Some of you may be at that age when wearing a pair of sneakers to go meet your friends at the bar simply isn’t cutting it. Of course, classic shoes have been around a few hundreds of years, but what you need to get your head around is slotting them into your everyday look to build up a stylish and timeless wardrobe.
Here at Tuxedo Central, many of us have a bit of a sweet spot when it comes to classic shoes as many of us own a few pairs. However, we know that many out there don’t share the same feeling, and that’s what we have to change. There are, of course, many styles of shoe out there for you to have a go with, but we’ve whittled it down to five key styles we believe every man should own.
The loafer is a classic shoe. They can be worn s quite literally any situation and work well. The loafer didn’t start life out as a men’s footwear mainstay, its origins stem from the Native Americans who invented the first version of the slip-on shoe called the moccasin. It wasn’t until mid-1800’s that shoemaker Raymond-Lewis Wildsmith developed the slip-on shoe for the landed gentry and the royal family as a house shoe.
From the foot of the royal family to the feet of the everyday man, the loafer has been through it all. It was in the 1920s and 30s when men started to wear the loafer to city lounges in America. Since then the loafer crept its way up to the more formal stakes and we now see it as both a formal and casual piece of footwear.
The origin of the brogue is unknown, no-one really knows who made this classic shoe up as nearly all the nations in the UK claim ownership of it. What we do know is that the shoe was made to be worn in the country in the fields whilst hunting.
The intricate design and perforated holes in the leather were made so that water and air could escape the shoe if it ever found itself in a puddle. Up until the mid 20th century, brogues were not considered a formal shoe, and to wear them for occasions other than country walking was frowned upon. They came mainly in brown, due to their practical and country origins, but they were developed in black when it became acceptable to wear them for business.
The derby shoe is another classic that goes back a few decades. The great thing about this shoe is its simplicity and knack for always being modern and stylish. The derby shoe, or blucher as it’s sometimes known, is made up of only a few piece of leather and minimal stitching to keep it simple and sleek.
Its origins come from both American and the UK as during the 1850s men would wear them to go hunting. By the turn of the 20th century, however, the derby shoe became appropriate to wear in town as well as the country. So you see, all of these classic shoes started life out in the mud and dirt of the country before they became a fancier and more formal shoe.
Probably one of the lesser known shoes out there, the monk strap shoe is a little bit different and adds some detail to your look. The monk strap shoe was, you guessed it, originally made for the monks as a more formal dress shoe alternative to the sandal. Their buckle was to ensure secure placement on the foot and they originally had steel toe caps to give them a little bit more protection.
The structure of the shoe isn’t too dissimilar to the traditional oxford shoe, so you can see why they became more and more popular over time as an alternative to the oxford shoe. These days the monk strap shoe has taken on more variants than I care to mention, but what we can all agree on is that they’re as stylish as ever.