- Apr 10, 2011
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Take a look through the Golden Age of classic men's style, which is roughly between the period of 1930s and 1960s, with a small blip in the '80s. Vox has a good archive of historically well dressed men during these periods. By and large, almost everyone is wearing a derby with suits or sport coats, and then oxfords for only suits.So this is where you lose me:
1. You created a rule (a hard and fast rule that you have repeated numerous times): oxfords only with suits
2.The basis of the rule is because “generally speaking” oxfords are more formal
well, in my opinion that rule is fatally flawed and ridiculous.
first, I would agree that many oxfords tend to be more formal.
but in your own post you just said this was a “generally speaking” concept, not a hard and fast rule.
seems to me that your rule should be that more formal shoes should be worn with suits, as opposed to saying “no oxfords with suits” but then admitting that the formality of the Oxford is only a general concept.
one of the reasons I am so thrown aback by your rule, is it flies in the face of what a lot of traditional companies even offer for products.
take Allen Edmonds for example. Say what you will about that company, but they are worthy of respect in what they have contributed to this field.
they have a shoe called a strand, and another called a McAllister. Both are oxfords. But both are heavily brogued, and come in more brown’ish or oxblood/mahogany style colors.
Neither shoe is made primarily for suit wearing (they go well with daytime professional suit wear, but are much more of a casual shoe than say the Allen Edmonds delray which is a split toe derby)
so is Allen Edmonds wrong in their production of the strand or the McAllister? Should those shoes be discontinued as it is against the rules to wear them casually? Are people wrong for having those shoes in their collection?
According to your rule, there is no place for a shoe like that.
sorry if I have gone too far with this conversation, I just saw this thread yesterday and was shocked at what, to me, felt like reading gentleman’s gazette made up rules.
also I don’t agree at all that derbies are more formal than loafers. Some derbies can be more formal, some loafers can be more formal. I think, generally speaking, they are about equal in formality. That said, I also think it’s easier to dress up most loafers than it is to dress up most derbies (altbough there are some nice derbies out there).
man’s as stated previously, I think you are interjecting your own region way too much into this rule. In California the sports coat look with a derby might come off better given the general nature of the area. But say New England in the fall, a shoe like the Allen Edmonds McAllister might be a better choice.
One can say that they don't want to dress like historical people, which is completely fine. But as classic men's style is discussed on this forum, it's about those periods. When we say "classic style," we are referring to a collection of looks from those periods -- Ivy, trad, Mod, the Contential look, A&S drape, etc.
This is not a California thing. It's something that was historically practiced. Casual shoes (e.g. derbies and loafers) were historically worn with sport coats and suits. Oxfords were reserved for suits.
Oxfords with chinos and a button-up shirt is very "business casual," which to me is the worst look. It's just a vanilla bland look that confers none of the benefits of tailoring, and none of the expression possible in casualwear. It's a Kinkos copy center.