Mens dress shoes come in a large variety of styles and colors. The goal of this page is to give you a quick overview of each style, when to wear each style, and what color to wear.
Before we get too detailed, you should know that each style of mens dress shoes can be broken up into two categories.
These are the slip on shoe and the lace up shoe. Lace up shoes can be tied in a balmoral style and a blutcher style. Blutchers are open faced and balmoral are V type lacing.
Color Coordinating Mens Dress Shoes
Black – The black shoe is the most versatile and can go with virtually any color suit you have.
Brown/Burgandy – Most suits will also accept this color with the exception of a black suit. The darker the shade the more formal the shoe.
Mens Shoe Styles
Brogues – A brogue is a pattern created by punching holes into the shoe. Brogues can be half brogue, full brogue, or medallion brogue. The first two are self explanatory and the last is when the brogue pattern is all around the toe of the shoe.
Buck Oxfords – A buck oxford is a more casual shoe which is not made from the traditional leather. Wear this on casual Friday or to a dress down occasion.
Cap-Toe Oxfords – Cap-toe Oxfords are dress shoes with a toe that is sectioned off with a separate leather portion. These shoes are dressy enough for the office but not for a formal occasion.
Chukkas – Chukkas are dress boots used in both formal and informal situations.
Monk Straps – Monk straps have a single strap at the top instead of laces. These shoes are great for casual wear and the office but not for formal occasions.
Penny Loafers – Penny loafers are slip on shoes that can be worn casually and possibly to the office. The defining attribute on these shoes is the slit at the instep.
Plain Loafers – Plain loafers are another for of slip on shoe with no defining features whatsoever. The leather will dictate how formal this shoe is.
Side Gusset – The side gusset is a slip on shoe with elastic sides for a nice snug fit. These shoes can be worn to any occasion.
Split-Toe Oxfords – Split-toe Oxfords are a bulky shoe with stitching at the center. These are nice shoes for office wear.
Tassle Loafers – Tassle loafers are slip on loafers with dangling leather florets.
Wing Tips – Wing tips are mens dress shoes with a brogue wing patters on the toe. These shoes are great for casual wear and business wear. Do not wear these in strict formal occasions.