Shoe Stories - Léigh

Each week we want to share the wonderful stories of how Irregular Choice fans discovered the world of Irregular Choice and what made them fall in love with the brand.

We would love to hear from all of you. To share your story please write on our Facebook wall to be in with a chance of seeing your story in a future post. 

Léigh's Story -

My name is Léigh and I am a 33 year old record label director, freelance project manager and artist based in East London.

I have always had a tendency to stick out in my field as the vast majority of male music industry types tend to shuffle about behind their laptops in their jeans, t-shirts, converse and hoodies. I get asked a lot if I work in fashion, if I model or even design, and while I have dabbled in each over the years for the fun of it, I mainly just consider myself just something of an unconscious fashion groupie.

The creative side of me has always seen clothing and accessorising as a way of expressing the points my occasionally rambling words might not be able to. I'd like to think these points (as well as my wardrobe) are:

- Well tailored and flattering.

- Formal but friendly.

- Traditional, yet forward thinking.

- Always room for some colour.

and most importantly (for me anyway)...

-A chance to gently F*** with people's heads and conventions. :)

This pretty much also sums up how I describe Irregular Choice to people as well.

I always remember Irregular Choice from first moving to London in the mid 00s and seeing the incredible ladies ranges in the window of the Carnaby Street store when it opened, not really realising they may actually do menswear as well.

About four years ago I was simply in need of some new more formal shoes for a special occasion - something which I used to hate looking for as affordable formal men's shoes were always so uninspiring, any designer ones I lusted after were always just forever out of my price range, and the few gorgeous vintage pairs I previously found had been worn to death.

A few eBay searches later and suddenly I found myself the excited owner of a beautiful pair of Men's Irregular Choice, baby-blue leather slip shoes with hand-painted blossom branches all over them. I became an addict there and then, and 14 pairs later (and rapidly counting), Irregular Choice have provided me with unique takes on everything from brogues to paraboots, slip-ons to roll-top pirate boots, split-toe trainers to pointed winklepickers.

The theme that unites almost all of my collection though is flowers. Irregular Choice's lack of fear in taking something as quintessentially "male" as a pair of traditional brogues and embroidering them with beautiful vibrant flowers is the perfect relationship for me, and blurs the lines between what is considered "male" or "female" by simply making them "Beautiful".

As a hunter for a unique spin on traditional male clothing, convention and preconception have prevented many, many men (and men's designs) from embracing "beauty" into their looks for far too long. Irregular Choice do not seem to have any worry about that whatsoever, and it's thoroughly refreshing to have found a brand that know how to compliment any kind of man's style by disregarding any issue of gender stereotyping in their designs.

I guess by default this all makes me something of a "Dandy", but that has never been a conscious thing on my part (although no one ever believes that). For me, it is just a matter of finding a comfortable balance of my exterior complimenting what is going on inside my head. But when dealing with the more mundane or academic aspects of life or work, it's nice to only have to look at my feet to be reminded that there are always beautiful twists to be found within convention. Especially if they put a smile on other people's face too.

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