Different Styles of Mens Dress Shoes
There are many different styles of dress shoes, and each style has its own place in mens fashion. While the construction does in part depend on ones personal style, the color is usually dictated by three things: The formality of the occasion, the color trousers and socks one wears, and the season of the year. As a general rule black dress shoes are more formal than brown shoes, and lace-ups are more dressy than slip-ons. Below is an overview of the six most common dress shoe styles found in mens fashion.
The Oxford Shoe
The oxford shoe is one of the most popular and most classic shoe styles found in the male wardrobe. This particular shoe style features round toes with a cap as well as closed lacing. Oxford shoes with decorative broguing along the cap’s edges are slightly less formal and better suited for suits made from twill, worsted wool, or flannel.
The wing-tip dress shoe looks like a more decorated version of a brogued oxford shoe. The pointy cap of the shoe is brogued that run along side the shoe. Because the shoe has much more decoration it will draw much more attention to it. Therefore, the wing-tip shoe is not well suited for daily , but will make a great occasional footwear choice for any fashion conscious suit and tie wearer.
The Derby & Blucher
The derby, also known as Bluecher, is very similar in look and shape as the oxford shoe with the difference that the shoe has an open lacing style – identifiable by their open throat front over the instep. Derbys come in black and different shades of brown, as well as with broguing and without. The lighter shades of brown, particularly the ones made from suede leather, are a perfect match for khakis and jeans.
Loafers are a slip-on shoes that are, for the most part, less formal than lace-ups. Even though there are formal loafers made from shiny patent leather, most loafers are not suited for traditional suit and tie dress code. Loafers are often times decorated with tassels and are a great coice footwear for business casual attire.
Monkstrap shoes are basically “cap-less” oxford shoes that are closed with a metal clasp on the outside instead of shoe laces. The clasp is often times purely decorative and does not actually tighten the shoe. Monkstraps are, at least in most circles, acceptable dress shoes for business attire consisting of suit and tie.
Formal “Black Tie” Dress Shoes
The most formal type off dress shoes are patent leather oxfords with thin sole and made without decorative broging. The sole is thin and made from leather. Such shoes are the classic type of footwear chosen for black tie attire in combination with tuxedo and black bow tie. An alternative to patent leather oxford shoes are the so-called “opera pumps” – a shiny patent leather loafer-style that is decorated with a black bow at the top.
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