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Oxford shoes: origin, fashion and function


Oxford style dress shoes are a timeless classic in men's footwear. Their elegant design and simple yet sophisticated appearance make them a popular choice for formal occasions and business attire. In this essay, we will explore the history of Oxford shoes, their design features, and when to wear them.


The Oxford shoe, also known as the Balmoral shoe, was first created in Scotland in the mid-19th century. It was named after the prestigious Oxford University, where the shoe's style became popular among students. The original design featured a closed lacing system and a low heel, which made it more practical for walking long distances.


Today, the Oxford shoe remains one of the most iconic dress shoes for men. Its classic design has been refined over the years, with various styles and materials used to create a range of options to suit different tastes and occasions.


The defining feature of the Oxford shoe is its closed lacing system, which gives it a sleek and polished appearance. The eyelets are stitched under the vamp, which gives the shoe a clean and uncluttered look. The low heel and rounded toe box complete the shoe's understated design.


Oxford shoes come in a variety of materials, including leather, suede, and patent leather. Leather is the most popular choice, as it is durable and versatile. Patent leather is a shiny, high-gloss leather that is typically reserved for formal events.


Oxford shoes are often worn with suits and formal wear, but they can also be paired with more casual attire for a smart-casual look. They are ideal for occasions such as weddings, business meetings, job interviews, and other formal events.


When choosing Oxford shoes, it is important to consider the occasion and dress code. For formal events, black leather Oxfords are the traditional choice. Brown leather Oxfords can also be worn for formal events, but they are more suitable for daytime events or less formal occasions. Patent leather Oxfords are appropriate for black-tie events and other formal occasions.

When wearing Oxfords with a suit, it is important to match the color of the shoes to the color of the suit. Black shoes should be worn with black, gray, or navy suits, while brown shoes should be worn with brown or beige suits. Socks should be chosen carefully, as they should complement the shoes and suit.


Oxford style dress shoes are a timeless classic in men's footwear. Their elegant design and simple yet sophisticated appearance make them a popular choice for formal occasions and business attire. When choosing Oxfords, it is important to consider the occasion and dress code, as well as the color of the suit and socks. Whether you are attending a wedding, business meeting, or other formal event, Oxfords are the perfect choice for a polished and sophisticated look.

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