There are a few things men should just know. People rely on it.
Firstly, know when to keep quiet. You will never hear the exceptional man rant and rave. Vast experience, popular, bilingual, a devilish sense of humour? Keep it all close. Otherwise, people will only think you immodest; consider your assets as ammunition for later when your audience knows you better.
Know how to cook a good steak (preferably one that does not involve the world's most expensive barbecue, what appears to be an entire cow and enough dishes to supply a cruise ship).
Know how to jump-start a car, and without a big fuss. On that note, know how to drive. Rather sexist perhaps, but pull yourself together. Get a licence.
Know and accept when you have been beaten. The ignorant man is far more appealing than the pious - so be comfortable in the uncomfortable.
Know how to discuss a great band (the Rolling Stones don't count).
Know how to sew on a button (but perhaps not a bias-cut dress).
Lastly - although I could easily go on - the solid man knows a solid pair of shoes. While I know you will not give a pair of rhinestone-encrusted Prada mules (the menswear shoe of the season) a twirl, I care too much to throw you into the predictable haze of black and white - even if you have got to the point in life when you just want to be quiet, and expect the same from those around you.
So start with avoiding bargains; they are bargains for a reason - they were unsuccessful. You can't do much better than a pair of wingtips with a rich brown patina and a slim leather sole. The toe must be not too pointy and not too round; repeat after me: "They will never, ever be square".
If you want something for the weekend, try a lighter shade of brown in a moleskin or suede. A boot works well in the same fabric, and perhaps go for something different with the laces.
The smart man knows that a great pair of shoes is not the finishing touch but more the beginning. He's astute like that. But this isn't what you think, not simply a case of being dapper. No one likes a Flash Harry, not even the man himself.
It's just that a good pair of shoes demands respect. And that is important. You see, while there is no such thing as a pair of shoes you can wear on every occasion, knowing when to invest is of upmost importance.
To be an outside-the-box man, think outside-the-box shoes.
This week's highs and lows
BARGAIN BUYS Could Karl Lagerfeld's collection for Macy's be any cooler? Bring on the massive white collars.
SENSIBLE HEELS Two-inch heels? What? It's either rocket heels or flats this season.
KNITWEAR GENIUS How Stephane Rolland created this couture piece is beyond us, but we love it.
GET A GRIP Seriously? Is this silver zebra-print, three-piece suit by John Richmond really necessary?
FRESH FACE Angela Lindvall is going to replace Heidi Klum in the next season of Project Runway.