Sperry Top-Sider, $150
Let's just say the buck starts here. In terms of all-American style, no shoe better epitomizes warm weather dressing than a pair of white bucks. The buckskin shoes came into fashion more than a century ago, but it wasn't until the 1930s that the brick red sole became a signature. They were worn by the Gatsby set, by the Ivy Leaguers in the 1950s, then briefly by the preppies back in the '80s. But unless you wanted to drop some serious dough on the kind of kicks your granddad wore, you were, as he might've said, "up a creek."
This spring, all sorts of bucks have made their way to market in shades from ivory to sand. And with a much friendlier price tag too. But it takes some confidence to pull off a pair of white shoes. If you're not quite ready, try a darker shade or a more casual option like SeaVees' version with a crepe-like sole. Pair the shoes with dark denim and a blazer and soon enough you'll be sporting them with shorts. One note of caution: Now that going sockless is practically mainstream, it should be noted that your ankles should be tanner than your bucks.
G.H. Bass & Co., $65
L.L. Bean, $79
Johnston & Murphy, $132
Tommy Hilfiger, $98
Prepsters used to carry around a white eraser when wearing their bucks. Not a bad idea, but to keep them clean today, start off with a protector spray by a trusted brand like Meltonian. Then use a brush and suede bar to sand off any superficial stains or dirt.
Tim Little, the creative director for Grenson, on the five shoes every man should own right now.
Playing around with Allen Edmonds' custom program results in some pretty slick shoes for spring.
The right way to lace up your dress shoes.
The essential spring shoe was inspired by man's best friend ... see why the Top-Sider has endured for 75 years.