Kate, what are the most common (semi) formal shoes for men?
A simple question that resulted in our stylist firing away six shoe types. We wrote them down: the Oxford shoe, the derby shoe, the monk-strap shoe, the loafer, the Chelsea boot and the brogue shoe.
Since there's no such thing as too much knowledge, we took a closer look at all them, one by one. A few weeks ago, we introduced you to the first three types. We will now look at the last three -- the loafer, the Chelsea boot and the brogue shoe.
Also known as the slip-on shoe or the slipper. The loafer is (usually) a laceless shoe with a moccasin construction that originates from… who knows exactly?
One theory says that the very first loafer shoe was introduced around 1908 in Norway. Another version of the shoe's origin states it was first seen in Great Britain, though only as a country house shoe for the nobility.
No matter which of these two stories you believe, the outcome is still the same: the loafer found its way to most men's wardrobes in the 1950s and hasn't left since. No wonder our stylists love it and have built quite a few fashion outfits around this ageless shoe.
By the way, do you know what world-famous musician was so into loafers that he made them an indispensable part of his outfit? The King of Pop himself ;)
There's just one more thing to be said before we move on to the Chelsea boot. Although you can see a lot of men matching loafers with their suits, bear in mind that -- due to its casual history -- it's not a proper formal shoe. These are.
Once you recognize the characteristics of this boot, you'll know right away that you've been seeing it on basically everyone these days (although the style is more that 150 years old).
It's an elastic-sided boot with no laces and typically a high heel. Sound familiar?
Another name for this boot is the Beatles boot, which shouldn't surprise those who follow our blog -- we covered the Beatles' style a few weeks ago, and their boots of choice were obviously these. Read it now if you missed it!
The credit for the Chelsea boot goes to Queen Victoria's shoemaker, J. Sparkes-Hall, who patented the design in 1851. Since then, the shoe has evolved into one of the most popular shoe types for both men and women, and today serves as the perfect boot for those who're looking for a bit of pure, clutterless elegance in their casual outfits.
When it comes to buying Chelsea boots, you might really want to invest in them and not go for the cheapest option, although it might look great at first sight. In this case it's not just about the quality of the leather but also about the elastic panels on the sides and their durability. Buy cheap, and you might very well end up with a boot that you have to throw away after one season.
Originally, the word "brogue" described an outdoor walking shoe for men. What's interesting is that during the early 20th century it wasn't appropriate to wear them on social or business occasions, it was basically just a country shoe.
However, things have become a bit more complicated since then. Today, even describing the brogue shoe can get a bit confusing, as brogues can be found with three different closures:
All clear now? Not for long :) Although brogues are, above all, leather dress shoes, you might also find them in other forms -- as boots or even sneakers.
So, let's close by saying that in 2015 the brogue can be almost any shoe which has a “multi-layer” effect and decorative perforated parts that were typical for an original country shoe.
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