Oxfords are usually quite plain with few – if any – embellishments. Made with either leather, suede or synthetic materials, oxfords are good all-around dress shoes that are appropriate for numerous occasions. For the office, basic, black oxfords will do the trick. Semi-formal or contemporary chic events call for oxfords as well. In these instances, you can play with colours to change the feel of your outfit. For example, shades like cognac give a sophisticated but still down-to-earth feel. For formal affairs, revert to black oxfords made of highly polished, shiny leather, as well as heels and soles that are sleek and have as little bulk as possible.
Loafers are either formal or worn as a sophisticated sport shoe. The distinguishing feature of all loafers is a lack of laces or buckles. Traditionally made from leather, loafers are slip-on shoes that resemble a moccasin on top, but have a wide and fairly flat heel. Many loafers have tassels, although they are not as common as they once were. Penny loafers have a strap across the upper portion of the shoe, which was originally designed to hold change or an ornament.
Cap toes show as decorated oxfords. A cap toe on oxfords is by far the most common way to embellish a men’s dress shoe. In contrast to the common oxford, cap-toe shoes have an additional layer or band of leather over the toe. The extra portion might be a clean and simple line, in which case you will be able to wear them more frequently. However, a very stylish pair of cap toes should be reserved for special occasions and be paired only with clothes of equal quality.
Dress boots are slim, ankle-length boots with a slight heel that fit the foot and leg quite snugly. This style of boot is often highly polished and is frequently embellished. These boots complement formal and casual clothes, such as a great-fitting pair of dark-colored designer jeans, a pair of dress trousers or a casual suit.
This style of men’s shoe refers to dress shoes that are similar to loafers in that they don’t have laces. Monk strap shoes have a metallic buckle and a leather strap on the upper portion of the shoe; a feature that also distinguishes them from cap toes, where the leather strap is located above the toe portion of the shoe. While very refined, the buckle and wider heel give them a slightly more casual look, so these would be a good choice for wearing with dressy jeans, casual dress pants or to the office.