I always say with a good suit comes a great pair of shoes. I still believe that shoes plays a major role in completing and complementing a gentleman’s ensemble. We may not have all of them but at least we’d know the difference and an extra thing or two about these powerful shoes.
Also known as Gibson or others would call it the Blucher, is a shoe that was popular in the 1800s for sporting and hunting activities. Its distinct look is noticeable by the quarters of the shoelace eyelets that are sewn and joining the vamp all the way up. Simply meaning that type of shoe is more relaxed due to the flexibility of the shoelace eyelets. Remember the iconic boys’ school shoe “Toughees”, now that’s a perfect example of a classic derby shoe. This shoe is a classic throw-back bringing back the good old school memories yet it is still worn even today, now that’s what I call timeless.
Named after the Oxford University, it is one of the classic shoes with rich history and still popular in today’s modern gentleman living. Confused with a Derby at time, the Oxford has the shoelace eyelets stitched on top of the vamp, giving the shoe a slimmer look in contrast with the Derby’s “open lace” construction. The Oxford is also one of the versatile pair as it can be worn on formal occasions and easily paired with a laid back casual look. This is a shoe that says a lot about the wearer, it echoes a classic and timeless gentleman.
A Brogue is the most popular gentleman’s dress shoe, as it’s the most advertised and searched on the internet. It is also the most decorative shoe of all the shoe because of the multiple patterns made separately and stitched together to complete the shoes. The stitching and the roughness of the shoes gives it that macho look. The decorative holes on the shoes were for ventilation purposes and for water to come out after going through wet patches or after walking in the rain. Well, brogue style can be incorporated in almost every style of shoes for the purpose of decoration.
Gaining its name from the sandals worn by the monks, because of a strap with a buckle and not laces but they’re fully closed and made of leather. The Monk Strap has always been around for years, although it’s now one of the trendiest shoes for gents, especially the updated version with double straps. Not just a trendy shoe but also echoes as it’s very attractive and inviting even when paired with an ordinary suit. This is a shoe for gentlemen that wants to stand out and make a statement.
Another shoe that has its fair share of history, it was first specially made for King George VI of England. A loafer was a casual shoe back in the days but then men started pairing them with suits going to work and up until now they are still a popular shoe for summer suit and tie dress-up. Loafers don’t have laces as they are just easy to slip on and off. Loafers come in different style to suit every gentleman’s taste.
The opposite of a loafer for a summer occasion, the Chelsea is an ankle length boot that can be pulled out on cold winter days. They also don’t have laces, only elasticated fabrics attached on the sides of the boot and a leather strap to assist with pulling the boot when slipping it on. Did you know that the Chelsea was originally a woman’s shoe? It was first made for Queen Victoria then women started wearing it and later it was introduced in the gentleman’s wardrobe until now. This type of a shoe doesn’t just say a winter item but a pair of shoes that showcases a different personality of a gentleman.
Yet again we see that even shoes have been around and they are not just shoes but have names with an intriguing background that makes one want to know more. Once again, you have yet another powerful weapon that will boost your confidence and get you creds when having a gentlemen’s gathering that you will be able to identify the different types of shoes by names. You may not have all of them but knowing them will say a lot about you. One more thing, a brogue is a style that can be incorporated in almost all the shoes mentioned above. I know after reading this, some are still a bit confused about the distinct differences between a Derby and Oxford. Below is a picture of both the shoes, can you tell which is Derby and Oxford? And can you see the difference?
Until next time, stay one step ahead.