Need help in distinguishing between an Oxford and Derby? Don’t know the difference between a Moccasin and Loafer? Not sure how to style the Boot or Mule? Let our footwear guide help you out! Read on to discover each style’s origin, history and most importantly, how, where and when to wear them.
Originated in Scotland, the Oxford is also referred to as a “Balmoral” after Balmoral Castle. It gained popularity at Oxford University in the 1800s as students searched for a more comfortable footwear than long boots majorly worn at the time.
For the Oscars this year, you decided to be a bit bold with your attire. Opting for a tailored suit in all-white that fit like a glove, you paired it with a slim fitting burgundy dress shirt. You matched the dress shirt with your shoes, going for a pair of burgundy Wingtip Oxfords. Putting on your silver Cartier wristwatch, you buttoned up your suit jacket and slipped on your aviator sunglasses. Getting word that your Aston Martin is waiting at the front door, you smiled and murmured, “Showtime.”
From the 12th Earl of Derby to the 1870’s, where the derby was described in St. Crispin’s Magazine, the roots of the footwear are not entirely clear. The derby initially took form in the 1800s as the Blucher boot, a half boot with two leather flaps that was easy to slip on and off.
In Ocean’s Eleven, George Clooney’s character Danny Ocean pulled off some show-stopping looks that were paired up with the Derby. One in particular being his grey summer ensemble from when Danny and “Rusty” Ryan go to meet Reuben Tishkoff, their old-time Vegas money man.
Wearing a tailored white open-neck dress shirt, he paired it with a grey sports jacket and grey lightweight trousers. To add a bit of contrast, he wore a black leather belt with a silver buckle, and matched the belt with his black Derbies, which he wore with light grey socks. He finished off his look with grey-lensed, square-framed sunglasses and a silver wristwatch.
How about trying out this look yourself? You could pull it off better than Clooney did!
Different versions of the Loafer originated in multiple locations, from the Wildsmith Loafer in 1920’s England (which was very popular with the Ivy League), to the Aurland Loafer in 1930’s Norway, to the Weejuns in 1950’s America (after which Gucci released his line of loafers).
It’s early morning, and you decided to walk to your favourite cafe to get some coffee and a bagel before starting off your work routine. You’re wearing a cream coloured loose fitting dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Pairing it with powder blue chinos, you decided to break the pastel theme with your favourite black loafers. You wore no accessories and even left your phone at home so you could enjoy being in the moment and have your breakfast without any worldly distractions.
The Moccasin has a long history dating back around 30,000 years. The footwear has evolved tremendously over time according to different terrains and the needs of tribes that wore them. Each style was so unique that tribes could be identified by the type of Moccasins they wore.
Heading out with your family on a day cruise, you opted for a breezy, summer ensemble. Wearing a printed cotton shirt with khaki shorts, you kept the sleeves rolled up and had a blue cardigan wrapped over your shoulders in case it got too windy on the yacht. You paired the outfit with blue Moccasins, and accessorised your look with square rimmed sunglasses and a silver Tag Heuer wristwatch.
17th Century Europe was dominated by boots all the way to the 19th century, where it was the standard footwear for cavalry and infantry units. The Chukka Boot originated in India amongst the British army units while playing polo. Chukka is derived from chukkar, Urdu for ‘turn’ or ‘circle’.
You had planned out a desert safari with your close friends, and chose a wardrobe perfect for the outing. Wearing a faded gray shirt and dark brown cargo pants, you paired the apparel with dark brown Chukka Boots. You kept a brown hoodie with you for the cold desert night and sported a black G-Shock divers watch with black Oakley sunglasses.
Mules, previously referred to as ‘slippers’, have been worn in Europe since the 16th Century and in the East, especially China, since 4700 BCE. Slippers were a sign of separation between outdoors and indoors, meant to be worn in place of shoes or boots to keep dirt out of houses.
It’s Sunday morning. Stifling a yawn, you fix your oversized Star Wars t-shirt and white shorts and brush a hand through your hair. Slipping on your white Mules, you head downstairs for breakfast. Upon reaching the kitchen, you find out there are no eggs left. But the day had just started! You drag yourself back upstairs to change as no one would let you leave the house in the current clothes. Slipping on a full-sleeved shirt on top of the t-shirt and swapping the shorts for jeans, you put the Mules back on and head out. What a start to the morning! But at least you had the company of your trusty German Shepherd with you as you walked to the store down the street to get some eggs.
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