Preparing to return to the work office following months of working at home requires a change of dressing and state of mind for many of us. While the working environment changes back to a familiar setting as will our daily routines which include swapping your house slippers for a pair of office shoes. The way many of us will dress for work will alter due to the COVID-19 pandemic whether it’s a certain style, material or colour.
The timeless work office will always be the Oxford shoe, a Goodyear welted classic that is regarded as the model men’s dress shoe no matter the occasion. Characterised by a closed lacing system with a low heel and exposed ankle, the Oxford style offers a sleek silhouette that accompanies most if not all formalwear and suiting.
The Oxford is a versatile formal shoe that is worn formally or casual with denim jeans or chino trousers which we’re predicting you’ll see a lot more off in the boardroom going forwards. The current Barker collection includes an extensive range of Oxford shoes featured in the BarkerTech, Handcrafted, London and Professional collections with the most popular being the Arnold, Burford (Dainite sole), Malvern and Winsford styles.
While black remains the ionic colour of choice when it comes to business oxford shoes, the shades of brown now have more of a place at work in particular the Dark Walnut, Espresso and Brown colourways.
The Oxford shoe’s counterpart is the Derby shoe and can be characterised by an open lacing system. Barker Derby shoes that are highly recommended include the Ellon, Nairn and Skye styles which are available in several in a variety of leathers and colourways.
A business staple available in both Oxford or Derby style is the Brogue which features in several collections including the Handcrafted, Country, Creative and Professional ranges.
From humble beginnings as an outdoor work shoe the contemporary brogue can be worn as a formal dress shoe or casual with workwear. The different types of brogue shoes for men can be categorised as a full brogue, semi brogue, quarter brogue and the longwing brogue.
The Barker Country collection features several Goodyear welted brogues including the Charles, Kelmarsh, Calvay and Westfield. The Barker Professional collection offers an extensive range of formal brogue shoes from the classic Albert and Alfred hi-shine styles to the latest additions including the Malton, Mirfield and Morpeth styles.
One of Barker’s most comfortable brogues is the Turing style from the BarkerTech collection which is made on the 493 last from premium calf leather and features the latest Barker technology.
Slip-on styles will be seen more in the workplace seeing as many of us have lived in slippers while at home and there are several styles of note in the current Barker collection.
A timeless men's loafer by Barker is the Caruso penny loafer, designed by Albert Barker in the early 1960s, the Caruso continues to be a Professional collection staple available in Black and Burgundy Hi-Shine. The Mears Penny Loafer from the BOEB Archive collection is a reinterpretation of the Caruso but made from grain and suede leathers on a British Dainite rubber sole.
Other popular Barker slip-on styles include the Gates, Jevington, and Portsmouth Penny Loafers as well as the Clive, Newborough and Studland Tassel loafers.