post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
Inspired by Will C's useful thread on the formality of necktie patterns, I thought I would try the same for decoration levels, color, and materials of pumps and oxfords/balmorals.

This is a hierarchy of formality/dressiness. The items at the top are what you'd wear when you want to approach full dress as closely as you can. The bottom is what you'd wear when you want to approach undress/casual as closely as you can. A space between the clusters means there's a noticeable jump up or down in dressiness. Within the clusters, higher position means more dressy/formal, though not by a lot.

For simplicity, I limited the colors to black, burgundy/oxblood, and brown. I left out austerity wingtips and wholecuts because I still haven't made up my mind on where they fall.

"Box" means "box calf," i.e., what we usually think of as calfskin, the non-suede kind.
"Quarter brogue" means "semi brogue with no medallion on the toe"
"Brown suede" means "any brown suede of snuff shade or darker"

Black patent pumps
Black box (or shell?) pumps

Black patent plain toe oxfords
Black box or shell plain toe oxfords

Black box or shell stitch cap
Black box or shell punch cap

Burgundy box or shell stitch cap
Dark brown box or shell stitch cap

Black box or shell quarter brogue
Burgundy box or shell punch cap
Dark brown box or shell punch cap

Black box or shell semi brogue
Burgundy box or shell quarter brogue
Dark brown box or shell quarter brogue
Brown Suede stitch cap

Brown suede punch cap
Black box or shell full brogue/wingtip
Burgundy box or shell semi brogue
Dark brown box or shell semi brogue

Brown suede quarter brogue

Burgundy box or shell full brogue/wingtip
Dark brown box or shell full brogue/wingtip
Brown suede semi brogue

Brown suede full brogue/wingtip


That's it. What do you all think? Suede is tricky.