Square-toe shoes: the most sinful combination of words in the English language, as far as most women are concerned. Apparently, this footwear faux pas can cost a man his respect, his reputation, and even, in some cases, his ability to “seal the deal”—his footwear becoming the sartorial equivalent of erectile dysfunction, so to speak. “We were in this guy’s bedroom and all I could think about were the terrible square-toe shoes he had worn to dinner,” recalls a Parisian fashion consultant friend, shuddering over her glass of Sancerre, while claiming that the memory had served as a mental impediment to their brewing connection. I would think that this was ridiculous—something as superficial as shoes, ruining a romantic evening?!—if I myself had not recently had a traumatic experience on London’s Tube, wherein my otherwise handsome, intelligent date picked up his foot, pulled at the partially detached sole of his deteriorating (albeit not square-toe) oxford, and proclaimed: “Time for some new shoes!” (For the record, I’m fairly certain that my ability to bite my tongue at that instant could qualify me for international diplomacy.)
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