If you are like lots of men, you might be thinking of getting a pair of dress shoes to make a fashion statement or just improve your closet. But irrespective of why you want to get one, picking the best men’s formal footwear can be a big step to looking your best.
However, picking the perfect pair of men’s dress shoe for the right occasion can be somehow challenging, particularly if you aren’t well-versed with different types of men’s dress shoes that suit different occasions and situations.
Again, dress shoes just like with other types of men’s shoes aren’t created equal. With a huge variety of formal shoes for men out there, ranging from plain shoes made from just a single piece of leather, to intricately detailed shoes with fancy stitching and perforations, then it means the whole task of picking the right dress shoe can be difficult than you think.
But that notwithstanding, you can still pick the right pair of dress shoe for any event as long you understand how different dress shoes suit different occasions. Here is the best shoes guide to familiarize you with different types of formal shoes for men out there, and to most importantly help you get started with selecting the perfect dress shoe for the occasion.
- Oxfords are by far the most popular dress shoes. They are the most simple and plain dress shoes in the history of dress shoes. They have a relatively low instep, non-rubber sole and a closed lacing. While some modern oxfords have been made from synthetic suede and other synthetic materials. Oxfords however are largely simple with fewer embellishments if any. Like other types of men’s dress shoes, they traditionally come in cordovan, brown, black, oxblood and occasionally white. They are ideal for numerous occasions. In an office situation for instance, the best choice is the basic, unadorned black oxfords. Black oxfords crafted from highly polished, shiny leather are great for formal events. Here are different types of oxfords and how you can wear them for different occasions.
- Cap-toe or wholecut oxfords- A whole-cut could be your best choice if you just want a plain, simple pair of dress shoes. These oxfords are completely devoid of fancy perforations, stitching and other design elements. They are also darn near close. Their eyelet flaps are switched over the point they meet the vamp on the same plane. They are normally referred to as wholecut because they feature an upper that has been cut and fashioned from a single piece of leather. They are best for evening wear and can be worn with blazer coats or suits. You can also wear your pair of wholecut oxfords with wool trousers, well-fitting cotton dress pants and dress shirts together with a tie.
- Semi-brogue oxfords- originally designed for those accustomed to walking through marshy fields, semi-brogue oxfords feature plenty of decorations and holes. They are among the dressiest shoes these days. They have a cap-toe with perforations, layered leathers, serrated edges and often a medallion of perforations that adorn the toe. Moreover, they have a closed lacing, thus making them sleek. They are best worn with wool trousers, suits, sport coats and perhaps dark wash jeans, though this largely depends on shoes’ color.
- Single monk straps- these shoes are secured to the wearer’s foot by a single strap and buckle system instead of laces. They are considered as the most fashionable oxfords, for they are super sleek. They are best suited for formal occasions where they can be paired with well-pressed cotton trousers and wool trousers. But depending on the texture and color, these oxfords can be worn with dark -wash jeans, an ideal style for everyday casual wear.
Loafers made their first appearance during the start of the 20th century. The unique feature of these shoes is the absence of buckles or laces. Traditionally made from leather, the slip-on shoes closely resemble moccasin on top. They, however, have a wide and relatively flat heel. Most of them have tassels. Loafers can either be worn casually or formally, although these are a favorite choice of the traveling business men. The simpler and sleeker the design, the more formal these shoes are. For formal occasions, the best choices for loafers are the darker versions. But for informal occasions such as evening parties, penny loafers, suede leather and rubber-sole loafers are some of the best options for casual wear. Loafers pair extremely well with both jeans and dress pants. They can also be worn with suits when a necktie is lacking. Below are some of the different types of loafers and how to wear them for different occasions.
- Tassel loafer- this loafer has become a hit in menswear. They are kin to an oxford, though they feature a slip-on design that mainly uses tassels for decoration. Like other types of loafers, this loafer can be used as casual or formal wear. For meetings, interviews and other formal events, a high quality-leather tassel loafer can be worn with a suit and a necktie. But for evening parties and for everyday casual wear, it can be worn with jeans, shorts and odd pants.
- Snaffle loafer-a golden brass strap is the distinguishing feature of this loafer. Due to its formal style, it is widely viewed as a perfect choice for formal occasions.
- Apron loafer-the loafers are distinguishable from the clear stitches that usually finish off the toe, thus forming a kind of an “apron-like” shape at the front. It is designed for everyday casual wear and thus is a favorite choice for night partying, golf playing and other recreational activities.
- Dress boots
These men’s dress shoes are a minimalistic and sleek boot style that can be worn together with odd trousers, jeans and suits especially in snowy or rainy weather. Like other dress shoes, dress boots are available in a wide array of styles such as cap-toed, monk-strap and wing-tip. They also suit all occasions depending on what one decides to pair them with. For business meetings and other formal occasions, they can be best when paired with suits. But for informal occasions or as casual wear, they are best when worn with either jeans or odd trousers. The main types of dress boots are the laced-up and Chelsea dress boots. The latter is suitable for official functions for it pairs well with suits, while the former is suitable for smart-casual wear since it pairs well with jeans and slacks.
These men’s dress shoes are referred to as wingtips because the shape of their cap toe appears like wings that are stretching across the front. Wingtips are solid in color and most of them are decorated with brogue leather. They are great for evening dates among other occasions that require a smart casual dress shoe.
Now that you are equipped with the knowledge on different types of men’s dress shoes, it is apparent you will be able to pick a dress shoe that suits any occasion you want. But please remember to use a shoe tree to preserve the shoes you pick. This is crucial for ensuring you can wear them for as long as possible.