in there, and remove anything stained or discoloured – it might be casual, but you still have to be presentable. For footwear, casual shoes are more often than not trainers and we love these new season leather trainers from Barker Detroit with their funky chunky coloured sole. Pair with jeans or shorts for the ultimate casual style.

Business casual

This is normally what you would wear to work, without having to be overly impressive (so not ideal for your performance appraisal). Style your business casual look with chinos or dark denim, a well fitted collared shirt, plain or patterned, and a blazer or jacket if it’s cold. No need to wear a tie, but you should belt your trousers and if possible match to your shoes. We think these Barker Harry are just the thing for pulling together an effortless business casual look, and you can match your footwear with the Barker walnut calf leather belt.

Business attire

This is one occasion where a suit is a must have, and you can’t have a well-tailored suit with a smart tie without making a serious investment in your footwear also. When you need to impress, you won’t go wrong with a pair of Barker Falsgrave Oxford’s in timeless black leather. These shoes will see you through the toughest meetings, interviews, presentations and more.


This is just one step below black tie, so no need to break out the tuxedo just yet, although a dark suit is a must-have if you want to stick to the official dress code. Try the high-shine black leather Barker Wilson for a shoe you’ll love, and which fits the bill perfectly.

Black tie

Black Oxford dress shoes are the most appropriate choice for men at black tie events, so you’ll love the Barker Dominic for putting the finishing touches to your tuxedo. For men at black tie events, it’s also appropriate to add all the trimmings – such as a vest, cummerbund and cufflinks, so this is one occasion to pull out all the stops.