Having a versatile selection of dress shoes is something every man should include in their wardrobe – there will always be an occasion.
Even men who favour casual shoes and trainers will at some point need to suit-up and a great pair of formal shoes will complete your outfit.
Anatomic & Co has put together a guide to help you understand the differences between the formal shoe options available.
Types of men’s dress shoes
Some men may not understand the world of formal shoes, but the right dress shoe is a surefire way to earn some style points.
Generally speaking, you want to include the following formal dress shoes in your wardrobe:
- The Oxford
- The Brogue
- The Loafer
- The Desert Boot
- The Chelsea Boot
- The Boat Shoe
The Oxford Shoe:
Oxford shoes scream sophistication and class, and are the ideal shoe for the office or several formal events. It’s important to choose a pair that is comfortable, as occasions that call for an Oxford shoe tend to last most of the day.
- The shoe gets gradually narrower closer to the point
- A blunt pointed front
- Colour of the leather may vary from one end of the shoe to the other
What to wear with Oxford shoes:
While the most ‘acceptable’ way to wear the Oxford shoe requires a smart style, you can experiment with your outfit.
You can either treat the Oxford shoe as strictly office gear or with a full suit for a formal occasion (left) or partner them with a more casual office outfit, like with a turtleneck instead of a shirt under your suit (right).
While Oxfords were initially plain formal shoes, they evolved into a range of styles both formal and casual. Some of these styles feature broguing or perforations along the edges of the individual leather pieces – these are known as brogues.
Although the classic brogue is crafted in brown leather, there are now many different colours, styles and materials available.
- Low heels
- Toe caps
- Heel caps
- Lace panels
- Broguing or decorative perforations
What to wear with Brogues:
A highly versatile shoe, the brogue can be worn with various different outfits. This includes everything from slim denim jeans and simple v-neck shirts, to smart shirts and chinos.
Now days, you can even wear the classic brogue with a two-piece pin-stripe suit.
Also read: How to Wear Men’s Brogues
Loafers, or slip-ons, are ideal for more casual settings. The great thing about them is that they can be worn with or without socks.
Today, loafers have a wide range of formality from casual to dapper.
- Ability to Slip On and Off
- No Buckles or Laces
What to wear with Loafers:
Loafers can be styled with rolled up trousers or jeans and depending on the colour, dark or light, a shirt or a plain T-shirt.
You can even wear certain loafers with a fine tailored suit – you want to make sure that your trousers do not hang over the shoe, but rather show a little ankle.
In part 2 of the ultimate guide to men’s dress shoes, we’ll discuss the Desert Boot, the Chelsea Boot and the Boat shoe.
With the right dress shoes, you’ll be half-way to looking your best at any event, interview, meeting or date.