The problem with patent

Received wisdom says that the "correct" shoe to wear with a dinner jacket is a patent pump with a grosgrain bow. Most men will be put off by their rather dainty appearance but we recently heard another objection. It was from shoemakers Tony Gaziano and Dean Girling, who make something damn close to Britain’s best footwear but don’t like and won’t use patent leather.  Tony explains why: “Patent is a plastic-coated leather produced to keep its shine. It doesn’t breathe and, from a cutting point of view, it’s almost impossible to see the quality of leather the tannery is supplying to us, so they could, and most likely do, supply bad leather with a high shine finish.”

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We naturally asked Gaziano & Girling for an alternative suggestion, and they came up with this highly polished, and incredibly elegant, Sinatra model. They’re laced with a silk ribbon and render all talk of patent pumps redundant.

£640, 12 Savile Row, London W1 (01536 511 022; www.gazianogirling.co.uk)

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