What are casual dress shoes? | When to wear them

The first thing we notice when we see a person and make assumptions, even before we talk to them, is their attire. Thus, you need to be dressed appropriately and always wear nice, clean clothes and proper shoes.

Wearing nice shoes is one of the most important details of your whole outfit because a well-paired shoe can make a noticeable difference to your overall appearance. While many occasions have dress codes that will allow you to “get away” with wearing sneakers and jeans, when an event requires formal attire, you’ll need to wear the appropriate footwear.

Dress for the occasion

Many men think that women only do the fashionable combining of clothes, shoes, and accessories. Men, however, also have a selection of styles, colorful garments, belts, and shoes upon which they can build their own personal style.

When you’re getting ready to go to a formal event, it’s unforgivable to dress in a tuxedo and wear a pair of sporty running shoes. And vice versa – when going to a casual party dressed in jeans or simple pants, then you should avoid the patent leather formal shoes and select something more casual.

Men’s shoes indeed come in less varied styles than the women’s. However, a true gentleman should know how to combine his wardrobe in order to dress for every occasion. The casual style is preferred by most younger men today. This means stepping away from the classic black suit and white shirt and black tie. Most will now be adding a little color, modern patterns, and mixing styles to create their positive image.

Usually, casual attire requires the wearing of casual dress shoes. This is can also be dependant on the occasion. If you work in an office environment, then you should know your office’s dress code policy and aim for more business formal attire and shoes. If you’re fortunate enough to work in an environment that allows business casual to be worn, then you can wear jeans with some comfy and stylish looking suede, leather or even canvass shoes.

The casual dress shoe is not for every occasion

While many formal occasions like a black-tie party, the opera or a wedding demand some classic attire where you’ll need to wear  Oxford style dress shoes. For most other events, you can “get away” with wearing more casual dress shoes.

The casual dress shoe is actually a dress shoe that is meant to be worn in a more relaxed, laid-back setting and with more casual clothing. The perfect pair of casual dress shoes can bring you confidence and refresh the look of a suit.

The comfort side of casual dress shoes

While we can’t argue about the comfort of sneakers, no matter how trendy or stylish they are, you shouldn’t wear them everywhere. Even if your feet do enjoy them.

There’s a sort of unwritten rule that every man should own at least one pair of decent dress shoes. Today, many different casual dress shoe models are comfortable to wear and stylish enough to add some variety to your wardrobe.

The selection of the casual dress shoe depends on your available budget and intended use. If you need to wear slacks or suits daily, then the shoes should match. You should go with selecting Derbies, Loafers or Wingtips made from classic leather and with a finish in black, dark or light brown color.

But if you wear more casual attire, then you can allow yourself a little freedom in selecting some more trendy casual dress shoes. Possibly Monks made from suede, buckskin or soft leather in some more bold colors like grey, blue, tan, camel or even oxblood.

Styles of casual dress shoes

Their different fastening makes the main distinction in men’s shoe styles. There are Oxfords with the closed lace system, Derbies with open lace system. Monks with straps and buckles, Slip-on Loafers, Brogues with open or closed lace system and some decorations and the Chelsea boots that usually have an elastic gusset on the sides.

These are the general groups of men’s dress shoes. And a further distinction can be made by the materials they’re made from and the possible brogue or embellishments, decorative buckles, and even tassels.

The casual dress shoes are usually in the Oxford, Derby, or Monk style. To avoid the classical look, the casual Oxford dress shoe is made of unpolished leather, with a more relaxed looking sole in a different color than the upper. The same goes for the Derbies and the Monks.

While many consider the loafer a casual dress shoe, it certainly has its merits in the comfort department. Another style of casual dress shoes are Wingtips. These are Oxfords with brogue details along the stitching and additional details on the vamp – the top front part of the shoe looks like an “M” when viewed from above.

To sum up

When you’re planning to go to work and later hit a bar, you need to be adequately dressed. While many times the clothes you wear to work can pass in the office or a bar, you should put some consideration into the shoes you’ll be seen with later. To be able to feel comfortable and look appropriate, you need to select good quality shoes that will reflect your style.

The casual dress shoe selection is vast, with options available for every budget, there’s no excuse for not getting a few nice pairs.


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