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Shop Special

Hunt for men's shoes

Men are traditionally considered to care less about fashion, or, to sound meaner; maybe we are downright fashion impaired. Although, the scene does seem to be changing at a fast rate. This still does not mean that men crave for a separate wardrobe dedicated entirely to shoes, but it is understood that we men no longer have the luxury of getting away with putting on anything and not caring about 'what's in'.

Let's start with formal wear. If you have an appointment with your boss tomorrow, or have a board meeting or any other 'serious' meeting, opt for a pair of Oxfords to complement your formal attire. The Italian cut shoes with acutely pointed toes has become very popular these days while the ones with rounded toes are on their way out.

As a general rule, the more dressed up you are, the thinner the sole and the shinier the leather should be. But don't get too excited and put on too much shiner! Excess polish, first of all, hides the natural beauty of leather, secondly, it creates a grainy texture on the creases, and lastly, it attracts dust. Just apply a very thin layer of polish, and then let it dry before use.

Wear socks that match the colour of your pants. The pants should be lighter than your shoes; which also means the same with socks. Also, wear a belt that matches the colour of your shoes, or at least close to that.

Colour is a very important aspect when it comes to shoes. Black is the safest bet but looks best with navy, grey and black pants. Save brown shoes for tan, brown, beige, greens and other darker tones. Brown shoes are best when worn with denim pants. Meanwhile, burgundy shoes are suitable for khaki, lighter browns, blue and grey pants- basically you wear them on semiformal events. Lastly, tan is best for pants with lighter earth tones, blue, lighter tan and white.

As for less formal regular office shoes, the most appropriate are loafers (lace-less, semiformal, leather shoes), both black and brown. Loafers are great for casual wear as well. So, if you are planning to spend the whole day at office and then enjoy a night out with friends, the best footwear should be a pair of loafers; they go with almost everything, from suits and formal pants to tee shirts and jeans.

Shoes are of great help if you want to put on a few extra inches to your height. Buy shoes with slightly long heels to create the illusion. The effect will be reinforced when the colour of your shoes will be the same of that of your pants and belt, as the continuous colour flow creates the impression of long legs.

Okay, so now you know a lot about shoes, but where do you buy them? If you are budget wise, you can always go to Elephant Road and easily get a shoe of your choice. However, do remember that you will be wearing them regularly and they will 'carry' you. It's a lot of pressure on them. So, its better you buy shoes from a more reliable place, such as Apex. Shopping malls like Bashundhara City and Rapa Plaza may satisfy that need. Other options would be to buy from fashion stores like Shopper's World, Almas and Mantra.

Brands are vital as quality is a major factor; shoes are not just fashion items but also a necessity in terms of durability and protection. But will you get original brands here? Well, the obvious answer is no. However, you will get a few lesser priced authentic brands of shoes. The fashion houses offer you brands like Pierre Cardin, Fabio and Rudolph to name a few. The cheapest you can get from these stores for a pair is at a price of around Tk 2500. The price goes up to around Tk 20,000. Currently, Shopper's World has quite an extensive collection with many Italian shoes compared to many other fashion houses, while Almas is perhaps an ideal place if you are a Pierre Cardin fan.

You won't get authentic Armani or Gucci. It seems that the fashion houses are relying more on their own name than on the designers'. They provide good quality shoes, but of less popular (and therefore relatively cheaper) designer brands. A few like Mantra runs the extra mile and puts their own logo on many shoes that are made locally.

By M H Haider
Photo: Star Lifestyle Archive

On The Cover

Star Lifestyle has just stepped into its ninth year and this week we present to you a study of contrasts. With the global economy the way it is, recession is a real threat, but with the events and offers going around town the way they are, you wouldn't know it. Flip through our pages to pick a side.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Song of the chirpy sparrow

I am easily moved by songs…more so if the lyrics are statements of reality and life, rather than just a wizardry of words, glorifying love and love only. The so-called Jibonmukhee gaan of the West Bengal had found a place in my heart since my teen days. Heavily partial to the lyrics and the theme rather than the melody or the tune, these songs often bring forth aspects of life we hardly seem to notice.

Sumon has a beautiful song about the friendship of a child with a sparrow. The chirpy chorai teaches a little girl to hop scotch under the warmth of the morning sun. But the child, bent with the load of curricular and her seemingly endless list of 'extra curricular' activities, finds no time to play with her friend- the sparrow.

A television channel recently ran a season of a talent hunt show of child songsters. Hugely popular and with a fan following of millions, the programme had brought stardom to a considerable number of young talents. But I often wonder, is this a positive lesson of life for these tiny tots, who've barely passed their 'hop scotch' days?

And what about the children who couldn't make it to the grand finale…what is the lesson of life that they have learnt from the whole affair?

I have a little friend who lives in the apartment next to ours. Barely eight, he already attends karate classes and skating lessons. A recent addition has been the music teacher and then there is art.

I fear how society will perceive our friendship, as we are unaccustomed to the idea of a near thirty-year-old befriending a child of nine. More often than not, we just wave at each other as we often pass by, or simply exchange pleasantries on the rooftop on rare evenings when he is 'free'.

His bicycle gathers dust in one end of the apartment corridor and he makes plans of how I could teach him to ride it. As he fondly brushes his hands on the cycle, once again I am reminded of the song. He may never learn to ride the bicycle, or learn to hop scotch from the sparrow. His life will probably move in the fast lanes of life, where winning is everything.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif



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