1 Trainers.

Pretty much any trainer he wants, it honestly doesn’t matter. But – let’s get real, there are trainers and trainers. Trainers you wear everywhere because they are comfy and trainers that you do sport in.

On a man I’m not crazy about a fashion trainer – I wouldn’t recommend an ice white or Adidas Superstar, but if that’s what you want, knock yourself out.  Personally, I like a clean, modern sports trainer. Giles has a pair of Nike Fly Knit in lurid orange and I think they are fabulous. For actual running or sport, boys need something hardcore by Aasics or Reebok that can be kept for getting muddy and shredded.

The key thing for men to understand – (as so much of changing the way you dress is about changing a stubborn mindset) – is that it’s okay to have a pair of trainers that you do not do sport in. They are a legitimate item of clothing these days, it’s *fine* to buy a pair that never see the inside of a gym.

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2 Desert boots.

Desert boots are a stealth item in the manner of the Spike favourite H&M khaki shirt. They are soft and comfortable, they go under the radar. They are just… stealth. You can wear them basically anywhere except to meet the Queen. And even then, I bet she’s seen some desert boots in her life. Prince Harry has got a pair in blue – NOT CAPSULE – but P-Haz can do what he wants.

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Other colours are available, including but not exclusively blue

These are from Clarks, which means they are outstandingly comfortable, non-sweaty, but no-one will know they are from Clarks – because they just won’t. At £95 these are reassuringly expensive. When Giles set off last year round the world with that hotels show, I told him to get a pair – he did and they were brilliant. Forget about exploding pens and anti-venom chewing gum: these are what James Bond really needs.

3 Espadrilles

I really like these Mulos – they’re a sort of souped-up espadrille, with a sturdy sole and upper. These are all-purpose and worn correctly will not make you look like a failed Love Island auditionee (is this a word?). I bought some for Giles last year and they didn’t at any point make him look like a massive tool.

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I guess if your boyfriend is a 16 stone fireman this might be a hard sell. Though actually I am picturing now a 16 stone fireman and he might look sort of amazing in these? Have a go anyway.

Giles managed to trash these in one summer by wearing them in the rain and barbecuing  while wearing them – but if you don’t do that, I don’t see why they wouldn’t last.

4 Deck Shoes

Someone was having a good old moan about deck shoes on Twitter but I kind of like deck shoes. Don’t dismiss them!! Summer smart casual pay dirt! But look I appreciate that these might have the kind of class or style connotations that just don’t work for you as a family if not the man as an individual. But if you have dismissed them roundly and generally as a horror then maybe reconsider.

DO NOT BUY CHEAP ONES. A well-made classic, particularly these Timberlands, in the right circumstances look absolutely right and proper. 14 million Sloanes can’t be wrong.

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Timberland deck shoes, £109

5 Birkenstocks

Giles bought these Arizona Birkenstocks for himself, which I’m surprised about, considering his massive horror of anyone getting their feet out. But it’s also a good thing because it is really important in life, just generally, to change your mind about things.

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To not change your mind about things, to simply blunder through life holding the same boring opinions and prejudices about the same boring shit is awful and very ageing.

And the thing that Giles would never do is get a pair of Birkies. BUT NOW HE’S GOT SOME!!! If you really genuinely hate them and you’re not just posturing then don’t encourage it, but if you don’t mind they’re not a bad idea. I think they have become in the last 5 years a classic shoe.

They are especially good on a tall man or anyone with a long back because a bad back is no fun and these will help.


I have had several requests for good shoes for big feet – I have sent various people to Elephant Feet in Brixton with loads of success, but I think they might have closed down now because I can’t find any evidence of them online.

There is a website called Magnus, which I suppose you may already have tracked down if you have a man with big feet and have done a cursory Google search. But if not I think it looks quite good. I like these blue trainers.

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Tomorrow! Shirts and t-shirts!