Lingerie & Shoes | January 2, 2013

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Contrarily to other Brogue shoes such as Derbys where the shoelace eyelet tabs are sewn on top of the vamp, Oxfords are laced shoes with eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp.

The origin of Oxfords is traced to Ireland and Scotland where they were made using perforated untanned hide that allowed water to drain when people walked in wet terrains. Traditionally, they were considered to be outdoor shoes inappropriate for formal or casual occasions, but nowadays they are appropriate for most circumstances.

Although traditionally Oxfords were made of leather and were plain, nowadays they are available in a variety of combinations of materials and styles that suit formal and casual occasions.

Oxfords are usually found in one of four toe cap variations, namely full, semi, quarter and longing.

Spectator or co-respondent shoes in British English are Oxfords made of two different colors that usually have the toe and heel cap in a darker color than the rest of the shoe. Many color combinations can be used but typical color combinations include either black or brown caps with a white shoe body.

To facilitate drying, the ghillie type of Oxfords are tongueless and has long laces that are wraps around the leg above the ankle and tied just bellow the calf to prevent the tie from being covered in mud. The functional features of the ghillies do not prevent them from being seen as traditional element of formal Scottish dress.

Oxfords exists in a variety of materials, including suede, calf leather and canvas, and are usually black, white or brown or a combination of the three.

Flat Oxfords can add a touch of flair to a plethora of looks. Flat Oxfords are well suited for a V-neck and a pair of jeans. The low healed wingtips or spectators have a classic look with a blazer and a casual skirt or even colored tights and a suit. Simply have fun appropriating your look with variations on the classic schoolboy shoe.

Photo by Rob Sinclair

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