Oxfords, Loafers, or Derbies? Decoding Shoe Fashion Myths

Oxfords, Loafers, or Derbies? Decoding Shoe Fashion Myths

A well-educated consumer is the best kind of consumer. We've all experienced the confusion of walking into a proper men's shoe store and realizing it isn't just a matter of matching colors to clothing, so with a little help from our stylists, we've got a quick breakdown of the proper uses of Oxfords, Loafers, and Derbies as well as a few myths about each style of men's footwear. Read on: 


Oxford, like Derbies, are considered formal lace-up shoes. Both share certain similarities, namely in their construction, but the vamp (or front of the shoe) covers the facing on Oxfords. This conceals the laces, giving the shoe a sleeker, more classic appearance, making Oxfords an easy choice for an uncertain dress code situation.


While the name fails to do justice to the Loafer, these slip-on shoes are anything but lazy. While the origin of the Loafer is in dispute, King George VI apparently ordered a more comfortable indoor shoe for his country home in the 1920s. Loafers sit low like slippers and have no laces, boasting a detail-free, moccasin-style upper with an added heal, therefore differentiating the design from the Loafer's spiritual predecessor. Common, classic Loafer styles include the penny, tassel, and Gucci loafer.


The open-laced brother to the Oxford, Derbies are a little harder to pull off in casual circumstances. Classic styles call for Derbies with trousers and a sport coat, but Derbies can also be paired with a suit, a decent pair of jeans, or chinos.

If you're still lost, consider a visit to Seattle Thread Company in Kirkland. With selections purchased directly from designers and knowledgeable men's fashion experts on staff, we can help you find the perfect gift for a loved one or help you update your wardrobe accordingly. Check out our inventory today or visit our Kirkland location at your leisure.

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