Even in an increasingly casual world, the modern gentleman needs an arsenal of quality dress shoes for business. Here at Idrese, we believe you need five. In this article, we'll be taking you through our picks for essential dress shoes and showing you how to wear them.
The Black Captoe Oxford
Quick, think of a dress shoe. Bam! This is the one you want. Short of wearing it with jeans and chinos, this will work with nearly any business combination.
For your first business shoe, it should be:
Black. While brown gets a little more play today, a black shoe should come first because you can wear it with formalwear. Now, this shoe should have some shine to it, but not a severe, high-shine patent leather.
Oxford: An oxford is any shoe with a closed lacing system. This means the lace eyelets are part of the vamp and not attached through a second piece built on top of it. We've got a great visual through our Arrington model above.
Cap toe: This is distinguished by the extra layer of leather, or cap, sitting on top of the toe. It's some visual interest for a refine look.
With this shoe, go for the absolute best you can afford; it will always be in style!
The Dark Brown Wingtip Derby
Our second shoe is perfectly suited to the modern 'business casual' workplace. It's a darker, more conservative color- which makes it more versatile. Light browns and tans may be eye-catching, but they're difficult to combine. A few additional terms for you:
Wingtip: The perforated decoration on the upper is called broguing. Originally used to drain water as English gents traipsed the countryside, these dress a shoe down. In general, the more broguing a shoe has, the more casual it is.
Derby: A derby, in contrast to the Oxford above, has an open lacing system. This means the eyelets are punched into the quarter attached to the top of the vamp instead of being a part of it.
It's easier to get these shoes on and ff, and may also provide some extra comfort if you have high arches or wide feet. Consider wearing these with casual suits, patterned sports jackets, or even with dark denim in a relaxed office.
The Burgundy Penny or Tassel Loafer
The third shoe you should consider investing in is a loafer.
The "loafer" is a laceless shoe that slips easily on and off of the foot. The lack of lacing makes the shoe inherently more casual, but nonetheless versatile.
Since you've got your bases covered with black and brown, we'd recommend a burgundy shoe. This gives you a little more play: consider it a winner with charcoal and navy suits- and even if you happen to have a pair of black corduroy pants.
Whether you choose to go with a 'penny' loafer or a 'tassel' loafer is up you- we've got both in our shop here.
The Monk Strap Shoe
Now that we've got our bases covered, we can start to have a little more fun with our footwear.
Our fourth shoe is the monk strap. Characterized by the single or double buckle over the top of the vamp, it's another laceless shoe.
These have gone in and out of mainstream fashion for a few decades, but we find a slim, streamlined profile can be quite appealing for those with a rakish sense of style.
Although it shouldn't be the first in your collection, it's nonetheless a versatile consideration. Wear it with suits. Wear it with denim and a sports jacket. The sky is pretty much the limit!
The Wholecut Oxford
Our fifth shoe is a wildcard. The wholecut is an elegant, refined, and formal shoe. The upper is made from a single piece of leather, and eyelets are formed the same way oxford ones are.
Because it's made from a single piece of leather, only the best, blemish-free materials can be used for wholecuts. Here at Idrese, we use only the highest quality Italian calfskin, and each of our shoes are Made-to-Order.
Wholecuts, then, are really only suited to wear with suits and sports jackets. And, we'd suggest a pair in black, dark chocolate, or oxblood.
BONUS: The Chelsea Boot
We told you'd we'd have a treat at the end! In an era of the casual workplace, men can take a little more risk with their office style. So, we'd recommend, once you've acquired the above, considering adding a Chelsea boot to the mix.
If you've read this article, you know a Chelsea is a laceless booth with a low heel and elastic sides for ease to slip on and off.
You've also got an idea of how to wear to them.
But, have you considered a suit? Absolutely. You can wear Chelsea boots and a suit.
While you're at it, do check out our Escobar model- it's one of our best sellers!
We certainly hope you've enjoyed this tour of the first five business shoes you should invest in. We recommend clicking over to the companion articles for each of these shoes, as we discuss the history, how to wear them, and why Idrese makes the right model for you.
Thanks for reading.