THE SOURCE: Shoe Guide

, By: Drew Leahy

As we mentioned in our previous article about the importance of accessorizing your look, your shoes say a lot more about your style than you realize. To put it simply, your footwear grounds and can visually alter the appeal of your entire ensemble. Here at Snap Suits we're all about simplifying the pursuit of a great look. So, we've compiled a list of the 6 most commonly worn dress shoes that should be in your closet (and how/when to wear them). 

THE OXFORD (a.k.a Balmoral)

The oxford is by far the most worn dress shoe – you probably have a pair or two. Also deemed the "smart lace up" shoe, the oxford's principal defining characteristic is its low heel, exposed ankle and closed lace up system (tabs of the shoe sewn beneath the vamp). This system  offers a sleeker, trimmer and more refined finish to the shape of the shoe.

WHEN TO WEAR:

Overall, the Oxford has the versatility to be worn to all of your formal, black tie, business events and dinner dates with your favorite suit!

THE DERBY

The Derby is also a very commonly worn shoe as it is often mistaken as the oxford. What differentiates the two is the Derby's open laced system (where the tabs of the shoe are sewn above the vamp). Derby's are considered less formal and more flexible than your traditional oxford, making them a highly favorable dress shoe option.

WHEN TO WEAR:
As the "smart casual" version of the oxford, the derby can be worn with a suit, slacks or even a blazer and jeans combo for a casual night out or a weekend getaway.
THE LOAFER

If rocking your new suit in comfort and style is your M.O, then we have the perfect shoe for you. The loafer is a great option for the active business professional or style maven whose always on the go. Their "slip on - slip off" accessibility make them perfect for traveling. As for design, the more simple the finish on the loafer, the more formal. Opt for darker colored, leather loafers  to wear with a suit (and no neck tie). Lighter color suede and canvass loafers can be styled with jeans and slacks.

WHEN TO WEAR:

Loafers are best worn in a casual work environment, for business travel or your next lunch date.

THE MONK STRAP

WIth the sleek design similar to the oxford and the easy "slip on" functionality of the loafer, the monk strap is the easiest way to get the best of both worlds and by far our favorite here at Snap Suits! Identified by the single or doubled buckled strap that fastens at the side of the shoe, the monk strap is worn well with business casual suits.

WHEN TO WEAR:
Monk Straps are most often seen at the office, but can be worn with party attire, evening attire, to the theatre or for interviews.
THE DRESS BOOT

             

The Dress Boot is a great alternative to your average dress shoe as it offers you the sleek design of an oxford or derby with a longer shaft that is ideal for cold and rainy weather. The Dress boot comes in a variety of styles including (i.e above left to right) the Oxford/Derby, the Chukka and the Chelsea Boot. This shoe is perfect for smart-casual occasions and is worn well with slacks, jeans and informal suits. 

WHEN TO WEAR: 

Dress boots are most appropriate in cool weather, business casual settings. 

BOAT SHOE

Also known as the Top Sider or Sperrys, the boat shoe is your answer to spring and summer stylin'. Skip the tie and pair with a button down, slacks, khakis and/or jeans.

WHEN TO WEAR:

If your running some errands, walking the dog, heading to brunch, or relaxing on a yacht somewhere across the seven seas your boat shoes will offer you casual comfort and class.