Essentials: Oxford Shoe

In the film, Crazy, Stupid, Love, there is a scene where Steve Carrell’s character (Cal) meets up with Ryan Gosling’s character (Jacob) at a local mall to begin Cal’s sartorial transformation. Before the shopping beings, Jacob asks Cal “what happened to your feet” and the camera pans down to a pair of white, new balance running shoes. Cal responds by saying “these are my 407’s”, which he then hands to Jacob, who promptly throws them off the mall balcony. “Are you in a fraternity…are you Steve Jobs?” asks Jacob, attempting to illustrate a point that unless you’re a billionaire, or, a part of a fraternity, Cal has no reason to be wearing those shoes.

It was a great way for Jacob to make his point, but not everyone has the ability to throw away their (significant or other) friends shoes for many different reasons, none of which will be dealt with in this post. The purpose of this post is to note the following: shoes are one of the most important aspects of a man’s wardrobe. In fact, its one piece that should be given a lot of consideration because A) shoes can either make or break an outfit (Bernhard Roetzel, author of Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion, stated “[a]n otherwise perfect appearance is destroyed, irreparably and at a strike, if a man has an ugly pair of shoes on his feet”) and B) they are usually the first thing that an individual who is attracted to you looks at; subsequently, it can break that attraction.

Unfortunately, there are many different types of shoes available for men to choose from: wellingtons, desert boots, brogues, chukkas, single or double strapped monks, penny loafers, etc, etc. It is only unfortunate because when faced with a wide variety of options, it can become confusing as to which style is best suited to your needs, and usually, most men will revert to the standard sneaker, or, Cal’s trusty 407’s. Luckily, as with most aspects of menswear, there is what could be deemed as an essential shoe that looks great for both formal and non-formal occasions, and suites all variety of style: the oxford shoe.

Normally constructed of either leather or suede, the oxford shoe first appeared in Scotland and Ireland where they were referred to as Balmorals (as a side note, brogues––which are a type of oxford––also originated from Scotland and Ireland, but that is for another post). It is typical for Oxford’s to be laced (as characteristic of almost all English style of shoes), and they usually have a very simple style of stitching. They are not the type of shoe that will immediately stand out; that is because they have a quiet reserved sense of confidence for those who wish to look good, but quietly. Furthermore, they are great for guys who are looking to make the transition from sneakers to “adult” shoes.

 

Here is an image of a “dress up” oxford shoe:

 

Here is an image of a more laid back oxford shoe:

The following is a list of stores in Halifax where you may find a good pair of oxford shoes:

-Biscuit (http://biscuitgeneralstore.com/)

-Classic Shoe Ltd. (located at the beginning of Barrington St. near NSCAD)

-Winsby’s Shoes (http://www.winsbys.com/)

-Dugger’s (http://www.duggersfashion.com/)

Also check out Bass Shoe’s website  ( https://bassshoes.harborghb.com/)

 

Until next time,

Manner of Dress.

Essentials: The Oxford Shirt

Most, if not all, style website’s have lists of essential articles of clothing that every man should either have, or, consider purchasing (for instance: http://putthison.com/post/712103418/the-essential-mans-wardrobe-perhaps-the-most and http://asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com/2006/11/suitable-wardrobe.html). The number of items on these lists is not always the same (some have 10, while others may have an upwards of 25), and so too does the actual items on said lists. For instance, one website may argue that every man should have a solid coloured knit tie, while another site may purport that no wardrobe is complete without a pair of denim khakis. Not every man should own these two particular items, and few probably do, but one item of clothing that is a mainstay on all “essential” clothing lists is the oxford shit.

Typically deemed as a dress shirt, the oxford is a button down shirt usually composed of cotton material. Need Supply Co., a vintage boutique based in Richmond, Virginia, sums up the composition of oxford shirts very well: “Originally made of only cotton, Oxford cloth utilizes a warp that that combines two fine filaments that are woven together to create a basket weave pattern that is sturdy but still allows the fabric to breathe. In fact, the material gets its name from the term that defines the process, which is referred to as the Oxford weave” (http://blog.needsupply.com/2010/04/28/history-lesson-the-oxford-shirt/).

Oxford shirts come in a variety of colours, but the most common colour is white because it can be used in many different settings, including formal and non-formal affairs. It is true that this colour of the oxford shirt should be a part of your wardrobe, but another colour that ought to receive your attention as well is the blue cotton oxford shirt. Blue is one of the primary colours that can be paired with almost any article of clothing and can be used throughout each season. Thus, if your searching for a shirt that will get a lot of use, gets better with time, and can be matched with almost any piece of clothing you own, look no further than a blue oxford shirt.

Here are a few images of  oxford shirts alone and paired with other items:

 

The price range for oxford shirts vary from $20 to $75.

Until next time,

Manner of Dress.