How to choose men’s shoes: from the most strict to the most fashionable


Oxfords, brogues, derbies, loafers… Some of them look so much alike, how do you tell them apart? Which shoes are appropriate for a business meeting, and which are better left for a walk with friends? Let’s talk about different types of men’s classic shoes using Philippe Anders London as an example.


Oxfords are closed laced shoes. This is the fundamental difference between oxfords and derbies, in which the lacing is open. In addition, for Oxfords, berets (these are the side parts of the shoe) are sewn to the vamp (the front part that closes the foot in the instep area) with a single seam.

In terms of style, oxfords made of smooth leather, black and without decoration are the most strict shoes that are appropriate in a business dress code.


Most importantly, brogues are NOT really a type of shoe (like oxfords and derbies), but a type of decoration, small holes. It is believed that brogues originated from the shoes of Irish farmers who worked in the swamps and noticed that shoes with holes dried out faster. Over time, this detail from a utilitarian turned into a kind of decoration.

This pair of shoes in our review, both «oxfords» and «brogues» can be called, and this will be correct — there is a closed lacing, and a single seam between the ankle boots and vamp, and decorative perforation.

Brogues are not the most formal shoes, even if they are technically oxfords. Perforated shoes are best worn not with a business suit, but with relaxed corduroy trousers, tweed jackets, and smart casual items.


The main difference between derbies and oxfords is open lacing. The ankle boots and vamp are separate pieces sewn together; this feature appeared as a concession to comfort, to make the shoes easier to put on.

Derbies are less formal than Oxfords, but black derbies can be worn with suits, while brown derbies look good with jeans. That is, they can be recommended as a conditionally universal pair of shoes.

Derby, a kind of «splittoe»: The toe is separated by a vertical seam.

Derby, a kind of «bluchera»: the vamp and ankle boots are made of a single piece of leather. On top of the berets, so-called facial berets can be sewn, they look like a separate part. Some consider Bluchers to be a separate type of footwear.


They are very easy to distinguish externally: these are shoes with one or two buckles, without laces. It is believed that monks are descended from the shoes of monks. But today it is the shoes of the young and fashionable, it is worn with slightly cropped skinny trousers. Monks should not be worn with full-length trousers: the buckles can cling and interfere.

About the brand

Philippe Anders are classic men’s shoes made in Italy. Shoes correspond to the standard size grid and a block of medium fullness. Many models are still sewn by hand with a special wear-resistant seam. The material is premium Italian leather. Leather lining and insole for all-day comfort.


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