The Formal vs Casual Man

Distinguishing between a formal and casual shoe seems simple enough. You’d sport a sleek black dress shoe to a black-tie event and a white lace up sneaker to a weekend lunch. Easy, right? Or so I thought. Fashion has changed, and styles have evolved in a dramatic (but good!) way. What may have been considered formal or casual 25 years ago, may not be the case today. With a multitude in variety of footwear, I’m often left wondering… could my boyfriend pull this off at dinner with my CEO at the Secret Location?

Here’s how to know for sure. We’ve got 4 ways to identify a dress vs casual shoe.

#1: Do they have laces? A formal shoe will have laces. Often dark in colour and thin. The thicker the lace the more casual the shoe. Also, look at the quality of the lace. Often a cotton vs leather blend will give it away.

#2: Detailed or simple design?
Generally speaking, formal shoes are often very simple. Little to no detail, single texture in a solid colour. Broguing detail on dress shoes can be tricky. Although the technique adds detail, this shoe could be considered “more” formal in aesthetics.

#3: What colour are they?
It should be no surprise that black is the superior colour for formal dress shoes. Black-tie = black shoes. However, today’s modern style showcases vibrancy in colours which are becoming more acceptable in formal attire.

Tip: Warmer temperatures, events during the daylight hours and seasons of Spring and Summer,
you’ll want to boast a lighter coloured foot. Cooler temperatures, evening occasions
and seasons of Fall and Winter, we recommend sporting the darker tones.

#4: What material is it made of? Leather vs rubber – the bottom sole of the shoe will give it all away. Leather is more formal in general and a triple leather sole will outlast any rubber sole. Rubber lacks the formality of a leather sole due to its bulky appearance. The material is often more flexible and has more shock absorbers. Great for a casual stroll downtown.

With spring fashion in full bloom, here are my top picks (and why I love them!) for men’s casual and dress shoes from BOSS at Oakridge.

Casual – this Sporty Lowp Mbpr low-top sneaker features subtle detailing around the outsole and edges. The sleek narrow design adds a signature flair to your everyday look. Embellished with the subtle bling of a Mercedes-Benz logo on the heal.

Dress – this Kensington Oxfr Bubg shoe features vintage broguing! The seasonless shoe is a must-have in every mans closet. The dark texture is fitting for those formal occasions but casual enough to be worn with a dark trouser for an evening out.

~ Cara K.

Sporty Lowp Mbpr


Kensington Oxfr_Bubg