Frequently, the last thing to cross the mind of a young man when putting together his attire is the footwear. It is only logical to do so, as the shoe functions to complement the entirety of the ensemble, rather than act as its own entity. The focus of the young snappy dresser then is to determine which type of shoe will best compliment their specific style.
One classical shoe that is quite popular is known as the Oxford shoe, which features a style in which the tip of the shoe, known as the vamp, is stitched over te top of the body of the shoe, known as the facing. The overall structure of the Oxford style is one which streamlines the foot, which likens this shoe style to complement just about any style or fashion. In all, the Oxford shoe style is a foolproof style for matching with any formal attire.
Another popular shoe style for formal dress wear is the loafer. Loafers are categorized by their moccasin inspired look, which is identifiable in its flat structure. Loafers are also commonly characterized by decorations that cross the facing of the shoe, in place of a strap. Loafers are made to form fit to the foot, and as a result do not require laces or straps. Due to their slipper-like appearance, loafers are often considered as being on the less formal side, but have been popularized over the years as a fashionable dress shoe for use in formal occasions (1). On the whole, due to their casual nature, loafers are best worn with an ensemble that is meant to convey fashion more so than authority and formality.
One of the most popular styles of dress shoe to date is known as the high top, or “Chukkah” style. The Chukka shoe style is identified by its height at the ankles, giving it the impression of a boot, though it is more similar to a crossover style between an Oxford shoe mixed with a high top. The boot-like shape of the Chukka shoe likens it as one of the least formal types of dress shoe, however it exceeds in its levels of comfort, and its unconventionality provides the Chukka shoe with a charm all of its own, making it a large hit in the formal dress wear community (2). Chukka shoes are further characterized by a stitching that outlines the leather sole, adding supplemental charm and formality to the look of the shoe. Overall, the Chukka boot, though seemingly informal, is a healthy substitute for the traditional dress shoe, and provides a level of comfort that far exceeds any other dress shoe style.
In conclusion, the classification of the shoe will factor in a great deal when deciding on shoe style. Among the most informal are the loafer and Chukka styles, however both of these styles are fashionable in their unconventionality. The Oxford shoe style is a style which will complement nearly any formal style, and as a result this shoe type is by far the most popular, dating as far back as the 1920’s in global men’s fashion and remaining a staple ever since (3).