Men's footwear includes shoelaces, which are frequently disregarded and taken for granted. The majority of the time, even well-dressed gentlemen ignore them until they rip Today, we go over which shoelaces to choose and which to avoid, how to lace an Oxford or a Derby shoe, and how to find the perfect knot that will never come undone for you.
The overall look and feel of your outfit can be greatly influenced by the type of shoelace you use, how you lace and tie it, as well as the color and shape you select. For instance, if you add a pair of green laces, a pair of blue laces, or perhaps a pair of tan laces to a pair of brown Oxford shoes, they will appear much more casual than if you use a pair of matching brown laces.
As another illustration, straight bar lacing is more formal than cross bar lacing, and the roundness or flatness of a shoelace can change how it looks, even if it is the same color. Yes, it is that crucial an element to complete a classic menswear ensemble, making it vital to your overall appearance.
Making the Best Shoelace Selections for Your Dress Shoes
One way to look at it is that choosing a pair of shoelaces is a personal choice. Conversely, the more formal it is, the narrower, rounder, or finer the shoelaces. Due to their more casual nature, sneakers and tennis shoes, for instance, frequently have laces that are rather thick and wide. It just looks odd to wear the same shoelaces with a pair of Oxford shoes. However, you might actually look quite dapper if you remove the round laces from your Oxford and replace them with flat, wider dress shoelaces.
Yes, an Oxford traditionally had thin round laces, but in the modern era, you can easily wear a nice pair of flat, wide dress shoelaces with your Oxfords and still look the part.
If you want to go one step further, you can add evening laces that coordinate with your bow tie to your patent leather capless Oxfords or cap toe Oxfords for the evening. Therefore, you can purchase satin laces to go with your satin bow tie or velvet laces to go with your velvet bow tie.
As you are well aware, the small details are everything in classic menswear. You typically have more eyelets on your boots if you like wearing them. You therefore desire longer shoelaces or, better yet, boot laces.
Traditional dress shoelaces typically range in length from 75 to 80 centimeters, or 29 to 31 inches. A classic Oxford typically has five rows or ten eyelets, and boots typically have more.
Since the majority of the laces that come with dress shoes are round, switching to a pair of flat dress shoe laces can significantly alter how you look.
The ideal color for shoelaces
As previously mentioned, the color of your shoelaces can significantly affect how your shoes and outfit look as a whole. In general, the more formal and understated the entire ensemble will look, the closer the color of your shoelace is to that of your shoe. Consider a brown derby with brown shoelaces and a black Oxford with black shoelaces.
There are a lot of other colors available, but if you work in a very conservative office, wearing pale pink or, perhaps, red shoelaces with your red Oxfords might make people stare at you funny. Nevertheless, even though your customers and coworkers might not, we still stand by you. Why So, if you want a new look without spending money on a brand-new pair of shoes you're not sure about, colorful shoelaces are great for more casual settings.
Fort Belvedere's Red Round Shoelaces - Waxed Cotton Dress Shoe Laces are luxurious.
Fort Belvedere's Red Shoelaces Flat Waxed Cotton - Luxury Dress Shoe Laces
Fort Belvedere Wine Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, and Orange Silk Wool Medallion Pocket Square
Pocket Square in Burgundy Silk with Tiny Paisley Symbols from Fort Belvedere
Dark Ruby Red Macclesfield Neats Blue Orange Pattern Madder Silk Tie - Fort Belvedere
Fort Belvedere Shantung Striped Dark Red, Blue, and White Silk Tie
Fort Belvedere Eagle Claw Cufflinks with Carnelian Balls, 925 Sterling Silver
For instance, because it creates a uniform appearance, matching the color of your shoelace with your tie, shirt, or pocket square can look great. Additionally, changing your shoelaces only costs a few dollars, but it makes your shoes feel like new.
Obviously, you don't have to be overly daring with your contrast laces. For instance, wearing dark brown shoes with a slightly lighter shade of brown can look nice without being overly obvious. Perhaps try a reddish hue The best part is that this look can be reversed, and nothing lasts forever. You can put your shoelaces in and take them out, and you can put them on different pairs of shoes.
Additionally, having a variety of, say, 20 different shoelaces will give the impression that you have 20 different pairs of shoes if you're just starting out and only have two or three pairs of shoes in your collection.
We have a selection of shoelaces on our website, so I'm confident you'll find something that will work for you and your wardrobe if you're not sure if you're on top of your shoelace game or you're not quite sure what to buy.
Lacing varieties: 1 Bar or straight lacing
It's time to lace them once you've decided on a pair, two, three, or twelve. You can choose what you want in your shoe because many higher-end shoe manufacturers don't include the laces because they can cause stretch marks.
Straight lacing, also referred to as "bar lacing," is the most common type of lacing. This has historically been the best option for Oxford shoes with a closed vamp. In addition, they work on derbies. We created a guide to help you distinguish between those two styles because these shoes may appear to be similar to one another.
For comprehensive visual instructions on lacing and tying, watch the accompanying video for this post (posted above).
First Straight Lacing Technique: Traditional Straight Lace
To begin with, the traditional straight aims to reduce any cross-angled lacings in the back to give you the utmost clean appearance. Additionally, it gives you slightly longer lace ends, but you can just pull them from the ends of the shoelaces. To achieve the proper fit, you must also tighten in the middle.
If you want a clean appearance and your shoelaces are on the shorter side for your shoes, the traditional straight lace is also great.
How should I lace it?
- The lace is first threaded through the two bottom eyelets. If you have four or six rows of eyelets, or eight or twelve eyelets altogether, you want to make sure that both tips are roughly the same length.
You want one side to be slightly longer than the other if your shoes have three rows, five rows, or seven rows of eyelets. Why This is so that the odd number can be balanced by adding a little more lacing from one side.
- I straight-lace the shoelace over from the bottom up and pull the other end through the opposite side.
- I now want to ensure that they are approximately the same length. I desire a slightly larger side on one side. When you slightly pull out the middle, it's easier to adjust so you can get the precise length you want. You then succeed in doing so.
A Straight Lace Adjustment
So how do you make changes? To achieve this, loosen the eyelet level below the tying point and pull on the shorter end until it is evenly distributed. Remember that lacing dress shoes in this manner is regarded as being the most formal way to do so. And as a result, it won't attract a lot of attention to itself.
You won't need cross-bar lacing in the back if your Oxford has four rows and a total of eight eyelets or six rows and a total of twelve eyelets.
You must, however, cross from one side to the other at some point if your Oxfords have five or 10 rows of eyelets, which is quite common. Why If you didn't cross at some point while working with an uneven number of rows, you would end up with the laces on the same side.
You might notice a v-shape on the tongue of an Oxford depending on the size and shape of your foot and shoe. If you purchase ready-to-wear shoes, however, there is a good chance that you will eventually notice that v on one foot, the other foot, or both. Additionally, bear in mind that leather stretches with use, so the small v at the beginning may disappear.
If you purchase a pair of Oxford shoes without a v, the leather will stretch over time and the rows of eyelets will overlap, creating an unsightly appearance. For bespoke shoes, the letter is frequently made with a small v at the start, so that as it stretches over time, it will line up perfectly and leave no v visible.
So, where would be the ideal place to cross? Although it is much more noticeable if you cross on top, as I used to do, you have a little bit more leverage to close and tighten the shoe. This, in my opinion, looks particularly bad when you have a large v area, and it's still noticeable in a small v area.
Contrarily, if you cross over just as you begin lacing, it might never be noticeable, especially if the v is not very broad. Keep in mind that only Oxford shoes have closed spaces, and you hardly ever see the crossing at the bottom.
When wearing derby shoes with open quarters, you should always cross at the very last portion of the very top because your pants may cover it. When you cross, a large portion of your tongue will be visible at the bottom, where it will always be visible and appear odd.
Second Approach: Cross-Bar Lacing
It crosses more widely in the back, which uses up more of your shoelace. You consequently have excessively long shoelaces. This might be the best choice for you. Additionally, tightening it is a little simpler. On the other hand, unless there is no v showing, you can see all the cross laces, which just looks odd.
How do you lace your shoes in a straight line?
- You begin in the same manner as with the straight lace here. Next, you cross the underneath laces. It is simpler to tighten because you have more leverage. Beginning on the right side, move to the other side from the outside in. Ensure that they are roughly the same length.
I therefore begin on the right side and work my way outward. I'm crossing over at the bottom, as you can see. I turn left and enter the barlace from the outside.
So, which fashion do I favor?
I favor the first technique of using a traditional straight barrel lacing for derbies or Oxfords with a small amount of v showing. I prefer the second approach for Oxfords without a television because it gives me more leverage, makes it simpler to tighten, and hides the crossings.
I would also use the second method to shorten and consume a little more of a shoelace if I had a pair that was too long from any particular pair of shoes.
Cross lacing 2.
Cross lacing is a popular alternative to straight bar lacing. It hasn't historically been used for Oxfords. Kyle is one of the modern wearers who even does so with Oxfords. Personally, I prefer the sleeker appearance of straight bar lacing over cross lacing when it comes to derby shoes. The fact of the matter is that Each to their own, I
First Cross Lacing Technique: Inside Out
- Once more, you must align the bottom row of eyelets through the lace (starting from the inside out this time) and get them to be roughly equal on both sides. I move across it, outside in, from left to right.
Method #2: Work your way inside-out
Cross lacing follows, but it begins differently. On the outside, you want the bar in the very bottom row. Basically, it's like an Oxford
The same way you started before, but now you cross, and the underside rises and is pushed through from the outside in. Thus, a bar lace that is straight at the bottom crosses at the top, but all of the laces are always visible on the leather upper.
As a result, the left side is now in front of the right. I'll carry on with that Always put left before right. I enjoy carrying them out simultaneously. You don't have to do it simultaneously. However, it looks good and is simple to complete.
Additionally, I make sure to maintain consistency in the final row. Attempt to enter from the outside in. I can tie the knot like I did with the other cross lace, and it goes over the tongue. It's a little bit lower and more concealed, which is still nice because you can see more of the bow. The majority of modern shoe buyers only know how to tie shoes with this type of lacing, which is regarded as being more casual.
Personally, I try to refrain from lacing the bottom from the inside at first because it appears inconsistent and therefore odd. Additionally, remember to always insert the shoelaces from the top into the eyelets when crossing them. It appears erroneous and inconsistent if you do it once from the bottom and again from the top.
Number of Knot Types: The Simple Knot
Finding the proper knot follows deciding how to laces your shoes and lacing them. Four different knots will be discussed, but I only suggest using two of them.
If you're anything like me, you probably learned how to tie your shoes when you were young, believed you were an expert, and haven't given it another thought since. But we've discovered that not all knots are the same, particularly for dress shoes.
The perfect knot is quick and simple to tie, it has a beautiful, harmonious appearance, it forms a 90-degree angle with the shoe's long axis, and it won't come undone even if you walk a lot all day.
The knot that I discovered and that you most likely discovered and mastered is known as "the basic knot." ”
Using the Simple Knot
- Making a loop or a bunny ear on the right side, tie a half knot first, and then hold it in your right hand.
- Wrap the long left end of the rope around the loop. I've kind of learned that I'll make that counterclockwise if you look at it from the side.
- I would simply pull it through and pull on the loop ends once I had that loop.
The advantages of using the basic knot include its simplicity and ease of use. Cons include the fact that it frequently comes undone and that the knot simply looks odd when it aligns with the center axis of the shoe as you walk and pull on the leather.
By simply wrapping that long left hand clockwise around the loop and pulling it through, the latter problem can be resolved. You can see the knot remains at a nice 90-degree angle to the long side of the shoe if you pull on the edges while walking. The issue that this doesn't fix is that it will still unravel if you walk a lot.
Tennis or Double Knot 2.
Most people use "the tennis knot" or "the double knot" to circumvent the problem of the basic knot. Actually, all you have to do is add another knot on top of your existing basic knot using the loop ends or bunny ears.
The drawbacks are that it's a bulky knot that requires a lot of effort to untie, and it's not a smooth, elegant knot that would be appropriate for a dress shoe.
Parisian Knot 3.
The so-called "Parisian knot" is a better knot for dress shoes, and this is how to do it:
- Making a half knot is the first step, and if you want it extra tight, you can loop it around again.
- Then, you begin as usual with a simple knot. You make a loop on the right and twice, not just once, wrap the left end around.
- I make the first loop, then hold the shoelace between my right index finger and thumb to make the second loop go more smoothly.
- After completing the second loop, I release my grip and thread the end through both.
- I now gently tighten the knot by pulling on the loops or the loose ends at the same time. If I pull on the side and move, you can see that this knot maintains the proper angle. Simply put on the long ends simultaneously to untie it.
Keep in mind that whether you wrap the loose end around in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction will affect how the knot aligns once you begin walking. When viewed from the left side, you should wrap it around counterclockwise for the best appearance.
Additionally, keep in mind that whether you should loop left over right or right over left depends on how you oriented your original half knot at the beginning.
Try different things to see what feels more natural to you, then modify your tying as necessary. Do not forget to check the knot by pulling on the shoe's body to see if it is properly positioned at a 90-degree angle to the long axis or if it shifts. Getting better with practice
However, if you look closely, it's also not the prettiest knot. Similarly, if you pay close attention to details, you might notice that the knot is occasionally off-center, especially on a pair of oxford shoes. The issue is that once it's tight, you can't adjust it. To get it dead center, you must untie it and re-tie it.
Fourth Berluti Knot
The so-called "Berluti knot," which bears Olga Berluti's name, comes next. Famous footwear manufacturer Berluti is renowned for its patinas. The Berluti knot has the advantages of being extremely tight, being centered, lasting all day, and having a very classy appearance. Cons include the fact that it takes a little more time, requires some practice, and is a little unusual to tie, especially when you're just learning the knot.
However, once you've done it a few times, I promise that it will become second nature and you won't have to think about it any longer.
Here's how to go about it:
- Making a half knot is the same as starting with a basic knot.
- Create a bunny ear or a loop on both sides. Additionally, using your non-dominant hand may feel a little awkward at first, but you'll get used to it. I advise using your non-dominant hand first so your dominant hand can help, and then using your dominant hand to complete the task.
Use your thumb and middle finger first if you're having trouble, and then simply make the loop bigger with your index finger. Right now, your loop is between your right thumb and right index finger, and your left loop is between your left thumb and left index finger.
- The next step is very important. Layer the right loop over the left loop. Not the opposite. You prefer the right to the left, not the other way around. Later on, I'll explain why.
When that happens, a stunning knot that is extremely tight forms. By simultaneously pulling on the long ends and the loop ends, you can still adjust it.
This knot, in my opinion, looks nicer and won't undo itself unless you want it to.
Keep in mind the beginning. I advised against arranging the left loop over the right. Why not The knot will nonetheless appear the same if I cross the left loop over the right, bring the ends through in the opposite direction, and tighten the knot. However, as you continue to walk throughout the day, you will notice that the knot does not align with the long axis of the shoe at a 90-degree angle.
On the other hand, if you follow the instructions I gave you, the knot will remain in place all day and will always be at a nice 90-degree angle to the long axis of the shoe.
Simply pull simultaneously on both of the long ends to untie the Berluti knot. Putting things through the hole is the most difficult part, as I previously stated. If you find that challenging, I recommend making smaller loops higher up to make a much larger hole. Right loop over left once more Move forward to the right. Draw near to the left Then tighten the knot while pulling on the loop ends or bunny ears. Voila A flawless Berluti knot
You may want to read our guide on how to pair shoes with socks and dress pants for the ideal look now that you are familiar with dress shoelaces and how to tie them.
Our store offers the Fort Belvedere selection of high-quality shoelaces and boot laces. For men's dress shoes, we specifically designed them. We selected a premium, long-staple cotton. They were properly waxed by us, so they should last you for many years. Additionally, we provide a happiness guarantee, easy returns, and free shipping if you spend within the Continental US or $325 outside of it.
I purchased this nice brown and oatmeal Harris tweed jacket from Minneapolis' Golden Pearl Vintage Store. It is single-breasted and has side vents.
Fort Belvedere Wool Challis Tie in Burgundy with Yellow Polka Dots
Brick Red Pocket Square Egyptian Scarab Art Deco design by Fort Belvedere in green, orange, yellow, and blue with a green contrast edge.
Fort Belvedere Shadow Stripe Ribbed Socks Dark Brown and Beige Fil d'Ecosse Cotton
They were unlike most vintage shops in that everything they carried was flawless. I based the ensemble on a peculiar gray shirt by Eton. Usually, I select shirts with lighter hues than my ties. However, I want to try something new today.
I therefore decided to go with this Fort Belvedere wool challis tie, which is really nice and soft and has printed orange polka dots on a burgundy background. A cotton sweater vest from Ralph Lauren was my choice because I wanted to keep the rest of the outfit in a gray and brown color scheme.
The pocket square picks up the tones of the tie and has hues of orange, burgundy, green, and blue. The source is Fort Belvedere. You can find this lovely scarab pattern in our shop right here. Similar to the tie
Polo Ralph Lauren is the brand of the pants. Because of the scale difference between their small herringbone pattern and the jacket's, they go well together. You would have believed it to be a sturdy pair of pants from a distance.
My footwear is made by the Italian company Velasca and is caramel brown Oxford suede. I decided to match the browns and beige of the rest of the outfit by selecting a pair of shadow stripe cotton socks from Fort Belvedere in dark brown and beige. But from a distance, it also appears gray. Therefore, it simply plays with that color scheme.
Last but not least, my golden brown tiger's eye ring complements the warm and brown tones in my outfit. These shoes come with stock Velasca shoelaces.
I might swap them out for some from Fort Belvedere.
I could use both bar lacing techniques because there isn't anything visible. But since the crossbar lacing gives me more leverage and the Berluti knot or the basic knot is the most beautiful knot we have, I'd probably go with that.