Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Question 1: For a Tuxedo, are patent leather shoes the only option?

This message is from one of my friends who works in the Human Resources of McK (you know you're well dressed when HR asks you for fashion advice- even when you've left to do your MBA!).  

Dear Kent, 

i am, once again, in need of male fashion advice. (I hope you don't mind me asking you these things) i actually i have 2 questions:

1. for a tuxedo, are patent leather shoes the only option?
2. for a solid lavender shirt, what are the best tie options? colors/patterns?


 Good to hear from you. Not at all- I always love fashion questions..

1. For a tuxedo, besides from patent leather shoes, you can wear regular leather oxford shoes. Generally speaking Oxford shoes with a cap toe (no fancy designs but just the one line) are the most formal, and then down to the brogues. The Oxford shoe (patent or not) differs from the derby (which is less formal) based on the position of the vamp. In a Derby the tongue of the shoe is the same as the part in the front.

You can also wear court shoes, but I've never seen anyone do it, and its not recommended as it almost looks like ladies's wear, and very few people can pull it off. Also useless because you can't wear them with anything else. Brooks Brothers sells it as a "formal pump". This is supposedly the most formal.

In all honesty, (having been to over 20 black tie events at Oxford), no one really cares what shoes you are wearing. As long as it's black, not square toed, has laces, and polished to a shine, it should be just fine. No need to really go out and buy a patent leather shoe (I wear a technically incorrect Derby type patent leather shoe from Ferragamo and people say its great). Most people are more interested in the bow tie, cummerbund or vest, or the location of the bar!
An Oxford is a style of laced shoe characterized by shoelace eyelet tabs that are stitched underneath the vamp, a construction method that is also sometimes referred to as "closed lacing". Oxfords first appeared in Scotland and Ireland, where they are occasionally called Balmorals after the Queen's ...

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