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THE STYLE GUIDE

Don’t know your Oxfords from your Derbys or your Loafers from your Drivers? Not sure when to wear a Monk, or curious as to how the Sneaker got its name? Browse our Style Guide to explore the key features of each style, their history and, most importantly when, where and how to wear them. 

 

OXFORD

The original formal shoe, the Oxford unsurprisingly took its name from its birth at Oxford University in the early 1800’s when it evolved from a desire to move away from the outdated Oxonian boot, toward something more modern.

SHOP OXFORDS

CONSTRUCTION

A style of shoe with a closed lacing to the upper, it’s facing is stitched under the vamp for a slim, minimalistic silhouette that hugs the foots contour. 

 

HOW TO STYLE IT

Sleek and sophisticated, the Oxford is a no-nonsense shoe, perfect for business, black tie or other formal occasions. Pair with a suit or straight cut trousers to visually extend the length of the leg. 

BEST FOR:

 

  • a more contoured fit
  • optically extending the length of the leg
  • Business and formal occasions

 

Oxfords can be whole-cut, plain toe or can be finished with brogueing in the form of toe cap, half brogue or full brogue. Our most famous Oxford is the toe cap Consul which is crafted on the bestselling 173 last. 

DERBY

The Derby, also known as the Gibson or Blucher, was born in the 1850’s as a sporting shoe - the adjustable fit and pieced construction adapting perfectly to outdoor activities such as hunting.

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CONSTRUCTION

Unlike the Oxford, it has open-lacing to the upper with it’s facing sitting on top of the vamp, allowing for a wider fit - making it perfect for those with a high instep. 

 

HOW TO STYLE IT

One of the more versatile shoe styles, the Derby is an all rounder, bridging the gap between formal and casual. Depending on the leather, finishing and detailing Derby’s can be worn with anything from a suit to a pair of turn-up jeans and a t-shirt for the weekend. 

BEST FOR:

 

  • High insteps
  • Flexible construction, adaptable for wider feet
  • Smart/casual occasions

 

Derby’s also have brogue finishing, as with one of our bestselling styles, Grafton, which is famed for it’s classic English round toe. 

MONK STRAP

Named after the monks who originally donned them, the Monk Strap is similar in shape and construction to the Derby, but replaces the eyelet closure with a band of leather, fastened at the instep with a buckle.

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CONSTRUCTION

Popularised in the 1920’s, Monks can have one, two or three strap and buckle fastenings, depending on the design, in addition to brogue finishing’s. 

 

HOW TO STYLE IT

A classic alternative to an Oxford or Derby, the Monk Strap is often worn as a statement style and, like the Derby, can be paired with denim or formal wear, depending on the design.  A double Monk makes for a contemporary, fashion-forward look, while a single Monk offers a streamlined, classic appeal.

BEST FOR:

 

  • High insteps
  • Making a statement with business attire
  • Smartening up casual looks

 

For a classic, formal Monk opt for the timeless Westbury.

LOAFER

Originally intended as a house slipper for King George VI of England, the Loafer grew in popularity in the 1930’s as a casual shoe, until it began to be teamed with suits by American businessmen and lawyers in the 1960’s.

SHOP LOAFERS

CONSTRUCTION

A style of slip-on shoe, the Loafer is inspired by the moccasin with its characteristic, elevated ‘apron’ running along the outer vamp. The three main types of loafers are defined by their decorative finishing’s; the Penny Loafer features a ‘saddle’ strap across the front of the shoe with a ’penny slit’; the Venetian, which resembles a slipper with an exposed vamp (usually free from ornamentation); finally the Tassel Loafer with it’s kiltie or tassel detail hanging from the saddle. 

 

HOW TO STYLE IT

For business dress, opt for a tassel loafer to pair with your suit. For weekend pair a penny loafer with chinos or denim and for formal black tie events, choose the Venetian as a sleek alternative to the standard dress shoe.

BEST FOR:

 

  • Ease of wear - slip on
  • Effortless appeal
  • Smart-casual wear

 

The longstanding Pembrey is your go-to weekend shoe, available in a multitude of leathers, colours and finishes. For a more formal, office loafer, try the Keats 2 tassel loafer.

CHELSEA BOOT

Born in the Victorian era as a practical alternative to the rigid, laced boots of the time, the Chelsea Boot’s classic style has transcended fashions through the decades: from adoption as the Paddock Boot by equestrians to a rise in popularity in the 1950’s and 60’s thanks to The Chelsea Set and later, the Mods.

SHOP CHELSEA BOOTS

CONSTRUCTION

Characterised by its elastic insert which allows it to be slipped on and off with ease, not compromising the refined silhouette, the Chelsea Boot connects the vamp and the quarters near the ankle.

 

HOW TO STYLE IT

Lend an edge to traditional suits with classic, leather soled styles or pair a rubber-soled, brogued version with turned up jeans and a chunky knit to add refinement to your weekend style.  

BEST FOR:

 

  • Colder climates
  • Comfortable walking
  • Pairing with slim trousers or turned up hems

 

If you’re looking for the classic Chelsea Boot, try the the Houston, Or for something a bit more rugged, opt for the Goodwood R with it’s Dainite rubber sole. 

DESERT BOOT

Originally developed using crepe-soles and suede uppers, the lightweight Desert Boot was worn by British soldiers during the North African campaigns of World War II, having been inspired by Veldskoen boots from South Africa.

SHOP DESERT BOOTS

CONSTRUCTION

Sometimes referred to as the Chukka, these boots are simple yet robust in design: cut to the ankle, the round toe boot is formed from two quarters, sewn on top of the vamp with an open-laced eye stay and two to three pairs of eyelets.

 

HOW TO STYLE IT

An ultra-comfortable, casual style, pair the suede Desert Boot with chinos for strolling in the city in warmer climes as a smarter, more hardwearing alternative to sneakers. 

BEST FOR:

 

  • Warmer climates
  • Lightweight comfort
  • Casual weekend style

 

The Ryder is the classic Desert Boot, complete with crepe sole and suede upper. 

SNEAKER

Stemming from humble origins as ‘plimsolls’ in the early 18th century, the Sneaker - so-called for allowing its wearer to ‘sneak’ around without being heard - developed into a popular canvas-topped, rubber-soled sporting shoe thanks to Charles Goodyear’s (of Goodyear welt fame) rubber vulcanisation process.

SHOP SNEAKERS

CONSTRUCTION

Since the 1940’s sneakers have achieved world domination as the go-to casual shoe for comfort. Unlike most other shoe styles, the sneaker conforms to no rules. Other than possessing a rubber sole and soft upper, sneakers come in all shapes, colours and materials.

 

HOW TO STYLE IT

Pair low-key classic sneakers with a sharply cut blazer and fine cotton chinos for a nonchalant elegance, or throw on turned up jeans and a simple tee with chunky, retro sneakers for an effortless, contemporary look.

BEST FOR:

 

  • Comfort
  • Casual wear or effortless cool
  • Contemporary style

 

The Mirfield, available in calf and sueded is our bestselling classic sneaker. Looking for something a little edgier? Opt for the new CH873. 

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