Dress shoes can make or break your outfit. We can understand that differentiating between various types of shoes may not always be easy and that not all shoe types fit to every occasion. In this guide you will see the overview of different types of footwear.
Oxfords are characterised by closed lacing system. They are the highest in the hierarchy of formal shoes.
Black Oxford shoes are the perfect dress shoes for formal occasions, such as weddings, funerals and job interviews. They will add formality to your attire and will be best paired with a tux to a black-tie event or a business suit in black, blue navy or grey.
Shoes made from a single piece of leather have a minimalist style and clean lines. You can wear them to the office and to the formal evening with elevated dress code. For special occasions we suggest taking a look at our luxury Couture line with a selection of dress shoes made using the Goodyear Welted method. You can read more about this process of production in this article.
Broguing makes the shoes step down on the formality ladder. Our Rico 15 Oxford shoes in Budapester style, that is with broguing and wingtip cap, will be less formal than black Oxford shoes with no decorations. Full brogues can be worn together with tweed and other country fabrics.
Black derby shoes, even though less formal than Oxfords, can be paired with dark formal suits for numerous occasions such as less official dinners, daytime meetings, conferences etc.
Brown derby shoes with embossed pattern on the upper will look less elegant, but are still a good choice for business outfits:
Colours other than brown and black, are also less formal, but will be a good alternative if you want to pair them with a slightly more casual attire.
For "smart casual" outfits, brown derbies with brogue perforation are ideal and can also be combined with semi-formal suits.
Monk strap shoes will perfectly match less formal suits, coordinated looks and other casual outfits.
Two-coloured double monk strap shoes will match with grace any casual attire.
Loafers can differentiate tassel loafers, penny loafers and bit loafers. You can match our Clive 1 horsebit loafers with a rather smart and casual outfit, but remember that slip-on shoes are considered less formal than lace-up shoes.
05 Leather sneakers
05 Leather sneakers
Leather sneakers have become a must-have model in the same way as the more classic city shoes, with the advantage of being comfortable and easy to put on. Athleisure or sportswear trends are borrowed from the sports and technical wardrobe but can now be worn on all occasions. As chic as they are casual, they will bring a cool and modern twist to your look in the blink of an eye.
If you're a rather understated and minimalist person, opt for the classic white sneakers, which are timeless and easy to wear. If you're more on the cutting edge and on trend, but still care about comfort, try a pair of ugly shoes or colourful sneakers.
Finally, if you are a little lost in all these choices, here are some general points that may help you in your quest for the ideal shoe:
- Shoes with closed lacing (Oxfords) are generally considered more elegant than those with open lacing (derbies).
- You can never go wrong with black shoes; and if you hesitate with brown, in general dark shades are more sober and easier to coordinate.
- Between a shoe with laces and a slip-on shoe, the one with laces will be considered as more dressed; but of course, it all depends as well on the colors and finishes!
- A leather sole is more classic and has less stylistic risk compared to a rubber sole.
- To stay elegant and simple, it is better to choose a smooth leather shoe: nubuck or suede are more suitable for everyday use.
- No extras, less risk! A classic shoe without decorations will be easier to coordinate than a shoe with brouging, two-tone leather or a colored rubber sole.
This may help you make a "safe" choice to stay elegant on a special occasion!
However, at Melvin & Hamilton, you'll find countless ways to break codes and play with fashion, whoever you are, or whoever you want to be today.
Fashion is a learning experience; elegance can also be found in a multicoloured oxford shoes or in boots with fur. It's up to you to find the shoes that match best your desires, your style, your clothes, your daily life!
To discover our guide to different women's shoes, go here!