Photo: Michael Sharkey

The ultimate WASP vernacular custom-made shoe for men and women, designed by Henri Bendel during the 1940s. Wear them anywhere and appear very, very prosperous. Well, maybe not the best choice for ascending a pyramid. I'd suggest something with a lug sole. But Belgian Shoes are chic for chillaxing post-climb on the verandah at Shepheard's Hotel. Slip on a pair, settle in on a wicker tête-à-tête with your traveling companion, and slurp down a lemonade, or two. I imagine Ruth Maddf'fs cocoa brown suede Belgian Shoes, worn recently during a much-publicized and ridiculed subway trip amongst the hoi polloi, were a great source of comfort to her.

The Belgian Shoe is available in a zillion different colored leathers, and fabrics too. I like acid green lizard and covet the Prince of Wales plaid. Velvet is the old school standard for a tuxedo; especially with gold bullion monograms. The shop is located on the garden-level of a rather staid townhouse at East 55th Street just off Park Avenue. And is much like a visit to your spinster auntie's. Staff cop a schoolmarmish 'tude, further simulating the familial experience. From their website: "Your shoes should be worn outdoors on city pavement in dry weather only." Yes, Ma'am! In lieu of the usual bouquet to placate grouchy old Auntie, bring lots of cash, 'cause these kicks will set you back 'bout $350 Benjamin.

110 E 55th St # 1 New York, NY 10022-4540 - (212) 755-7372