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Your Guide to Men's Dress Shoes

Days are getting longer and the weather is warming up, that means spring is around the corner.  Transitioning from winter to spring also means it's time to put away the snow boots and switch to dress shoes.  Oxfords  are considered the most elegant type of dress shoe by many.  Oxfords have 3 main characteristics:

1.  Closed lace system (allows both quarter panels to close when laces are tied)

2.  Low heels

3.  Exposed ankles 

Use this guide to help you pick out your next pair of dress shoes. 

Patent leather Oxfords

The dressiest form of the Oxford is made in patent leather.  This shoe is worn only at the most formal occasions such as black tie and white tie events.


Great all around dress shoe, appropriate for the office, night on the town, and parties.  Oxfords look great with suits or dark colored jeans.  For the office, keep the style details subtle. For parties, get creative with bolder colors or patterns.    

Cap Toe Oxfords

The cap toe Oxford is the classic businessman shoe and is almost always worn with a business suit.  In some rare occasions the cap toe Oxford, in black, may substitute patent leather Oxfords with black tie attire.  The cap toe Oxford should never be worn with white tie formal attire.    


Wingtips are more casual than cap toe Oxfords but are still a great alternative dress shoe.  They look best with business casual outfits as well as with jeans.  Brown wingtips are more versatile than black as they offer more opportunities to wear with a variety of looks.  


For variation in your dress shoe selection, opt for a pair of dress loafers.  Loafers are a great alternative to lace up Oxfords.  Yes you can wear loafers with a suit, just opt for a pair with subtle styling details.  If you're on the shorter side, loafers can make you appear taller.  The low profile of the shoe makes your leg look longer.  

Dress shoes add refinement and sophistication to any look. Even if your office is a casual environment, dress shoes will instantly elevate your style.  Get a few different styles to add variety to your wardrobe and give you some options.  If you already own oxfords, you can change up the look by switching out the black or brown shoe laces.  Shoe lace colors like grey or blue add a nice contrast to your Oxfords.  Round laces look more elegant, avoid flat and thin laces. 

Prices for dress shoes vary, usually they are broken into 3 levels:

-Low Cost:  $250 and below

-Mid Range:  $250 to $700

-High End:  $700 and above

There are hundreds of brands available, look for makers with a reputation for style and quality like Allen Edmonds, Johnston Murphy, Salvatore Ferragamo, Berluti, Church’s, GEOX, Crockett & Jones, Brioni, Bruno Magli, Cole Haan, Kenneth Cole, Calvin Klein, and Dune London.  

Which style of dress shoes do you prefer?  

Thanks for reading.  Please comment, share and like.

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