Footwear for men comes in a variety of styles, and each has its own importance and place. The color and design is completely a matter of personal taste and preferences. However, there are certain conventions that one must keep in mind when purchasing shoes for office.
The general rule is that sleeker the shoe, the more formal it is. The color black is regarded as more formal than other shades, like brown. Shoes with laces are always considered better than slip-ons. Again shoes with patterns, like perforations appearing in a certain pattern, make them look less formal and, hence, are not regarded suitable for office purposes.
There are several styles to choose from when it comes to men's footwear. The different styles that are usually available are as follows:
The Oxford Shoe
This is the most common style and is regarded as the standard across the globe. These shoes have rounded toes and closes lacing. As far as formal wear is concerned, one should go for the plain cap-toed Oxfords. It is ideal for business wear and serves perfectly as formal footwear. You may also choose to go for ones that have brogues along the edges of the cap of the shoes. Black is the best color to go for if it's an Oxford you are buying.
The Derby and Blucher
Shoes exhibiting these styles look similar to that of an Oxford. The only difference is that they have open lacing. You can wear these kinds of shoes with suits as well as with semi-formals. The blucher, however, is a little sleeker to look at and has a certain fashion element attached to it. They come both in plains and with brogued-caps. Material can vary from leather to suede. If you are buying suede shoes, then you can wear them with semi-formals.
Black Tie Dress Shoes
These by far are the most formal shoes belonging to the Oxford family. They are usually worn with a tuxedo and do not blend well with any other kind of outfit. Black is the usual, or rather, the only color in which these shoes are available.
The Wingtip Shoe
This style of shoe has a brogued cap and is pointed at the center of the top. The pointed portion curves backward and points downward. Shoes with this style are good as formals, provided they are in black. For a more casual look, try going for the brown ones or any other color that might be available at the store. Wearing a wing-tip to office is a nice way to set your own fashion statement and create an image for yourself.
Loafer and Monkstrap
Loafers and Monkstraps are more of a casual nature. They usually are slip-ons and more suitable for business casuals. Maybe, if you are working on a Saturday, this would be a good option. You can choose from Monkstraps with buckles or go for Loafers with a leather band on top or even a metal strip attached at the middle. Another option is the Tassel loafer. These are often considered as formals and used as weekend footwear.
Boots have an element sturdiness embedded into them. These shoes are ideal for winters, and if they are water-proof, the suitable for the rainy season. Boots usually are in the form of slip-ons and are highly comfortable. Due to their ruggedness, they are suitable for traveling and hiking purposes. They are not exactly formals. However, nowadays you also get boots that can be worn at office, like vetos lace boot, fujiya brogue boot, ustica chukka boot and others.
These are Oxford-styled shoes that are made of white buckskin, hence the name. White buckskin is a kind of leather which has a rough texture. White bucks usually go very well with the seersucker suits. Besides, they blend equally well with fabrics like white linen and tan gabardine. These shoes are suitable for summer months.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, you can also go for the Opera pumps. These are shiny black slippers which feature a bow on the top. Can be a good option for formal occasion, but do not wear them to your office or workplace.