Shoes are one of the items of a man’s wardrobe that should not be skimped on. More than almost any other item, they should be seen as an investment that will last (with proper care) years and years. Aside from their potential longevity shoes have to power to make a good wardrobe a great one, but this said they alone cannot save a poor one.
Shoes vary in their level of formality. The most formal are black oxfords. A good rule of thumb on dress shoes is the more perforations and the more ornate the seams the less formal. Somewhere on the less formal end of the spectrum are brogues, also known as wingtips. Originally country shoes brogues have evolved into a versatile shoe that that is especially nice in brown and, depending on the color, can be paired with everything from pin stripe to tweed.
Both of these shoes are also closed laced shoes. Closed lacing refers to how the leather that comes together via the laces is attached to the shoe.
The leather on top of a closed laced shoe is sewn underneath the other leather (these shoes are both closed laced).
The third picture is of a pair of open laced black brogues by the English shoemaker Church’s. On open laced shoes (also known as bluchers or derby shoes) the leather that is manipulated by the laces is sewn on top of the other leather creating a raised section on the sides and top. I prefer closed laced shoes because they are more formal, they have a sleeker look and I am not distracted by the raised edge of the leather. Depending on the material, open laced shoes can bridge the gap to being worn with jeans or khakis. In the end, whether you choose open or closed laced, be sure to invest in a few different kinds of shoes because it will not only add more excitement and versatility to your wardrobe but a fine leather shoe needs one to two days to “relax” between wearings.