Dressing well has long been associated with achievement and changing how others see and hear you. A polished appearance is a valuable asset to every gentleman which should include a sartorial arsenal of suiting accompanied by a well-made pair of dress shoes. This combination will ensure you’re well dressed for that upcoming job interview, business boardroom meeting, a formal function or even your wedding day.
There are several best dress shoes every man should own in his wardrobe along with office shoes as they are tried and tested classics with a long-running history. It’s important to consider the best dress shoe style for you as the design of the shoe and its fitting should be a key factor in selecting which you invest in.
The traditional dress shoe has historically been the classic Oxford style, a formal silhouette that will undoubtedly suit everyman’s wardrobe. Characterised by the closed lacing system, the history of the Oxford shoes dates back to the 1800s and is derived from the Oxonian, a half-boot with side slits that gained popularity at Oxford University.
The Barker collection of Oxford shoes for men feature the Handcrafted, London, Professional and BarkerTech collections with the Arnold, Burford, Malvern and Winsford shoe styles being highly recommended.
Another Oxford style is the Wholecut, the only silhouette dressier than the traditional Oxford, the Wholecut is made from a single piece of premium leather with or without a back seam.
An English classic is the brogue, a shoe design instantly recognised around the world, the Brogue shoe has come from humble beginnings having been originally designed for Scottish and Irish farmers as an outdoor shoe for removing bog water when crossing wetlands.
The modern-day brogue is a stylish Goodyear welted icon that features in the Barker Handcrafted, Professional and Creative collections plus more. While the Barker Calvay, Kelmarsh and Westfield represent the traditional Country brogue for a formal brogue the Grant.
McClean and Valiant full Oxford brogues are recommended as they are made on last shapes that offer an elegant silhouette especially when worn with suiting.
The Derby shoe is the Oxford’s counterpart and although it is characterised as a less formal design due to the shoe’s open lacing system the contemporary Derby shoe is both comfortable and on-trend currently.
Several Mens Derby shoes feature in the Country, Creative and Professional collections including the Darlington, Ellon, Nairn and Skye styles.
A sleek dress shoe that always stands out in the crowd is the iconic Double Monk Strap Shoe which features a strap across the vamp with buckle fastening. The Double Monk can be worn formally in several ways whether it be for business meetings or a date night. The Fleet and Tunstall are Goodyear welted Double Monk Straps made in the Barker factory located in Earls Barton and are available in several colourways
From lace-up to buckles, the slip on shoe is a versatile dress shoe that works well with suiting but can easily be dressed down. The Caruso, Jevington and Portsmouth classic penny loafers come highly recommended as well as the Clive, Newborough and Studland tassel loafers.
If you’re searching for an ankle-length dress boots look no further than the Chelsea boot, in particular, the Bedale and Mansfield boots. To explore a wide range of formal dress shoes the Barker Handcrafted and Professional collections is a great place to start both online and in-store.
Read More: The Ultimate Men’s Dress Shoe Guide