How to Choose the Right Men's Shoe
For most women, shoes are more than just footwear. More than accessories, they can be the focal point of a whole ensemble. For men, on the other hand, they are often a necessary evil. With that in mind, most men will generally opt for the most comfortable shoe available, with only an afterthought regarding looks.
There are really only four basic types of shoes to be concerned about. Dress shoes, casual shoes, work shoes and athletic shoes. Every shoe under the sun will fall into one of these categories. Let's look at how to choose and wear dress shoes.
The best rule of thumb is to keep things simple. Unless you're working a lounge act in Vegas, busy shoes will only distract people. Stay with highly polished leather shoes when wearing suits or dress pants. Dull or unpolished shoes show a lack of attention to detail. Try to wear shoes that are darker than the color of pants you are wearing, browns and blacks work best. If you're wearing earth tones, you'll want brown shoes. Blue or black pants require black shoes. If you're wearing very light earth tones or white pants, you can also wear tan shoes. When in doubt however, choose black. Stick with low heels and leather soles. Rubber soles are great for a casual date but if you want to dress to impress, hard leather soles are the only way to go.
The rules for casual shoes are a little different than dress shoes. While you should still keep the color-coordination in mind, it's best to avoid overly shiny shoes. Soft leather is always appropriate, whether you're wearing corduroys or khakis. Most oxfords or loafers will fill the bill nicely. Again, it's still best to avoid overly-complex shoes. You want to make the statement, not your shoes. Choose casual shoes that will be versatile enough to go with several outfits. Remember, brown or black shoes are almost always appropriate.
If you're going to wear jeans however, you can toss out a lot of the aforementioned rules. Almost any kind of shoe will work fine with jeans. Yes, even those overly-ambitious ones I warned you about. This is another time to avoid polished shoes, too. Oftentimes you can let your shirt dictate how relaxed a shoe you'll wear.
When I mentioned work shoes earlier, I was more concerned with work boots than shoes. Dress or casual rules will work fine for an office environment. When it comes to hard labor, it's always a good idea to have at least one pair of well-crafted work boots. Choose a pair that's waterproof and offers good traction. Any color will do, but boots that come up over the ankle will provide better support.
Believe it or not, athletic shoes can be the hardest to pick out. Choose a shoe that's specifically designed for the activity you'll be participating in. Running shoes are extremely comfortable, but offer no support for your ankles on a basketball court. If you're looking for an all-around athletic shoe, try a cross-trainer. They offer a fair balance between the different styles.
Now that you know what to wear on your feet when you're stepping out, it's time to learn how to purchase the right shoe for your feet. When you're looking for shoes, wear the right socks for the job. For example, if you're looking for dress shoes, wear dress socks while shopping. This will help you avoid picking the wrong size or buying shoes that chafe. Once you have a pair of shoes on, reach down and press the area between your big toe and the end of the shoe. You should have about a half an inch between the two. So far so good? Great! Now take them for a little walk around the store. Bounce around a little on the balls of your feet, to make sure the shoes will give you the support you'll need. If they rub against your heel or ankle, move along. You don't want to break them in later.
Make sure the shoes you choose are of good quality. Check out the soles to ensure they aren't going to come loose from the rest of the shoe. Look at any stitching for looseness or shoddy workmanship. Pick a pair of shoes with good linings; this will help keep moisture away from your feet. Stay away from shoes made of plastic, they'll make your feet sweat and will eventually warp. Always choose natural materials like leather or cotton. Following these guidelines will help you choose the right shoe every time.
Choosing a Bunk Bed: A Step by Step Guide
Like any furniture purchase, buying the right bunk bed requires a lot of thought and preparation. There are many factors to consider before making a final decision. Unlike other furniture purchases, however, buying a bunk bed will often involve a third party: the precious cargo that it carries -- your children. While you might see a bunk bed as an economical and space-saving solution to your children's slumber needs, your kids will undoubtedly view it as their own private abode. This Step-by-Step Buying Guide is here to help you choose the bunk bed that makes both you and your children happy.
Step 1: Determine your space needs
If you are already thinking about buying a bunk bed, space is most likely an issue. Small rooms benefit greatly from a bunk or lofted bed, but there are plenty of benefits for large rooms, too. First take some measurements to figure out how much space is available. It is extremely important to measure the ceiling height. All bunk beds vary in height, but the average bunk is going to stand between 5? to 6 feet tall. You want to make sure there is at least two feet of space between the bunk and your ceiling. This will cut down on unnecessary bumps and bruises.
Standard bunk beds usually won't take up more space than a twin bed, but not all bunk beds can be considered standard. Bunks with pull-out beds, desks, or an L-shape design will surely require a greater sacrifice in living space.
Step 2: Which type of bunk bed will fulfill your needs?
Bunk beds have evolved over the years, and there are now many different types to choose from. From a basic, no frills design, to an elaborate combination of features, we offer bunks that cover this whole range of styles. The classic Twin-over-Twin design is still as functional as it always was, and can provide exactly what you need. If you are looking for something with a little more to offer, check out the different types of bunks that we carry:
Basic - The original bunk bed design. Available in Twin-over-Twin, Twin-over-Full, or Full-over-Full.
Loft - This style is becoming quite popular. The loft design consists of one bed suspended over either another perpendicular bed, or an open space occupied by a desk, drawers, or shelves. A versatile design with countless possibilities.
Futon (see right) - One lofted bed over a futon. The futon can be used as a couch during the day, and then converted to a full size bed at night. Creates a casual atmosphere for popular rooms known to attract guests.
Pull Out - Another space-saving design that stows a bed in the space beneath your bunk. Simply pull out the bed when extra sleeping space is needed. Also known as a trundle bed.
Step 3: Which features should you look for?
If you want to provide a room's worth of furniture with just one purchase, that is entirely possible with the array of features available for today's bunks. Many bunks have desks incorporated into their design. The desk is either placed under a lofted bunk, or attached at the end of the bed. As a supplement to a desk, storage drawers are often built-in under the bottom bunk or found in the form of a dresser on either side of a lofted bed. It is common for bunks with a desk to have bookshelves as well. With a desk and plenty of storage space, you can create a nice little "home office" for your child.
These features can greatly enhance your bunk bed's functionality, and should be considered when deciding upon the perfect set up. Many of these features are available separately and can be added to your bed later on.
Step 4: Choose a style that fits
We offer bunk beds that fit any taste. Once you decide on the form of construction that you prefer (Wood, Metal, Wood/Metal), you should observe which style is a good match for you and your children. While it is ultimately your decision on which bed you purchase, it can't hurt to ask your children's opinion. Here are a few of the different styles we carry:
Casual - These beds are very traditional in their styling. Featuring darker wood grain finishes and overall simple designs, casual bunks create a comfortable atmosphere for your children.
Contemporary/Modern - These beds feature smooth lines and a clean-cut appearance. They don't rely on fancy carvings or detail to get noticed. Solid colors and subtle designs often define these pieces.
Cottage (see right) - Inspired by the architectural styles of the French countryside, these beds feature soft finishes, distressed woods, and fence-like characteristics. They carry a light and authentic charm.