ISIS639: Patent leather shoes help to pick up the silk accents of the Tuxedo – the lapels, bow tie, and trouser outseam stripe (unless you have braid). If you buy nice ones, with a good shape, they look elegant; if they are big, and clunky (as most rentals are) or not a formal enough style (as most rentals are) then they look garish, and ugly. So, that’s why patent leather is, generally, preferred.
Calf skin shoes are considered acceptable, so long as they are polished to a mirror shine. Many men prefer them, and, with more muted grosgrain facings (as opposed to satin) on the dinner suit, you could argue that they are equally, or more. appropriate. The options are, in order:
Black opera pumps
Black, plain toe Balmoral Oxfords.
Black, cap toe Balmoral Oxfords.
Black, plain toe, whole cuts.
There should be no broguing, or other decoration. If you’re going to buy a pair, the fiirst, and most important, dress shoe for a man to own is a pair of black, cap toe, Oxfords.
Everything you could ever want to knw about Black Tie footwear is here:
Here are two, inexpensive, patent leather options that your Fiance might like better:
I have those exact CK shoes, and they are comfortable, and good quality. I have a pair of calf skin Florsheim cap toe oxfords, that were bought over10 years ago at about that same price point, and with $10 of shining and touching up at the shoemaker, they looked like new for my wedding.