Barker is one of the biggest names in the British footwear business - impressive, but unsurprising when you learn that the company started making shoes in a Northamptonshire village way back in 1880. Since then, times have changed, but Barker’s pièce de résistance has stayed the same: meticulously crafted footwear for men.
With their carefully chosen leathers, traditional aesthetic and understated, earthy hues, Barker shoes are designed to last for years; these aren’t the sort of styles you buy on impulse and only wear a few times. Actually, we wouldn’t blame you if you find yourself wanting to wear them all the time. Such timeless shoes call for similarly refined clothes, so try slipping on an oak-brown pair of the brand’s signature brogues with a grey tartan suit. If you prefer darker hues, why not incorporate some black Barker shoes into a smart monochrome outfit? Alternatively, pair them with charcoal-toned tailored trousers and a light blue shirt.
When you invest in shoes from a centuries-old brand like Barker, it’s a given that you’re getting your hands on a classic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t put a modish spin on these pieces - it’s just all about the styling. Instead of seeing the brand’s lace-up designs as the reserve of special event or work dressing, view them as modern classics that look really good with denim. Choose your cuts wisely, though: dark blue jeans work nicely with brogues, but go for a slim-fitting style and roll them up slightly at the ankle. Wear yours with a slogan tee to add a fresh, playful feel to your outfit, then layer a boxy coat over the top. The brand’s ankle boots, meanwhile, like its fail-safe Chelsea boots, are a winning option to pair up with distressed black denim. You just can’t go wrong with heritage design.