The Spring Challenge #3– Oxford Shoes

It’s about time I write another Spring Challenge blog post..been quite awhile.

If you don’t know by now, the “Spring Challenge” refers to any of the styling challenges I encounter with apparel or accessory in my spring wardrobe.

This Spring Challenge is all about the oxford shoe, which originally started off as menswear–get this–over 100 years ago in 1900! (Go Wikipedia it yourself..lol)

I own only a few pairs of oxford shoes (one of which is heeled), and I think a few pairs is enough for me because I find oxford shoes tricky to wear for as they create a masculine feel for any outfit, and I don’t want to feel too masculine or a like a guy in anything I wear. Oxford shoes are the type of footwear that you can’t just wear with anything, you know what I mean? When I’m wearing a boyfriend blazer, then fine. But I also know that there are certain items in my closet that would not match well with these masculine looking shoes. I think the most important thing to remember is that pants/bottoms are key when creating an outfit with oxford shoes. And this is just a personal preference for me, but I would only opt for netural colours for my oxfords, like shades of brown, beige, greys and taupe because I find the neutrals easier to match with the items I have in my wardrobe. I’m all for funky and bright colours–just not in my oxford shoes.

Back to my point in regards to pants, I think that the ability to wear a pair of oxford shoes well and without looking too manly lies in the style and shape of your pants.

What works (In my opinion):
-Any pants or denim that cut off just above the ankle, whether they are tight or loose boyfriend jeans with folded cuffs at the bottom.
-Skirts would look fine too, but I think shorter fuller ones would look better as opposed to longer ones, whose material drapes and flows down.
-Similarly, lightweight shorts would be fine as long as they are not super tight. Or shiny.
-Trousers are always a safe bet with oxford shoes, as they originated as menswear too and could help create that menswear look.
-Jeggings or leggings look good with oxford shoes too, but make sure to be conscious of what top you wear. I would suggest a tunic or longer
sweater/blouse, keeping in alignment with the preppiness of the shoe.

What does not work (In my opinion):
-Denim/pencil/A-line skirts…pretty much any skirt that is not as I mentioned above: shorter and fuller.
-Bootcut denim
-Denim shorts
-Spandex type shorts…now I’m just being obvious.

It would seem that oxford shoes pair best with pants that show off some ankle. So as long as you keep this in mind, you will find it much easier to find pants and outfits to wear with your oxford shoes. I also think that the What works section includes both flat and heeled oxford shoes. As I mentioned, I have a pair of heeled oxfords, and I’ve gotten some good usage out of them by wearing them with trousers (that cut off at my ankle), leggings and a preppy tweed dress with black nylons. Finally, If you’re like me and want to stay away from looking too manly, then opt for the more narrow oxford shoes with thinner soles that are not so chunky like men’s dress shoes.

Happy styling :)


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