The main type of formal shoes
When choosing shoes, consider the wedding dress code, how formal the occasion is, and your own style choices. This way, you can be sure that your shoes will not only complete your outfit but also give you an extra boost of confidence during the event.
1. Patent leather oxford
Patent leather oxford is a specific type of shoe with a low heel and closed lacing. Closed lacing means that leather flaps with lacing eyelets are sewn under the vamp, not above. This is similar to what you would like to see in a derby shoe.
Read more: Style defined: oxford dress shoes
Because of the way they are made, Oxford dress shoes almost show that they are made from a single piece of leather. It gives them a smooth, elegant aesthetic, which makes them suitable for any formal occasion.
Patent leather oxford is the most formal style of dress shoes for men. So, you should be wearing them with a classic two or three piece tuxedo or black tie event.
If you want to go for a more sophisticated style, consider getting full cut shoes. While the Oxford looks like a cut from a piece of leather, the whole thing is real. This results in a very clean, refined look that is both sophisticated and very stylish.
2. Plain Leather Oxford
Plain leather is another popular style of oxford formal shoes, But they are slightly less sophisticated than the previous option. This is mainly because these shoes are not as shiny. That said, you can still get the full cut for an extra level of elegance and formality.
For more formal weddings, choose plain leather oxford dress shoes without a hat toe or any kind of broguing (piercing in the skin). These features take a bit away from the elegance of shoes, but they can still look great in most formal settings. Avoid wearing shoes in this style at black-tie, black-tie optional, or semi-formal events.
3. Opera pump
The Opera Pump is an old-school style formal shoe. They are different from loafers in that they have a deeper cutout, which means they reveal the socks more.
The classic opera pump is easily recognized for its bow. However, there are more modern versions that have a single strip of fabric that evokes the feeling of a bow without doing anything at all.
These shoes are quite elegant and timeless, which makes them ideal for black-tie events.
4. Belgian shoes
Originally produced by a small shop in New York City, Belgian shoes have become quite popular today. This style of formal footwear is unique because it has a strange aesthetic, including a small, iconic bow.
Patent leather Belgian shoes are a great alternative to other loafers, Especially if you are planning to wear a complete tuxedo. How unique they are, these shoes are a natural choice for semi-formal, cocktail dresses, black tie optional, and creative black tie dress codes. In each of these situations, though, choose plain leather or suede because these are less formal than patent leather.
5. Velvet slippers
Velvet slippers are probably the least formal type of dress shoes, which is why some people recommend wearing them only at home. However, in the modern era, these shoes can add color and fun splash to semi-formal events.
They come in a variety of colors and often have some kind of embroidery, which can be used for monograms or to show your interest and personality. Since they are rather informal, they look best when worn at a cocktail dress, black tie optional, or creative black-tie wedding. Avoid wearing them with a complete wedding tuxedo.
Socks and lace
When it comes to socks, You can’t go wrong with black silk on calf socks. This style is very traditional, has a transparent look and looks well paired with formal footwear for an elegant aesthetic. Don’t worry if you don’t have them – most thin socks will work just as well.
Don’t wear white socks or sports socks with dress shoes though. Sports socks tend to be bulkier especially than dress socks. As a result, they often collide or clump around the legs and shoes of your pants, giving your shoe a sloping look.
For lace, they should be black. The most classic and formal laces are satinBut waxed cotton laces are also acceptable. If you use waxed cotton, choose round laces because they look more formal.
Things to avoid
In addition to the ones already mentioned, here are the biggest things to avoid in the case of formal shoes:
Square foot shoesBoxy shoes, or shoes with rubber or plastic soles. They look cheap and do not match the polish and elegance of formal attire.
Boots. Even if they are considered dress boots, they do not match the formality of any outfit, including a tuxedo or dinner jacket. This type of footwear will stand out in the worst way.
The last row
Whether you prefer patent leather oxford dress shoes or opera pumps, choose them based on the dress code and the level of formality required for the occasion. In addition, it is a good idea to invest in a few different styles that you can wear more than once and combine with different outfits. That way, you’ll be ready for anything.