You can judge a man by his shoes and a true gent takes pride in his footwear of choice. Knowing the difference between your brogues and your wingtips can prove a little trickier, however. Take heed; our quick guide to men’s dress shoes will give you all the information a modern gentleman could need.
What you are probably most familiar with; Oxfords are an elegantly smart dress shoe that are the classic choice to wear with a suit on formal occasions. The lace-up shoes originated in Scotland and Ireland and were initially made in only plain leather. They are characterised by their ‘closed-lacing’ – where shoelace tabs are stitched underneath the vamp of the shoe.
Our Pick: Paul Smith's Starling Oxford Shoes.
The classic slip-on shoes pioneered by Norwegian farmers in the 1930s, loafers have no fastenings, laces or buckles. The difference with a loafer, compared to that of a moccasin or other slip-ons, is that they have a distinct heel. A much more versatile option, loafers can be worn as well with shorts as smart tailoring. Update yours for summer with a pair in fresh coloured suede.
Our Pick: Tods' Leather Penny Loafers.
Brogues are shoes or boots that have perforations and serration along the visible edges. Intended for decorative purposes, originally the perforations were for practical reasons and used to let water out easily during flooding. Traditionally only for outdoor wear, today brogues are most acceptable and popular for casual or business occasions.
Our Pick: Grenson's Archie Brogues.
The lace-up dress shoes originated in Scotland before gaining their American name. Identified by the distinctive ‘W’ shape design on the toecap, the shoes have become a fashion favourite in recent years; especially the two-tone monochrome style often worn with tuxedos. It is worth noting that a pair of shoes featuring a W-design and perforations is, confusingly, named a ‘full brogue’.
Our Pick: Gucci's Betis Glamour Wing Tips.
An easier style to spot, monk strap shoes have no lacing and are closed simply by a buckle and strap. They are considered a little less formal than the Oxford, but have become very fashionable in recent years. There is no rule to wearing one or two straps, but they are considered an accessory whereby less is more in terms of thickness and buckle-size.
Our Pick: Magnanni's Monk Strap Shoes