What makes a shoe more or less formal?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by SVS, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. SVS

    SVS Senior member

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    I'm looking for a pair of formal shoes to wear with suits to important events (business meetings, interviews, funerals, etc), but I'm not clear regarding what makes a shoe more or less formal. Clearly, black is more formal than brown but beyond that, I'm lost.

    Are bluchers more formal than balmorals? Why is a cap toe considered more formal than a split toe? is a whole cut the most formal? Is brogueing considered less formal? Are slip-ons or monks ever considered formal enough? How should I think of shoes in terms of formality?

    After reading the post here, I realize I'm not familiar enough with the sartorial norms.
     


  2. 3orangewhips

    3orangewhips Well-Known Member

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    Get yourself a pair of cap-toes, you'll be golden.
     


  3. kaxixi

    kaxixi Senior member

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    I am no expert, but here is what I've gathered.

    Are bluchers more formal than balmorals?

    No, other way around. Bals are sleeker, maybe because you can't see leather stitched to leather. http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/f...p?t-58100.html

    Why is a cap toe considered more formal than a split toe?

    Cap toe is cleaner. Perhaps there is also a historical reason?

    is a whole cut the most formal?

    No, cap toe is more formal, perhaps because the "cap" doesn't crease as much at the toes as a whole cut.

    Is brogueing considered less formal?

    I thought so, but a salesman once insisted that it is not. I am planning on wearing cap toes with brogueing on the cap to some upcoming interviews.

    Are slip-ons or monks ever considered formal enough?

    For what? I like wearing monks with a suit, but it isn't conservative, and not appropriate, for example, for an interview.
     


  4. goodlife

    goodlife Senior member

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    kaxixi pretty much covered all of the OPs questions, but as I seemingly have nothing better to do, I will try to be a little more comprehensive in case anyone ever uses the search function. For the sake of streamlining this post I will omit shoes worn with day and evening formal wear, as well as boots, and focus on styles that that could/should be worn with suit and sportcoat ensembles.

    upper material
    calf
    cordovan
    pebble grain
    suede

    sole material
    leather
    double leather
    dananite
    crepe
    commando

    color
    black
    burgundy
    darker browns
    medium browns
    light browns
    tan
    cream
    white

    lacing (for lack of a better term)
    closed (oxfords, bals, etc)
    open (bluchers, derbys, etc)
    wholecuts
    monks
    slip-ons

    embellishment
    captoe
    quarter brogue (brogue detail along the cap)
    half brogue (brogue detail along cap and around laces)
    semi-brogue (brogue detail along cap, around laces, and on heal)
    brogue/wingtip
    austerity brogue (brogue pattern, but with plain stitching instead of perforations)
    *punched patterns can be added to any of the above, resulting in a slightly less formal shoe
    split toe
     


  5. SVS

    SVS Senior member

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    Thanks. Great posts.

    I've never been a fan of cap toes. Maybe I just need to find a better looking pair of cap toes.
     


  6. manouche

    manouche Senior member

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    I'm looking for a pair of formal shoes to wear with suits to important events (business meetings, interviews, funerals, etc), but I'm not clear regarding what makes a shoe more or less formal. Clearly, black is more formal than brown but beyond that, I'm lost.

    Are bluchers more formal than balmorals? Why is a cap toe considered more formal than a split toe? is a whole cut the most formal? Is brogueing considered less formal? Are slip-ons or monks ever considered formal enough? How should I think of shoes in terms of formality?

    After reading the post here, I realize I'm not familiar enough with the sartorial norms.



    The shape = oxfords are formal, monks could be formal, berdy are cacual, laofers are for indians

    Escarpins are the most formal and should be shiny
     


  7. indy116

    indy116 Senior member

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    I will try to be a little more comprehensive in case anyone ever uses the search function.

    Nothing there is that surprising to me but it's good to see it all laid out.
     


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