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Question on types of black shoes and their levels of formality

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by strangedream, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. strangedream

    strangedream Well-Known Member

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    Dec 5, 2011
    Somewhere over the rainbow where you can get drunk
    I recently read the Put This On post "The Black Tie Shoe That’s Good For Something Else," in which Jesse talk about the plaintoe barmoral and other types of black shoes and their formality for occasions like black tie event.

    So I assume the level of formality of black shoes goes something like this like this:
    • (LEAST) loafer < wingtip < cap toe < plain-toe (MOST)

    I also got intrigued by Kent Wang's description on his plaintoe balmoral as "the only shoe that can be worn with both a tuxedo and a conventional suit. Appropriate for black tie, job interviews, funerals, and everyday city wear."

    I was curious where then the wholecut shoes like below fall into the rank of black-shoes-formality. Is it somewhere between the cap toe and the plain-toe, or is it even more formal than the latter?


    In addition, does such black wholecut also versatile as the plain-toe, which Kent Wang describes as "appropriate for black tie, job interviews, funerals, and everyday city wear"?


    P.S. I guess there is no black shoes more formal than the court shoes aka opera pumps.

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012

  2. msulinski

    msulinski Distinguished Member

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    Apr 3, 2012
    I think it depends on the situation. A black wholecut can look great for evening wear. I don't know that it is more or less formal than a plaintoe balmoral though. The one you have pictured, however, I would classify as less formal due to the perforations.

    I wouldn't wear a wholecut to a job interview or a funeral however. They are generally considered more fashion-forward than the other styles mentioned, which, in my opinion, decreases their formality in the business world.

  3. Cornet

    Cornet Active Member

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    Oct 30, 2012
    You could simply substitute ribbon laces for plain laces on wholecut shoes to make them - in my opinion - acceptable for black tie dress. I am partial to these since you do not need a different pair of shoes for black tie events and they are not made of patent leather.



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