When it comes to investing in good quality Goodyear welted dress shoes there are several style favourites to consider from the classic toe cap Oxford shoe to the sleek silhouette of the whole cut. Just as important as the choice of style is the colour with brown and black dress shoes being the most popular. The traditional black formal dress shoe is a wardrobe staple for gentleman around the world.
The Oxford shoe takes first place when it comes to comparing men’s formal dress shoes as its styles characterised closed lacing system with a low heel and exposed ankle offers a smart silhouette that compliments formalwear and suiting perfectly. The Oxford shoe has English roots having developed from a half boot call the ‘Oxonian’ in 1825 which was fashionable to wear by students on campus at the famous Oxford University.
No matter the variation of Oxford shoe chosen (plain, toe cap, brogue or whole cut) the colour black is the obvious decision for a versatile formal shoe that can be worn indefinitely at formal occasions and events but furthermore for going to the work office every day.
The current Barker collection includes an extensive range of Oxford shoes featured in the BarkerTech, Professional, London and Handcrafted collections. The most popular Oxford shoes as recommended by the Barker London flagship store teams include the Alfred, Falsgrave, Lerwick, McClean, and Winsford.
Although the men’s black Oxford shoe is the first choice the rise of the brown Oxford shoe has been witnessed over the years as a stylish alternative to the classic black work shoe that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Within the Barker collection, several shades of brown are favourites in the Oxford style such as Cedar, Antique Rosewood and Dark Walnut especially when contrasting colour/materials are featured in the shoe design.
The best selling Oxford brogue by Barker that is a ‘Wedding shoe’ favourite is the Barker McClean, made on the 443 last from a premium calf with contrast suede or laser paisley detailing. The McClean in Cedar Calf / Navy Suede comes highly recommended as does several of the other Creative collection Oxford styles including the Grant, Jax and Valiant Oxford brogues.
For a classic Country brogue in Cedar or Brown, the Charles Oxford brogue is an iconic brogue silhouette, made on one of the oldest last shapes still used in the Barker Earls Barton factory, the number 29.
While we all navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic together the shift between Black and Brown dress shoes has been noted as the cancellations of weddings and formal events, increased working from home and restrictions to daily life (Tier system and national lockdowns) has seen the brown shoe take favour over its black counterpart. Although the black formal dress shoe will always remain as shoe rack essential for all gentleman. The way we live our lives is constantly changing in such unprecedented times as will the colour of the dress we wear.
Explore the current Barker collection online by colour to shop all styles available in black and/or brown.