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Pairing oxford shoes with chinos

Is it acceptable to pair oxfords with chinos?

  • Yes, anytime, anywhere.

    Votes: 31 25.2%
  • Whenever you've got that "chino + oxfords" feeling.

    Votes: 21 17.1%
  • In a pinch (other pants at the cleaners, traveling, Halloween costume...)

    Votes: 29 23.6%
  • No, except maaaybe in a life or death situation.

    Votes: 42 34.1%

  • Total voters
    123

am55

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That was 15 to 20 years ago and might have been at Ask Andy when many of us were there. Honestly I don't recall the specifics with few exceptions. Btw, the tie is a woven dot ... and that does create its own diagonal ... but I don't recall that being mentioned. What I recall most was criticism of the various directions of the pattern at the lapels. Honestly none of the criticism really bothered me. Being an architect I appreciate the asymmetry. And being an architect, I'm used to presentations before planning commissions and design review boards where criticism is freely offered. I all sincerity I like the suit and wore it mostly to clubs in New York and San Francisco. I also enjoyed wearing it to a restaurant in San Francisco famous for its Deco style. I will add that I knew better than to wear it in middle America.
"It was not unnatural, with the example of her mother before her eyes, that Elizabeth should have a healthy loathing of Art. In fact, any excess of intellect–‘braininess’ was her word for it–tended to belong, in her eyes, to the ‘beastly’. Real people, she felt, decent people–people who shot grouse, went to Ascot, yachted at Cowes–were not brainy. They didn’t go in for this nonsense of writing books and footling with paint brushes; and all these highbrow ideas–Socialism and all that. ‘Highbrow’ was a bitter word in her vocabulary. And when it happened, as it did once or twice, that she met a veritable artist who was willing to work penniless all his life rather than sell himself to a bank or an insurance company, she despised him far more than she despised the dabblers of her mother’s circle. That a man should turn deliberately away from all that was good and decent, sacrifice himself for a futility that led nowhere, was shameful, degrading, evil. She dreaded spinsterhood, but she would have endured it a thousand lifetimes through rather than marry such a man."
 

ValidusLA

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"It was not unnatural, with the example of her mother before her eyes, that Elizabeth should have a healthy loathing of Art. In fact, any excess of intellect–‘braininess’ was her word for it–tended to belong, in her eyes, to the ‘beastly’. Real people, she felt, decent people–people who shot grouse, went to Ascot, yachted at Cowes–were not brainy. They didn’t go in for this nonsense of writing books and footling with paint brushes; and all these highbrow ideas–Socialism and all that. ‘Highbrow’ was a bitter word in her vocabulary. And when it happened, as it did once or twice, that she met a veritable artist who was willing to work penniless all his life rather than sell himself to a bank or an insurance company, she despised him far more than she despised the dabblers of her mother’s circle. That a man should turn deliberately away from all that was good and decent, sacrifice himself for a futility that led nowhere, was shameful, degrading, evil. She dreaded spinsterhood, but she would have endured it a thousand lifetimes through rather than marry such a man."
Whoa. Haven't seen Burmese Days since High School. Great read.
 
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ValidusLA

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You had one daring teacher. Probably banned from all curricula these days.

Orwell's non-1984 is unjustly forgotten.
Prep school 18 years ago. Would certainly never pass in the public or maybe even private schools of today.
 

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The outcome I would actually like is that we can all agree to disagree on the Chino/Oxford combo and not fall out over such trivia
I don't know about most of you fellows, but I can still buy a drink and share a good conversation with someone who completely disagrees with me regarding men's clothing. Now if we introduce politics of the kind about today, that theory might get tested.
 

yorkshire pud

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I don't know about most of you fellows, but I can still buy a drink and share a good conversation with someone who completely disagrees with me regarding men's clothing. Now if we introduce politics of the kind about today, that theory might get tested.
We live in a different world now unfortunately, context and humour are often lost as we chatter away online, where once we had pub's and club's that served the same purpose.

That's progress 😉
 
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Orwell's non-1984 is unjustly forgotten.
I enjoy going back and reading Orwell from time to time. There are always passages I've forgotten that make the entire read worthwhile. And as I age and time marches forward, I arrive at new ways of understanding. I'll look for my copy of Burmese Days.

I rarely wear t-shirts but I received one in 2018 that reads "Make Orwell Fiction Again".
 
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TheChihuahua

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Ha

Was reading “The Bible” today (1957 SEARS Christmas Book)…

saw this. Yea, they are loafers or slip ons or opera pumps or whatever, but these (#16) are more progressive than anything I have seen lately in terms of fashion forward looks in a CM setting…

C5B9B3E6-7409-4DA2-81D3-5AB9E1544642.jpeg
9112289D-5FA4-457E-947C-32606C122B73.jpeg
 

am55

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I enjoy going back and reading Orwell from time to time. There are always passages I've forgotten that make the entire read worthwhile. And as I age and time marches forward, I arrive at new ways of understanding. I'll look for my copy of Burmese Days.

I rarely wear t-shirts but I received on in 2018 that reads "Make Orwell Fiction Again".
I've lived in Southeast Asia for a decade and I don't think it ever was fiction nor will it become so. @Riva could comment if he were still around. Well, punkkah wallahs are gone I guess. And the quarter million bayonets is now a quarter trillion US dollars...
 
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acapaca

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Good faith runs in both directions, you know. What many of us here have taken objection to is the claim that there is a -- longstanding and still extant -- rule that oxfords are tastelessly out of place in the context of anything besides a suit. It does not address that claim in good faith to constantly point to ridiculous combinations that no one here would ever wear. That's an argument no one is making.

To establish that such a rule, no oxfords with anything but suits, exists and should guide us, one must demonstrate both of the following:

1) that such a rule existed in the first place
2) that such a rule still exists today

We've spent a fair amount of time arguing the first item, looking at pictures of exceptions and counterexamples and so on, but even if we all agree that it's mostly true, in no way does it prove the truth of the second claim. In no way at all. But that seems to be the only real argument we're being given. It's the way they did it back then, so it's the way we do it today, they say. And every one us knows that's not necessarily true. I mean, we don't wear hats anymore.

On PermamentStyle there is a section called 'The Rules (and How to Break Them)', which, as it says, is a guide for "exposing myths of menswear and calmly explaining the rationale behind advice that is normally just shouted (with a surprising amount of consternation and no nuance)." It explores things like 'no brown in town' and 'don't wear white after Labor Day'.

Notably missing from the list is a prohibition of oxfords with odd trousers. But there is a related rule that made the cut, and that perhaps could shed light on our discussion here. It's about how to wear tan shoes.

In explaining that shoes should be darker than trousers, Simon says:

This looks subtler and more elegant than a bright shoe against a dark trouser. And as a result it has become common practice, social convention, and finally something we can call a rule of menswear.
So, that is a (perhaps less stridently stated) view that aligns with what we've discussed here, even if it trades cognitive rationale like competing areas of visual attention with gentler and broader appeals to 'subtlely' and 'elegance'.

So far, so good. But from there the points of view seem to markedly diverge. Here is the first photographic example of how to do it properly:

SCO1.jpg


And those, I'm afraid, are oxfords worn with something besides a suit. (They are also, for what it's worth, the Stefano Bemer version of the Russian reindeer shoes, which are among the kinds of 'shoes as objects' that have been maligned in this thread.)

Interestingly to me, Simon says that his friend got a pair and found:

They seem to go with everything he wears, from grey flannel to cream linen, and have real character without overly standing out.
It's not clear if those examples are suits or not, but I think we would all agree that grey flannel and cream linen are useful odd trousers and that among 'everything he wears' are probably things besides suits.

Simon, for his part, says "They’re wonderful, and have proved just as versatile as I hoped." First he offers the ubiquitous #shoegram shot, which I know everybody hates:

SCO2.jpg


But he does follow up with a full fit pic -- you know, so you get the 'totality of it all' and can make judgments about the harmony, or tasteless lack thereof:

SCO3.jpg


I don't think anyone here would really argue that you can take it that far in caj-ing up those oxfords -- I mean, dear God, that may actually be an oxford shirt -- but we do know that even Simon himself admits he sometimes gets a fit wrong. Anyway, I digress. Back to tan shoes...

Simon's next pic is meant to demonstrate how even when you wear light colored trousers you might want to stick with dark shoes if you are wearing something dark-ish above the waist, like so:

SCO4.jpg


And once again, those are oxford shoes. I wonder if those are even bare ankles and not just light socks. Gosh, that would be soooo punk rock.

Then he shows the overcoat look I posted upthread. He says these are G&G adelaides. Hell, he's no longer even trying to appear country:

SCO5.jpg


Now he brings in his friend Benedikt from Shibumi to demonstrate some other point (I forget what -- does it really even matter what it is anymore?), and I found something about this pic especially interesting:

SCO6.jpg


What interests me most is not anything to do with color but that evidently we can go from loafers to oxfords -- loafers! not even derbies! -- and really not even skip a single beat. Like, in a game of 'describe in 100 words or less how the totality and harmony of these two outfits differ', the type of shoe might not even gain a mention. Telling.

There are two more pics in Simon's post. Here's one that tends more to the formal side of things, in structure if not in color. And again, those look like oxford shoes:

SCO7.jpg


And finally he closes the post with a more casual outfit:

SCO8.jpg


I can't tell for sure if those are oxfords or not. And really, perhaps that is part of the point. Perhaps you aren't gaining a whole lot by zooming in with a little circle and magnifying the facings. I mean, doesn't all the attention go to that geometrical area around the face, anyway, as long as a flash of color doesn't steal your attention downwards?

Simon closes by saying this, which is a sentiment we've also heard expressed eloquently in this thread:

This post by the way, is part of the ‘Rules’ series, where I explain why certain rules or guidelines exist in menswear and then – once that is thoroughly understood – how and where they can be broken.

You can break the rules whenever you want of course, but it’s seldom recognised that when the best dressers do so, they’re fully aware of what they’re giving up.
But here's the thing. Nowhere in this discussion -- nowhere at all -- is any mention in the least that he and his friends are repeatedly, over and over again, breaking a rule by wearing oxfords in this manner. There are 86 comments in reply, and not a single one of them brings it up -- and that's despite there being far more pics of oxfords than loafers, so it's not like one exception snuck through.

What are we supposed to take from this? We've got a prominent industry figure, who knows something about his menswear history, who doesn't seem to care. The guy from Shibumi doesn't seem to either, and Shibumi isn't what I would at all call avant garde. None of his readers seem to notice. Bruce Boyer -- Bruce Boyer! -- is a prominent counterexample. I mean, is it really a rule if no one seems aware of it?

On the other hand, in this thread we have supporting evidence of Vox and Iammatt and a golden era of StyleForum and pictures from Hollywood's Golden Age. No one will deny that there are plenty of people who have strictly adhered to the principle and have benefited from it. But that is a far, far cry from proving that it's still a rule that all those who dress in good taste follow today.
 
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breakaway01

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I think many of us at this point are irritated at the strident pronouncements against some “rule” that was never really a rule (from the outset presented as a strong opinion). You don’t have to believe it (clearly you don’t). Why you’d spend so much time writing such a long post at this point in the discussion is somewhat beyond me. Yes, believe me, I understand your side of the argument very well by now.

@emptym expressed it very well a few pages back. There actually is a nuanced way of thinking about this that isn’t black or white.
 

acapaca

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It doesn't matter what you want to call it, rule or opinion. The point is that as an observation it is wrong.

If you say that all swans are white -- or in your opinion, all well colored swans should be! -- because they've always been white and that's just the obvious way it is, then what do you do when you see a (well colored!) black one? You call it an exception, that's what you do. You call that swan an iconoclast. Or maybe that he wears white most every other day but, yes, on rare occasion he wears black, but that doesn't change the truth of your observations.

What do you do, then, when you start to see a black swan every single day? Well, I guess that's something to keep an eye on, as those things really aren't supposed to exist.

What, then, when half the swans start being black? Hm. Do you start to change your observations? Or do you lament with woe what has gone wrong with all those righteous white swans.

What happens when the black swans start to outnumber the white swans, by a considerable margin? Well, you can valiantly fight against the tide. But the point may well come -- and you may not even notice it happening -- when you become the iconoclast.
 

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