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Oxford vs Derby: When to Wear?

It is recommended that a gentleman have at least one of these variants in formal, laced shoes - Oxford and Derby - as a part of their wardrobe. For those with the good taste (and fortune) to have both of them, there might be a quandary as to when to wear which one.

The question here is, when to wear an Oxford, and when to wear a Derby?

While that fortunate gent may have formed their own opinion by now, here is a little help. The answer essentially lies the basic shoe design of these two - Oxford and Derby.

oxford vs derby

Oxford/Balmoral vs Derby/Blucher

The Oxford is made with a ‘closed’ lacing system or closed front - where the eyelet facings are stitched under the vamp. This gives the Oxfords a slimmer, more formal and dressy profile. And this means that Oxfords are the shoes to wear to the most formal occasions - such as a high stakes business meeting.

The Derby, on the other hand, has a more relaxed construction - where the eyelets are sewn on the top of the vamp. If you plan to wear formal shoes over the course of a full day, and regularly, a pair of Derbies would be the ideal choice.


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