ask-slippers 5-31-2011

A style slip up?

What are the rules regarding wearing velvet slippers with casual clothing, including go-to-hell pants?

The velvet slipper is a fairly controversial piece of footwear. Usually reserved for receiving guests at one’s home, it has become both an alternative to patent leather shoes when worn with a tuxedo and ventured even farther away to being occasionally paired with suits or casual dress. These shoes were first worn by English aristocracy when black tie dress for dinner was all the rage (or required by standards of etiquette, really) and they would don velvet smoking jackets with coordinating Prince Albert slippers. Eventually, this custom moved outside the home to clubs and smoking rooms.


Recently, velvet slippers have started to be worn with more casual dress. And by casual, we simply mean not-formal. Is this rule-breaking? Technically, yes. But it’s an example of how style is often made or defined. Style is often influenced by traditional, sport, or military dress, as well as by the tastemakers and trendsetters of the world. Consider the relatively new Del Toro shoes. A glance at their lookbook shows an inventive, youthful, and seemingly easy incorporation of velvet slippers with casual dress. As an influencer, they’re helping change the perception of a fairly rigid piece of clothing.

TAGS: Casual shoes | Del Toro shoes | Formal slippers | Formal wear | Go-to-hell pants | Prince Albert slippers | Tuxedo | Velvet slippers
  • Have a Style Question?

    Ask Brooks—we've got all the answers

    * Required field

    All questions become property of Brooks Brothers and Of Rogues and Gentlemen. Submissions may be edited and at any time, published in this blog. Contact information will not be shared or made available to the public.

Sort by: Newest | Oldest
or to comment

Create an account

No comments yet.