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27 April 2018
Can you differentiate between a brogue and a loafer? A monk-strap and a derby? If not, don't worry- we've got you covered. We have compiled a list of our best types of shoes for men and some little-known nuggets of information about these go-to classic styles.
Originating from Scotland and Ireland, the Oxford as we know it was originally named Balmorals after Balmoral Castle. Around 1800 however, the name Oxford was acquired in reference to students of Oxford University adopting the style into their everyday wear as a more comfortable alternative to the Chelsea boot. Since this period, however, the traditionally casual Oxford is now regarded as a formal shoe worn with dress attire.
Characterised by a closed lacing system, a low heel and a cut that exposes the wearer's ankle, the design popularly features a Goodyear or Blake stitched sole, toe-cap and eyelet tabs stitched under the vamp. For boardroom style choose a classic Oxford like Redwood; simply partner with a well-tailored suit and a matching leather belt.
REDWOOD Toe-Cap Oxford
With mentions in history dating back to the 1850's, the Derby traditionally speaking, was a dressed-down alternative to the Oxford. Popularised through sporting and hunting, this design was found to be more robust and hard-wearing as an every-day choice. The Derby is signified with eyelet tabs stitched on top of the vamp often referred to as an "open front". Opt for a smooth vamped style like Plane-Tree.
PLANE TREE Classic Lace-Up Derby
The Monk Strap dates back to the Vatican circa 1000 when monks were looking for an alternative to sandals. Despite beginning life as a work shoe, the modern Monk Strap has embedded itself as a favourite among style aficionados. Characterised by a single or double buckle strap, the Monk is regarded as a stylish alternative to the Oxford or Derby whilst remaining on-trend. For the perfect weekend ensemble team a polished style like Birch with a slim-fit pair of jeans and an oxford button-down shirt.
BIRCH Double Buckle Monk
With roots based in Ireland, the Brogue is typically a low-heeled boot or shoe made distinctive with decorative punched perforations (brogueing) on the upper. Traditionally speaking, the punched design acted as a way to drain water from the shoe when traversing through wet terrain.
Historically considered an outdoor shoe worn in the country, the brogue has become a sartorial staple in recent years due to the versatility of the design. Choose a durable style like the rubber soled Southport. Continue the rugged aesthetic by partnering with a pair of straight leg jeans and Arran knitwear.
SOUTHPORT Rubber Sole Derby Brogue
The Chelsea Boots conception is attributed to Queen Victoria's personal shoemaker as early as 1839. The styles creation was due to the invention of vulcanised rubber, which allowed shoemakers to take advantage of new elastics and to design a boot specifically for ease of slipping on and off. It wasn't until the swinging sixties that this style of footwear got its name from its popularity with the fashion-set such as Mary Quant and the Rolling Stones, who frequented the King's Road, Chelsea.
The Beatles furthered the success of the silhouette especially when the fab four wore the boot en masse. This slip-on silhouette has become a wardrobe staple and can be dressed up or down to suit your style. Upgrade your wardrobe with a stylish suede pair like Burlington.
BURLINGTON Chelsea Boot
The Loafer can trace its origins back to King George's necessity for an informal shoe to be worn in-doors for his country house. The loafer should be cut low around the heel and can feature different trims or detailing. For example, the penny loafer can be epitomised by a cut-out leather trim, and a snaffle often features a metallic horsebit trim. Our iconic Keeble loafer has been detailed extravagantly with a double tassel trim. With or without socks- the choice is yours, but we love these with rolled up chinos and a chambray shirt.
KEEBLE 3 Tassel College Loafer