Size Matters

The right footwear for a guy with big feet, and more style dilemmas solved.
Photo: Michael Williams

Looking to minimize your footprint? Skip the wide welt and double-sole you see here...

I’m 5’11”, with a slim athletic build, and have size 13 feet. My problem is that when I wear certain shoes, a la wingtips, without socks in summer fashion, my feet look enormous comparatively. Any suggestions?
I once read that Bono has abnormally small feet, and is said to be quite self-conscious about it. Hey, if one’s shoe size is going to invite speculation about one’s anatomy at large, better your problem than his, no? In any case, your answer here is simple. Skip the wide-welt English style wingtips—like Church’s or Aldens—for svelter Italian style footwear, like those from Antonio Maurizi, an undersung brand that’s regularly available on Gilt MAN. Or you could skip lace-ups altogether and keep a lower profile with a pair of penny loafers.

I’m a 29 year-old-male, and I am at the age where I don’t really know what my style is. I feel I am too old for the stuff I used to like. Any tips?
Great question. I wish more guys your age took this transition as seriously as you do. I asked style editor Jared Flint for his take: “It’s great that you’re ready to make the transition, but that doesn’t mean you need to throw your old wardrobe in a pile and set fire to it. Nor do you need to head out to the nearest haberdashery and drop three paychecks on suiting. Start with some essentials—a navy blazer, great slim chinos, crisp white cotton shirts—that can be worked into your current closet while helping to build a new one that you can patiently add to. And hang onto those sneakers. They’ll come in handy when you’re a successful 59-year-old male looking to take your wardrobe in the opposite direction.”

What are the options to match with a light denim jacket?
Sunglasses. A white T-shirt. A white button-down. A white button-down with a tie. A blue button-down. A blue button-down with a tie. A pink button down… but probably not with a tie. A corduroy shirt. A flannel. Chinos. Of any color. Well, maybe except bright red. Cargo pants. Dark denim jeans. Light denim jeans. Cords. Cutoffs. A vintage watch. Hope that helps. If you’re looking to build around that denim jacket, try hitting some of these sales coming up on Gilt MAN, all of which start at noon ET:

Patrik Ervell, Tuesday July 26th
Raf Simons, Wednesday July 27th
GANT, Thursday July 28th
Surface to Air, Thursday July 28th
Gilt MAN Finds: Vintage Watches curated by Benjamin Clymer of HODINKEE, Friday July 29th
ACNE Jeans, Friday July 29th (9pm ET)

This is Rob, from Fayetteville, AR.  What is the proper way to apply cologne?  I usually do the “spray in the air and walk through” technique. Is that correct?
It’s not a bad option, though it’s a little stage-y for my taste. My preferred technique is more straightforward: One squirt, sans shirt, in the general neck/chest direction. But whatever method you choose, spritz judiciously and bear in mind that that scents are developed to interact with the oils on your skin, not the fibers of your clothes, so you should apply your cologne to your skin, not your wardrobe. That’ll go a long way toward making sure your scent doesn’t enter the room five seconds before you do.

We can’t do this without real questions from real guys like you. Send your latest style quandary to [email protected] and we’ll do our best to cook up a solution, either via email or published on the site.


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  1. John says:

    Dead on advice on the shoes for big feet. Van’s, like loafers have uppers that start about an inch or so down your arch (away from the ankle). The relationship of the top of the ‘tongue’ area to your ankle has a lot to do with a shoe’s apparent visual length. Slimness isn’t everything though. Pay attention to where laces start and stop on shoes and where that ankle collar area is and you’ll figure out what works for you in no time. Anyways, size 13 ain’t that bad.

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