Origins of the names Oxford and Derby?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by darck, Mar 9, 2006.

  1. darck

    darck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Sweden
    I've learned about the origins of the terms balmorals (from prince Albert's travel to the castle Balmoral according to Vass and Molnar) and bluchers (from field marshal Blücher who's soldiers wore boots with open lacing at Waterloo, according to Roetzel). But where does the names Oxford and Derby stem from? I've noticed that many makers or English shoes name their shoe models after towns - perhaps some particularly noteworthy shoemaker used the names Oxford and Derby for their models, and the usage got widespread?
     
  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
    41,568
    Likes Received:
    2,807
    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2002
    Location:
    In Hiding
    Oxford comes from Oxford University, the first place that below-the-ankle lace-up shoes became popular. I don't know the origin of derby.
     
  3. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

    Messages:
    14,914
    Likes Received:
    93
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2002
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Oxford comes from Oxford University, the first place that below-the-ankle lace-up shoes became popular. I don't know the origin of derby.
    Isn't a derby shoe, like the hat of the same name, named after the horse races at which the styles were popularized? Or am I just making that up again? [​IMG]
     
  4. Aus_MD

    Aus_MD Senior member

    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Derbies were originally sporting boots, rather than shoes, and may have had buckles.

    Aus_MD
     
  5. darck

    darck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Sweden
    Thanks!

    Oh, another question: which of the terms "Derby" and "Blucher" (and "Oxford" and "Balmoral") predates the other? From the stories, they all seem to have originated during the first half of the 19th century.
     
  6. Aus_MD

    Aus_MD Senior member

    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Thanks!

    Oh, another question: which of the terms "Derby" and "Blucher" (and "Oxford" and "Balmoral") predates the other? From the stories, they all seem to have originated during the first half of the 19th century.


    "Oxford shoe" dates from the 18th century, Blucher (also originally a boot) from the early 19th century, Balmoral from the mid 19th century and Derby around 1900.

    Aus_MD
     
  7. darck

    darck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Sweden
    Wonderful, thanks! So the Oxford shoe predates the boots worn by prince Albert at Balmoral Castle? It is interesting that the older name Oxford still is around in Europe while the newer name Balmorals is used in the US. Is seems as if it typically is the other way around - US terms and customs are "older" than their Brittish/European counterparts.

    Did the Derby's name come from the horse races as j suggested?
     
  8. tricket

    tricket Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Thanks for your information.
     
  9. Aus_MD

    Aus_MD Senior member

    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Wonderful, thanks! So the Oxford shoe predates the boots worn by prince Albert at Balmoral Castle?

    Originally called "Oxford-cut" shoes or "high-lows" (ie higher than a shoe, lower than a boot).

    This is not clear - it may be from the town, as I believe there was a cordwaining industry there.

    Aus_MD
     
  10. Aus_MD

    Aus_MD Senior member

    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    The following is the first instance of "Balmoral boots", from Ewing Ritchie's Night Side of London (1858):

    The more things change...

    Aus_MD
     
  11. darck

    darck Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Location:
    Sweden
    Again, thanks a lot! This is great information.
     
  12. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

    Messages:
    12,939
    Likes Received:
    459
    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2005
    Location:
    Grand Forks, ND, USA
    Oxford comes from Oxford University, the first place that below-the-ankle lace-up shoes became popular. I don't know the origin of derby.

    Wha...manton...does...not...know...? Must...breathe...![​IMG]
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by