guide to dress shoes

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Dress Shoes

In every men’s wardrobe, it is necessary to have a good pair of dress shoes that is appropriate for work or any special occasions, because without the right pair of shoes it can break your look! Dress shoes are usually made of leather, which makes it costly but if you take time to find a classic pair that is worth investing in, with the right care, they can last for a very long time.  In this article, we share about the different types of dress shoes for men and how to choose the right pair of shoes for the right occasion.


dress shoes

1. Oxford

The most commonly worn dress shoes for formal occasions, usually with a cap and closed lacing. The quarters and facing sewn under the vamp gives it a more formal look as compared to a derby. The cap-toe oxford is the dressiest and most popular shoe style, which goes really well with dark coloured formal suits.

When to wear: Business meeting or formal events. Dinner dates.


2. Derby

Often mistaken as the oxford, the derby is the more comfortable version with open lacing. The tabs of the shoe sewn above the vamp gives it more flexibility and also a more casual look. Derbys would go well with dark fit jeans for a smart casual look.

When to wear: Smart casual and casual dressing.


3. Loafer

A slip-on style dress shoe inspired by moccasin, with a signature characteristic of an elevated seam that follows along the shoe’s toe. The loafer often features with its penny style, tassel or bit. The tassel loafer would be suitable for some business formal occasions. In suede, loafers would pass off absolutely well with any trousers and jeans.

When to wear: Casual suits. Casual work environment. Not recommended with tuxedos, black-tie ensembles.


4. Monk strap

The monk strap has a similar style as that of an oxford except without laces. It is easily recognised with a wide strap that is fastened across the front if the shoe, usually a single or double buckle closure. The monk strap is a versatile dress shoe style that can be dressed down in jeans or suited up in suits for an interview.

When to wear: Sharp / casual suits. Work environment. Smart casual events.


5. Dress Boots

A similar style as oxford but with a higher top and can be found with laces. A perfect dress shoe style in dark colours for formal day wear and in more casual occasions, a lighter brown leather is acceptable.

Dress boots look fantastic with dressy and casual clothes, such as a great-fitting pair of dark colored designer jeans, a pair of dress trousers, or a casual suit.

When to wear: Business meeting or formal events.


How to Choose Dress Shoes?

When it comes to choosing dress shoes, there are a few basic things to look out for:

1. Quality – It is important to have quality shoes not just for that sharp, dressy look but shoes that can last longer. When shopping for shoes, visit specialty dress shoe stores as they have a better and wider selection and usually use quality leather. Check that the soles are well stitched to the bottom of the shoes and not glued. The stitching on the shoes should be barely visible and neat.

2. Occasion – Dress shoes are usually worn at smart casual or more formal events. In some occasions, a dress code may be specified and what you wear directly defines the type of shoes to match it with. For example, a black tie ensemble would go well with an oxford. In party dinner events, a loafer or dress boots would be part of the choice list.

3. Colour and Style – The attire you plan to wear for the event should have been decided before you pick your shoes. Choosing the style of shoes can be a very personal preference, those who prefer a classic look may prefer plain-cap toe styles to brogues and those who prefer more detailing may go with wing tip toe styles. The must-have is black shoes as they match easily with almost any colours and dressier than brown. Brown leather shoes would go well with navy or charcoal suits or smart casual outfits.

4. Fitting – When trying out the shoes, it is encouraged to wear the same type of dress socks you would for the dress shoes. Allow half-inch between the tip of the toes and shoe to ensure the toes are able to move comfortably. In the back of the shoe, keep an index finger distance from your feet. Try both feet on, walk around and make sure it is comfortable.

Get suited, stay dressy. Hope this guides covers the foundations you need to know for some of the most popular dress shoes type.

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2 thoughts on “A Gentlemen’s Guide to Dress Shoes”

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