If there’s one style of shoe that every man should own, it’s the Oxford.

This classic shoe gained its footing as early as the 1640s and emerged on the streets of London in the 1800s. It’s defined by its lace-up front, flat heel, and thin sole that creates a smooth, stylish, minimalistic appearance. This simple design is often the choice for weddings, events, and work, yet it’s comfortable enough for daily wear.

A Look Back at Oxford Men’s Shoes

Past and present, the Oxford has left its footprint in the fashion industry.

The details were minimal, focusing more on craftsmanship and quality than appearance alone. Small nuances like wingtips and toe caps are indicative of true Oxfords, giving the shoes a distinctive vibe.

The shoe first appeared in Ireland and Scotland before making its way to London. Back then, they were referred to as ‘Balmorals” after the Balmoral Castle. As the name implies, these were once the men’s shoes of choice of Oxford students, at which point they were renamed to reflect their newfound heritage, and soon become a popular option outside the university.

burgundy oxford men shoes

Oxford Continues to Dominate Men’s Fashion

Today, the Oxford remains synonymous with style.

Everyone from university students to the working class to the elite rich and famous crowds choose the Oxford for formal events, office hours, and casual settings.

Like any fashion icon, the colours and pairings have evolved with modern times. But the structure and quality of the shoe remain the same, as well as the popularity of the shoe in men’s closets around the world.

How to Wear the Oxford

If you’re looking to upgrade your wardrobe, start at the bottom and work your way up.

At the minimum, you’ll want a pair of black Oxfords in your closet at all times. Black is the go-to choice for any occasion, business or pleasure. They’re also the most versatile color since they pair with just about any color or style of clothing. Black blends subtly enough not to attract too much attention, yet gives the final look a polished appearance. Plan to wear them with suits, chino pants, or casual wear.

Another popular choice is a brown or burgundy Oxford to pair with brown, dark grey, or navy suits and pants. It’s a welcome contrast to the standard black option, giving your overall look an upgraded edge. An increasing trend is to pair brown Oxford men’s shoes with vibrant socks, such as yellow. The rolled bottom cuff is a popular choice in men’s trousers, giving you an incentive to choose socks that grab attention.

If you’re going for something a bit more eye-catching, the Blue Patina adds an unexpected element to the ensemble. This deep blue can be paired with gray or tan chinos or suits for a unique twist on a beloved classic. Another growing trend is to pair Oxfords with denim, creating a wave of blue hues that fashionable and fun.

Let Vivvant London upgrade your gentleman’s style. Visit our online store to explore what’s trending in Oxford men’s shoes and elevate your wardrobe from the ground up.