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The Oxford-Shoe-Worn-Casually Appreciation Thread

acapaca

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I'm more interested in whether it looks good rather than whether it is classic.
I agree with all that. For this line in particular, what I sense is that we've gone round and round with a circular argument, made by some, that certain outfits/things don't look good if for no other reason that they aren't classic. I'm not sure that's something we'll ever get past...
 

smittycl

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Did I miss something? Was NA kicked out? Seems a bit harsh unless he went full psycho.
 

VegasRebel

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For this line in particular, what I sense is that we've gone round and round with a circular argument, made by some, that certain outfits/things don't look good if for no other reason that they aren't classic.
I'm not sure that's exactly right, but it's hard to tease out. Here's my best shot.

I'm using DWW as an example, mostly because I think I have a better idea of his position since he's gone to great lengths to articulate it, but this is just what I think he thinks, and maybe what I think some of the other people arguing along with him think, but I could certainly be wrong.

DWW has been pretty clear that he doesn't only think CM looks good. He's said several times that he likes some SWD looks, and he's posted plenty of them that he says look good. I don't think he believes only CM looks good.

I do think, like Mirage said a few posts back, that DWW has categories or compartments that he thinks look good. I get the impression DWW likes clearly CM looks, and clearly SWD looks, but a mostly CM look with some SWD-adjacent additions results in a "business casual" look that he usually doesn't like. I think, for him, strictly CM outfits say something, and strictly SWD outfits say something. Some mixes, like sport jackets and jeans, can say something, but that mix of CM and SWD becomes the realm of business casual (which seems more nebulously defined by him than CM, bit it's an imprecise mix anyway) and doesn't say anything other than "office drone" or something like that. When talking about something in the realm of CM-items (like oxfords) with SWD items (like jeans) or mixed items (like suede oxfords) he's largely said he doesn't think it looks good because it doesn't say anything to him, but also has said there's not much else to say other than that he doesn't think it looks good.

That's all fair enough. Maybe the end result is some of us like business casual stuff (as a CM/SWD mixed outfit) and others don't. Which is also fine, as a matter of opinion
 

Mirage-

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I agree with all that. For this line in particular, what I sense is that we've gone round and round with a circular argument, made by some, that certain outfits/things don't look good if for no other reason that they aren't classic. I'm not sure that's something we'll ever get past...
Well the problem with this is that we're here, instead of SWD, supposedly because we mostly like the aesthetic of CM, and CM-adjacent things. For example, I consider workwear to be often close to CM, because it has a similar "classic" feeling, or "roots in history" as DWW would say, which is why it's much easier to mix the two than to add streetwear and also why I usually hate the novelty looks of some brands, including even Drake's recently, of sweatpants with overcoats and other similar stuff.
But this is also why I think the SWD acronym makes little sense. Indeed, I only very recently realised I was missing out discussions on japanese repro brands and much other stuff (e.g. S.E.H Kelly) that I like simply because it was in the other section, which I do not frequent out of my distaste for streetwear.
I consider denim to be workwear first and foremost, with application into either CM or SW depending on cut and style. And in fact, mixing denim in (casual) CM is much easier than mixing in a sweatpant imo.

In the end, sure, we mostly care about what looks good. But you can dress in the best streetwear in the world, "understand the language" better than anyone, and I still won't like your outfit because I just dislike that aesthetic, it doesn't speak to me. So that's why we need some categorization.
The problem, as VegasRebel says, is that DWW is often both strict and arbitrary in deciding this compartmentalization. CM is good, but only golden age CM, or other exceptions he arbitrarily decides, e.g. denim with SC is apparently good (why? he hasn't explained this afaik, but imo it's because of my point about workwear above).
Other exceptions/innovations shown by other good dressers are "less bad" (SC+trousers+oxfords), but presumably still bad, or something "he doesn't hate" but also presumably not like (like Stoffa casual CM, and many casual looks by Crompton).
Yet other much more fashion-forward innovations such as sneakers with tailoring (on which I remain in the "maybe" camp), they're good in his book. He will defend this by saying there is a tradition of dressing down shoes rather than up, which is fine, but it doesn't completely solve the issue of sneakers with tailoring being far removed from golden age of CM. It's also mostly an american tradition, which might be why I don't feel it works as much as he does.
In fact, I still don't like penny loafers with most suits, or even formal separates, they feel too much a formality jump no matter how many old photo DWW pulls up. Tassels, on the other hand, yes. Although I am in all honesty partial as I just don't like penny loafers in general.
 
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FlyingMonkey

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Well someone brought up discussions of Viscounties and then someone else labeled her a pit viper 11 year old boy. And I'm the asshole? OK.
I wasn't talking specifically about or to you, but using a reply to you to talk to the thread in general, and I was certainly not calling you an "asshole."
 
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Jmr928

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My position is that oxfords -are- more elegant than these other shoes, but this doesn't mean there isn't a reason to own or wear these other types of shoes.

I wear derbys, bluchers, and chukkas frequently. I like them. But if I had to pick a favourite shoe type, I'd say the oxford, and I do think the oxford is inherently more versatile in the number of styles it can pull off well.
Would it be fair to say that you’re operating from a place where elegance is defined by a function of formality? I think that’s an interesting perspective if so but disagree. When I think of elegance there’s a certain je ne sais quois about it. Silhouette, fabric, details, how everything works together, how comfortable the wearer is in it I think plays a much larger role in elegance if that’s the stated goal than formality.

To use an example - in the pre-pandemic times I’d go to a few black tie or black tie optional events a year. Someone in a well cut charcoal suit with a well tied tie and poplin shirt with polished shoes would look more elegant than a person in a rented 3 button tuxedo with trousers pooling around their feet, patent oxfords, a pre-tied bow tie and a random color satin vest that matches their tie who looked like they were going to prom in 1997.

Similarly I think a person in chinos with a pair of LHS in color 8 and an OCBD will look more elegant than someone in slim fit technical chinos from Lulu and a stretch shirt from Mizzin with any sort of oxfords, regardless of how casual those oxfords are, even though in their mind they’ve added something more formal to dress the outfit up.

I do think the oxford is inherently more versatile in the number of styles it can pull off well.
And based on this and your subsequent posts that your position is that there are more pattern variations of oxfords? Therefore it must be more versatile because there are more types of oxfords that exist? In essence that the “styles it” bolded above refers to the patterns of the shoe, not more broadly where using “styles” is being used to define different types of outfits?

Well the problem with this is that we're here, instead of SWD, supposedly because we mostly like the aesthetic of CM, and CM-adjacent things. For example, I consider workwear to be often close to CM, because it has a similar "classic" feeling, or "roots in history" as DWW would say, which is why it's much easier to mix the two than to add streetwear and also why I usually hate the novelty looks of some brands, including even Drake's recently, of sweatpants with overcoats and other similar stuff.
But this is also why I think the SWD acronym makes little sense. Indeed, I only very recently realised I was missing out discussions on japanese repro brands and much other stuff (e.g. S.E.H Kelly) that I like simply because it was in the other section, which I do not frequent out of my distaste for streetwear.
I consider denim to be workwear first and foremost, with application into either CM or SW depending on cut and style. And in fact, mixing denim in (casual) CM is much easier than mixing in a sweatpant imo.

In the end, sure, we mostly care about what looks good. But you can dress in the best streetwear in the world, "understand the language" better than anyone, and I still won't like your outfit because I just dislike that aesthetic, it doesn't speak to me. So that's why we need some categorization.
The problem, as VegasRebel says, is that DWW is often both strict and arbitrary in deciding this compartmentalization. CM is good, but only golden age CM, or other exceptions he arbitrarily decides, e.g. denim with SC is apparently good (why? he hasn't explained this afaik, but imo it's because of my point about workwear above).
Other exceptions/innovations shown by other good dressers are "less bad" (SC+trousers+oxfords), but presumably still bad, or something "he doesn't hate" but also presumably not like (like Stoffa casual CM, and many casual looks by Crompton).
Yet other much more fashion-forward innovations such as sneakers with tailoring (on which I remain in the "maybe" camp), they're good in his book. He will defend this by saying there is a tradition of dressing down shoes rather than up, which is fine, but it doesn't completely solve the issue of sneakers with tailoring being far removed from golden age of CM. It's also mostly an american tradition, which might be why I don't feel it works as much as he does.
In fact, I still don't like penny loafers with most suits, or even formal separates, they feel too much a formality jump no matter how many old photo DWW pulls up. Tassels, on the other hand, yes. Although I am in all honesty partial as I just don't like penny loafers in general.
I’m not a full on traditionalist but I initially found my way to the forum looking for information on suits when I had my first internship and wanted to branch out from the Brooks Brothers stuff I’d worn growing up and my school uniform.

I lurked for years. There used to be more emphasis on a wider range of RTW companies and that was my introduction to the forum. It seems these days RTW tailoring is mostly constrained to affiliate threads with S&M being the most active and SuSu, Cavour and the Armoury getting some engagement. A few of those still do interesting stuff but with the lack of more discussion surrounding relatively available RTW tailoring options it might not be a huge surprise if guys gravitated toward RTW shoes.

One of the more interesting threads I follow but rarely post in is the unfunded liabilities thread where guys discuss different fabrics they’re curious about or trying to track down or looking to have something made in and what to pair it with.

But more and more, the newer guys who show up tend to jump into a shoe thread, usually with insights gleaned from a YouTube video. Sometimes they’ll then bounce over to the S&M thread to grab some chinos and polos to pair with their new oxfords with a beveled waist and all the things a YouTube video told them were the hallmark of a well made shoe etc, etc. Sometimes they’ll post something like can I wear these shoes with chinos and we end up here.

We’ve essentially ended up with a place where people are wearing business casual but with better made shoes. When I think of the least inspiring outfit I can imagine it’s navy chinos, an ocbd and tan strands. If that’s why people found SF and the CM side of things and we start saying that’s fine or even good or aspirational we may as well just bring the forum out behind the barn and put it out of its misery.

I don’t think that’s what any of us want though and I’m not sure what the answer is but a siloed off world where shoe guys and CM guys don’t really cross over and interact with each other wouldn’t seem to be a solution.
 

VegasRebel

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We’ve essentially ended up with a place where people are wearing business casual but with better made shoes. When I think of the least inspiring outfit I can imagine it’s navy chinos, an ocbd and tan strands. If that’s why people found SF and the CM side of things and we start saying that’s fine or even good or aspirational we may as well just bring the forum out behind the barn and put it out of its misery.
Isn't that was CM was originally supposed to be about, though? A bog standard unremarkable suit, like all the other suits everyone else wore, picked up from Sears or somewhere? I have a hard time panning the business casual outfit when it seems like an evolution of the purpose of classic menswear.

There are things that can be done to elevate the basic outfit, like nicer trousers, or shirts, or sport jackets, or shoes, and I think those things are worthy of discussion.

Whatever else we might say about that wall street pic used as an example of what not to do, all the people in that photo fit into their environment, and I assume none of them thought "I want to look bad today" when they got dressed, or think the similarly dressed person next to them looks bad. It's not "classic" in the sense meant here, and so maybe doesnt fit well in this part of the forum, but I think it's more CM than SWD.
 

acapaca

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Words, words, words.

I’m still waiting for a decent photo.
Can't remember if you've said...is there any particular threshold you have in mind for 'casual'? I'm assuming it's not as low as jeans, but not as high as navy coat and grey flannels.
 

acapaca

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Maybe we can try this as a point of reference. You looking for more, what's the word, 'caj'? Or is this country enough.

OW.jpeg
 

Stylewords

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^Thanks. I think you articulated that position well, even though I don't agree with it. By "in the same way..." do you mean due to history/tradition?
Well, we can probably go round in circles talking about whether this is rule based or simply based on tradition. Certainly, suits with loafers may be common in the US, but less so in many other countries. Even following general "rules", if an oxford is too formal for pairing with casual trousers, then in the same way, loafers are too casual to pair with a suit.
 

JFWR

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Would it be fair to say that you’re operating from a place where elegance is defined by a function of formality? I think that’s an interesting perspective if so but disagree. When I think of elegance there’s a certain je ne sais quois about it. Silhouette, fabric, details, how everything works together, how comfortable the wearer is in it I think plays a much larger role in elegance if that’s the stated goal than formality.

To use an example - in the pre-pandemic times I’d go to a few black tie or black tie optional events a year. Someone in a well cut charcoal suit with a well tied tie and poplin shirt with polished shoes would look more elegant than a person in a rented 3 button tuxedo with trousers pooling around their feet, patent oxfords, a pre-tied bow tie and a random color satin vest that matches their tie who looked like they were going to prom in 1997.

Similarly I think a person in chinos with a pair of LHS in color 8 and an OCBD will look more elegant than someone in slim fit technical chinos from Lulu and a stretch shirt from Mizzin with any sort of oxfords, regardless of how casual those oxfords are, even though in their mind they’ve added something more formal to dress the outfit up.


And based on this and your subsequent posts that your position is that there are more pattern variations of oxfords? Therefore it must be more versatile because there are more types of oxfords that exist? In essence that the “styles it” bolded above refers to the patterns of the shoe, not more broadly where using “styles” is being used to define different types of outfits?


I’m not a full on traditionalist but I initially found my way to the forum looking for information on suits when I had my first internship and wanted to branch out from the Brooks Brothers stuff I’d worn growing up and my school uniform.

I lurked for years. There used to be more emphasis on a wider range of RTW companies and that was my introduction to the forum. It seems these days RTW tailoring is mostly constrained to affiliate threads with S&M being the most active and SuSu, Cavour and the Armoury getting some engagement. A few of those still do interesting stuff but with the lack of more discussion surrounding relatively available RTW tailoring options it might not be a huge surprise if guys gravitated toward RTW shoes.

One of the more interesting threads I follow but rarely post in is the unfunded liabilities thread where guys discuss different fabrics they’re curious about or trying to track down or looking to have something made in and what to pair it with.

But more and more, the newer guys who show up tend to jump into a shoe thread, usually with insights gleaned from a YouTube video. Sometimes they’ll then bounce over to the S&M thread to grab some chinos and polos to pair with their new oxfords with a beveled waist and all the things a YouTube video told them were the hallmark of a well made shoe etc, etc. Sometimes they’ll post something like can I wear these shoes with chinos and we end up here.

We’ve essentially ended up with a place where people are wearing business casual but with better made shoes. When I think of the least inspiring outfit I can imagine it’s navy chinos, an ocbd and tan strands. If that’s why people found SF and the CM side of things and we start saying that’s fine or even good or aspirational we may as well just bring the forum out behind the barn and put it out of its misery.

I don’t think that’s what any of us want though and I’m not sure what the answer is but a siloed off world where shoe guys and CM guys don’t really cross over and interact with each other wouldn’t seem to be a solution.
Yes, the styles I was refering to was not outfits, but shoe patterns, e.g. half brogue, cap toe. Maybe I should say oxfords are more variable. They look better in more forms than do the other shoes.

I'm not that interested in going back and forth and back and forth on this anymore, though.
 
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mak1277

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Even following general "rules", if an oxford is too formal for pairing with casual trousers, then in the same way, loafers are too casual to pair with a suit.
Isn't this kind of nonsense though? Not every suit is the same level of formality. Sure, I would not wear loafers with a navy pinstripe to a board meeting. But I'd have no problem wearing loafers with a cotton suit, a linen suit, a tweed suit, etc. etc.
 

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