Any dapper gentleman knows the importance of having a reliable selection of dress shoes in his wardrobe. These shoes are typically made from leather, with various designs and styles available to suit any occasion. These shoes are often handcrafted, which explains why some designer brands may have a rather hefty price tag attached to them. Many heritage shoe companies, particularly those found in Northampton, UK, which is the traditional home of shoemaking, have a long and fabled history that makes them distinctive. However, it would be remiss not to mention the Veneto region of Italy, which claims to be just as good if not better than Northampton in terms of quality!
It is important to invest in a few types of dress shoes as they serve different functions. The classic Oxford is the epitome of smart design, best suited for formal occasions. With its closed lacing style, these shoes are usually black and go well with a business suit or a classic black tie. The cap toe style of Oxford is the most common, but the wholecut Oxford is also a popular choice for those who appreciate unique patina techniques. The Derby, which is often mistaken for an Oxford, is a more relaxed option. They have an open lacing style, with flaps for housing the eyelets sewn directly onto the upper of the shoe. Although it is less formal than the Oxford, it can still look good on more casual occasions, like when paired with unstructured blazers or tailored trousers.