On Land & Sea: A History of the Boat Shoe

Boat shoes have come a long way from their start as a solution to slippery decks. Today, they’re a preppy staple topping trend lists everywhere. But how did they make the leap from boat decks to city streets? Scroll down and find out.

Sperry Top-Sider Timeline

Continue reading “On Land & Sea: A History of the Boat Shoe” »


January 10, 2014

Guys, Put These 3 Shoe Styles in Your Rotation

You’ve seen these shoes before. You probably even have a pair or two in your closet – or on your feet at this very moment. But can you identify them by name? If not, then no worries. We’re here to break it down for you.

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Now that you know what they are, here are a few tips on how to wear them.

Boat Shoes: Whether you’re keeping steady on a sloop or trekking through an urban jungle, boat shoes are the go-to casual shoe. Ditch the socks and wear them with shorts when the temps start to rise or pair them with khakis or jeans all through winter.

Penny Loafers: Easily dressed up or down, you can pair your penny loafers with everything from jeans and a polo (roll up the cuffs and go sockless if you’re feeling daring) to chinos, a button-front, and a blazer.

Chukkas: Often done up in leather or suede, these flat turf boots have a laid-back, yet very put-together, vibe. Mix up your look with slim denim and a plaid shirt. Then go ahead and top it all off with a cashmere sweater for that extra dose of polish.

Our Up Your Shoe Game: Oxfords, Loafers, & More Boutique opens Thursday, November 14, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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November 14, 2013

Holy Humidity: How to Outfit Summer’s Hottest Hours (Bedtime, Too)

Unfortunately, not every summer soiree includes an easy exit. Sometimes, you have to stick it out – rain, shine, or impossible humidity. So before you head to that next dinner party, take a few hot-summer cues from us.

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For Men
It’s hot and muggy out, and you’re going to sweat. Wear a T-shirt, right? Wrong. The Art of Manliness implores you to choose a button-front or polo on sunny days before reaching for the tee. Even a long-sleeve button-front (made of natural fibers) will keep you cooler than a cotton-blend or polyester tee. Not to mention the versatility factor. You’ll seldom feel underdressed.

For occasions that call for a sport coat, wear light colors and fabrics (like white and linen). Heading to a patio or beach-front party? Roll up those pant cuffs and swap out oxfords for boat shoes.

For Women
We’ll admit it – women sweat, too. (Guys, deal with it). A few things to avoid when hitting the party circuit: cap sleeves, too-short shorts, doing your hair, and the color gray. Go with a billowy off-the-shoulder dress. You’ll stay cool while still showing a little skin. Since you’ll have to bring a bag for those touch-up essentials, make it a big, bright one that’s still slim enough to tuck under your arm.

For Kids
Shorts, tees, stripes, anchors. It’s hard to make them not look cute. Heading to a kid-friendly party? Make sure they’re comfortable – or you’re in for an early night. And don’t forget hats. Even if it’s not an outside event, they’ll probably end up in the yard anyway.

For Home
Not unlike your wardrobe, your summer bed requires cool cotton and linen fabrics for maximum comfort on humid nights. Satin and silk may sound appealing, but they’re not as breathable. Swap your heavy winter comforter for a lightweight duvet in a creamy white or nude hue.

Our Big. Rue. Sale. Boutique opens Wednesday, July 17, at 11AM.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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July 17, 2013

Past & Present: Sperry Top-Sider Through the Decades

From the military to Manhattan, the history of an American icon

They are the emblem of all things preppy – but were they always? Take a peek into the history of this iconic American brand.

1930s: Paul Sperry invented the first boat shoe after using a knife to cut treads into the outsole of a sneaker. He was inspired by his dog Prince’s ability to effortlessly trek over ice.

1940s: The U.S. Navy began manufacturing the Top-Sider for its sailors. Due to the rationing of leather shoes during WWII, the design increased in popularity nationwide.

1980s: Top-Sider was mentioned in the tongue-in-cheek style guide, The Official Preppy Handbook (yep, it was a thing), and subsequently featured in many a John Hughes film.

2000s: After a decade out of the limelight (preppy just wasn’t cool in the 90s), Top-Siders appeared on Fashion Week runways, spurring a new generation of Sperry lovers.

Today: The nautical brand is a made-for-everyday staple. They launched their first stand-alone store in 2012 on Manhattan’s 5th Avenue.

Our Sperry Top-Sider Women and Sperry Top-Sider Men Boutiques open Wednesday, March 27, at 11AM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.


March 27, 2013