Come over to the stylish side of the tracks – get yourself into a pair of your very own velvet dress slippers.
Fashion houses are keen to update the conservative tropes of black tie with a bold step-change that nevertheless looks back to a golden age of elegance (Tom Ford, Hardy Amies), to traditional footwear specialists such as Church’s, who ably address this new-found desire to add a “pop” to everyday evening attire.
Demand appears suitably high, and the anecdotal evidence seems to suggest it comes from most tribes of menfolk, young and old.
Last summer, I spent a few dreamy if damp-under-foot hours at a combined 50/18 birthday party, and discovered amongst both sets of male guests – a good showing of dress slippers..
And only last month, I noticed a more usual black-tie dress code was relaxed to “business informal” and yet, regardless of the order to, in effect, “dress down”, once again dress slippers were to the fore.
No less decorous than the traditional bowed, patent leather pump, dress slippers simultaneously appear more luxurious and relaxed, a telling throw-back to a time when to dress for the evening meant something rather more exciting.
The velvet slipper is the gift that keeps on giving. Certainly designers think so: Tom Ford offers his own monogram, Vivienne Westwood incorporates her famous quasi-heraldic device, and Hardy Amies recreates the interlocking house monogram designed in the late Sixties by Sir Hardy’s friend William Haines.
Nor is it simply in the decoration: in contrast to the classic dress pump, slippers come in a number of colour-ways, culminating in this season’s range of brilliant jacquard prints by Tom Ford. For the truly personal touch, however, it’s quite possible to commission your own.
Alternatively, and in the spirit of giving that will doubtless be engendered by a special occasion, why not team his with an identical pair for the children? Charlotte Olympia produces slippers bearing her own spider’s web-based embroidered design in adult and ‘Incy’ versions.