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What makes a shoe more or less formal?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for a pair of formal shoes to wear with suits to important events (business meetings, interviews, funerals, etc), but I'm not clear regarding what makes a shoe more or less formal. Clearly, black is more formal than brown but beyond that, I'm lost.

Are bluchers more formal than balmorals? Why is a cap toe considered more formal than a split toe? is a whole cut the most formal? Is brogueing considered less formal? Are slip-ons or monks ever considered formal enough? How should I think of shoes in terms of formality?

After reading the post here, I realize I'm not familiar enough with the sartorial norms.
post #2 of 7
Get yourself a pair of cap-toes, you'll be golden.
post #3 of 7
I am no expert, but here is what I've gathered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS View Post
Are bluchers more formal than balmorals?

No, other way around. Bals are sleeker, maybe because you can't see leather stitched to leather. http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...p?t-58100.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS View Post
Why is a cap toe considered more formal than a split toe?

Cap toe is cleaner. Perhaps there is also a historical reason?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS View Post
is a whole cut the most formal?

No, cap toe is more formal, perhaps because the "cap" doesn't crease as much at the toes as a whole cut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS View Post
Is brogueing considered less formal?

I thought so, but a salesman once insisted that it is not. I am planning on wearing cap toes with brogueing on the cap to some upcoming interviews.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS View Post
Are slip-ons or monks ever considered formal enough?

For what? I like wearing monks with a suit, but it isn't conservative, and not appropriate, for example, for an interview.
post #4 of 7
kaxixi pretty much covered all of the OPs questions, but as I seemingly have nothing better to do, I will try to be a little more comprehensive in case anyone ever uses the search function. For the sake of streamlining this post I will omit shoes worn with day and evening formal wear, as well as boots, and focus on styles that that could/should be worn with suit and sportcoat ensembles.

upper material
calf
cordovan
pebble grain
suede

sole material
leather
double leather
dananite
crepe
commando

color
black
burgundy
darker browns
medium browns
light browns
tan
cream
white

lacing (for lack of a better term)
closed (oxfords, bals, etc)
open (bluchers, derbys, etc)
wholecuts
monks
slip-ons

embellishment
captoe
quarter brogue (brogue detail along the cap)
half brogue (brogue detail along cap and around laces)
semi-brogue (brogue detail along cap, around laces, and on heal)
brogue/wingtip
austerity brogue (brogue pattern, but with plain stitching instead of perforations)
*punched patterns can be added to any of the above, resulting in a slightly less formal shoe
split toe
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks. Great posts.

I've never been a fan of cap toes. Maybe I just need to find a better looking pair of cap toes.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVS View Post
I'm looking for a pair of formal shoes to wear with suits to important events (business meetings, interviews, funerals, etc), but I'm not clear regarding what makes a shoe more or less formal. Clearly, black is more formal than brown but beyond that, I'm lost.

Are bluchers more formal than balmorals? Why is a cap toe considered more formal than a split toe? is a whole cut the most formal? Is brogueing considered less formal? Are slip-ons or monks ever considered formal enough? How should I think of shoes in terms of formality?

After reading the post here, I realize I'm not familiar enough with the sartorial norms.


The shape = oxfords are formal, monks could be formal, berdy are cacual, laofers are for indians

Escarpins are the most formal and should be shiny
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodlife View Post
I will try to be a little more comprehensive in case anyone ever uses the search function.

Nothing there is that surprising to me but it's good to see it all laid out.
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