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The Oxford-Shoe-Worn-Casually Appreciation Thread

UrbanComposition

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Sorry not to have been clear. They aren't my socks. These pics are all from this forum (of other people).

In this case, pairing the shoes with something dressier would have made it no longer a 'jeans and tweed' outfit, no? Here it is:

View attachment 1688613

I'm a bit perplexed by how commonly these discussions seem to steer back around to some sort of optimization game (that I don't think there is strong reason to believe the wearer is playing). Like, is it really necessarily the case that the wearer is looking for the 'best' or 'most coherent' outfit he can possibly put together on that day, like it's an entry for a contest? Does it really matter if it would have been a different look with different shoes? Or at least, does it always matter?

I think sometimes people just get in the mood to wear certain things on certain days, for reasons all their own...
Hmmm you make valid points.

I agree that clothes choices are not incredibly important compared to most other things in life. I also agree that in the grand scheme of things, oxfords versus derbies is quite a silly debate.

However, it seems as though the relative unimportance of the matter is being used as an excuse for less than ideal pairings. Personally, I don’t subscribe to the belief that there is not a general way of dressing well. Just that doing so (or not) isn’t a big deal.

In other words, if someone wants to wear oxfords with jeans, fine. The debate only begins when they assert they are just as fine a choice as derbies.
 

ValidusLA

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Yes. Opera pumps in patent leather or black calf (I prefer calf) ... and velvet slippers if the black tie event is at my home. But one quirk for me, with only rare exception, I wear bishop's purple socks with mine. "As always, a hint of color."
Did you have calf pumps made?

The only ones I've seen are SC for Michael Jondral.
 

JFWR

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^:) Yeah, I noticed that and edited it out. But I hesitated. Thank you for memorializing it.

Btw, @JFWR and I were pm'ing and I wrote this to him about his thought that oxfords were "versatile" or "variable" (i.e., come in many configurations):

Hmm. Variable may be better. Maybe there isn't just one word. I think the point is that there's many types of oxfords. That's true, but I think the same could be said for other types of shoes too, though. Just as you can make an oxford with or w/o broguing, of suede or calf, smooth or grained, with contrast details or not, leather or rubber soles, you can do that to other shoes. And while there are three to five types of oxfords (plain, cap, or wingtip, maybe adelaides, maaaybe wholecuts), there's many more types of derbies (plain, cap, longwing, short wing, split toe of various types, wholecut ptb, 3 eyelet etc) or loafers (venetian, opera pump, wholecut, penny -- with its various types of straps, hidden top-elastic slip ons, side-elastic slip ons, lazy man, tassle, kiltie, horse bit...) . And while oxfords really only look good when relatively sleek, derbies and loafers are equally at home when sleek or frumpy.

So I'd argue that loafers and derbies are actually more versatile in your sense of the word.
Here's a nice, substantive argument we can sink our teeth into. Thanks for posting this out in the public.

First, my initial claim was only about laced dress shoes. So my argument was directed against the derby and the blucher. This is because loafer styles don't intersect with laced shoe styles barely at all. There aren't any kiltie oxfords or penny bluchers.

Second, I am not making the claim of just variability, but aesthetically pleasing variability. For instance, a long-wing oxford is a rare, but existent, style; however, I'd say it is also ugly as sin. The long-wing style doesn't go with the oxford style. A long-wing style goes best with the blucher.

My claim is that the aesthetically pleasing combinations are as followed (updated as I didn't consider all of them):

Oxfords: Adelaides, medallion toe, cap toes, quarter brogues, half brogues, full brogues, wholecuts.
Derbys: 3-eyelet plain toes, split-toed, full brogue (rustic styles especially).
Bluchers: Plain toed, long-wing.

In the "styles that I think look good involving laced shoes", I'd say the oxford has the most variability.

Now why do these styles look good to me? Well, two reasons mainly: 1. They strike me as aesthetically pleasing. 2. They have a tradition of being made in these styles.

Part of the reason that long-winged oxfords don't work is for reason number 2: there isn't a great tradition of it. Now why do I believe this to be the case? Because it's an aesthetic miss. It is not just that "it isn't done", but that "it isn't done because it looks bad." Just like virtually no good company makes bicycle-toed anything, because bicycle toes are ugly as sin. Ultimately then, reason #1 is the real reason, even if it can be cashed out in terms of tradition at times.

Now if we complicate matters more, we can get into different leather types, leather grains, etc. For instance, I think your claim is right that derbys can look good "elegant" or "frumpy" in a way an oxford can't. For instance, I don't think oxfords pull off "rustic" as well, with the specifics in mind that I think something like scotch grain doesn't work as well with oxfords.

If loafers are brought into the mix, then there might be a claim that they are more variable than oxfords, as all the major types are recognized as looking good in the right context, even though there is no real overlap in the styles.
 

yorkshire pud

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Its a dying thing more and more. In LA unless you are in the charity gala scene, you will have little occasion to wear BT other than upscale weddings.

My wife and I had a BT wedding. Of 300+ guests, I'd say 95% wore BT. I've been to a number of BT weddings since, but generally the most successful ones have been on the east coast.

Too many people in LA think its fun to buck tradition on principle. Which I find boorish.
I've noticed whenever I watch Ricky Gervais present The Golden Globes, that there are a lot less non traditional outfits 🤔
 

yorkshire pud

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View attachment 1688618 These are the shoes I pair with BT. Although as I looked for examples of me wearing them I noticed the pictures from the events are all knee or waist up. Turns out event photographers don’t care about my shoes. Sad!
I would imagine all the Focus is on the Ladies Gowns at such an event and the men are kind of very smart "accessories"?
 

ValidusLA

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I've noticed whenever I watch Ricky Gervais present The Golden Globes, that there are a lot less non traditional outfits 🤔
Hollywood types are a bad example to follow for well dressed men. Tend to be uninterested or iconoclastic.

Friend of mine is a fairly well known young producer. He was one of rhe few at my wedding non BT...and his date was attired in what can only be described as....uh....flashy.
 

JFWR

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Its a dying thing more and more. In LA unless you are in the charity gala scene, you will have little occasion to wear BT other than upscale weddings.

My wife and I had a BT wedding. Of 300+ guests, I'd say 95% wore BT. I've been to a number of BT weddings since, but generally the most successful ones have been on the east coast.

Too many people in LA think its fun to buck tradition on principle. Which I find boorish.
Dude, how do you know 300+ to invite? That's kind of impressive, honestly.
 

ValidusLA

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Dude, how do you know 300+ to invite? That's kind of impressive, honestly.
My friends, wife's friends, wife's family, my family, my wife's dad's business contacts (he hosted). 325 attendees, probably 65 declines (mostly from Asia who didn't want to fly out).
 

JFWR

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My friends, wife's friends, wife's family, my family, my wife's dad's business contacts (he hosted). 325 attendees, probably 65 declines (mostly from Asia who didn't want to fly out).
Damn. Impressive.
 

Stylewords

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Irrelevant. You still haven't addressed my BT question. If velvet slippers and opera pumps are loafers, and are considered elegant enough for BT, how can you pronounce loafers as a category less elegant than oxfords?
I refer you to a ranking given previously by...you:

" Like the way I look at it:
Black Tie: Opera Pump, Velvet Slippers, Oxford (of restricted types)
Suits: Oxfords, Derbies, Loafers
SC+Trousers: Derbies, Loafers, or rarely oxfords
Chinos: Derbies, Loafers, Boots of various types
Denim: Derbies, Loafers, boots of various types
Shorts: Loafers and others "

One might conclude that as a category loafers are more informal (I never used the term "elegant") than oxfords. (Note that here and for everyone discussing in good faith, when we refer to loafers, we are not referring to opera pumps).

In many non-US countries (the UK for example), loafers do not generally fit in the category with suits.
 

ValidusLA

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I refer you to a ranking given previously by...you:

" Like the way I look at it:
Black Tie: Opera Pump, Velvet Slippers, Oxford (of restricted types)
Suits: Oxfords, Derbies, Loafers
SC+Trousers: Derbies, Loafers, or rarely oxfords
Chinos: Derbies, Loafers, Boots of various types
Denim: Derbies, Loafers, boots of various types
Shorts: Loafers and others "

One might conclude that as a category loafers are more informal (I never used the term "elegant") than oxfords. (Note that here and for everyone discussing in good faith, when we refer to loafers, we are not referring to opera pumps).
That is not a "ranking". A ranking implies some sort of value hierarchy. That is a list of types of shoes I think work with certain types of clothing.

Opera pumps and velvet slippers are effectively types of loafers in shape, how they sit on the foot, etc. They are made to similar shapes - for example Carmina makes their pumps on the Uetam last, which is only used for loafers (and opera pumps). I have heard slippers called loafers many times. Perhaps someone w/ better grounding in this could weigh in?

In many non-US countries (the UK for example), loafers do not generally fit in the category with suits.
Well, in the US and Italy (which are the most commonly discussed classic menswear traditions besides British discussed on this board), they do.
 

ValidusLA

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(I never used the term "elegant")
True, you said:

For me, loafers are a more casual shoe, an easy shoe that requires no effort for those who don't want to (or can't) tie laces. They can also often look a little too effeminate.
By deeming them essentially "casual" and pejoratively classifying them as for lazy people (don't want to tie laces) and/or the infirm (can't tie laces), you do so without using the word.
 

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