Be honest: Could you, at a glance, tell which one of these shoes was more formal if no one had ever explicitly told you the difference?

Be honest: Could you, at a glance, tell which one of these shoes was more formal if no one had ever explicitly told you the difference?

26 thoughts on “Be honest: Could you, at a glance, tell which one of these shoes was more formal if no one had ever explicitly told you the difference?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I personally can, but that’s just because I have become a shoe autist.
    99% of the population is not however.
    I know the point you’re trying to make OP and I agree with you completely, the autistic fixation over oxfords and derbies and formality is so far stuck in the past it’s laughable.

  2. Anonymous says:

    always hated the horizontal line so I would consider the bottom one better fashion regardless of which one is considered more formal.

  3. Anonymous says:

    If no one had ever told me the difference? No. How would I? I personally far prefer Derbys, even in somewhat formal settings. But nothing in my life is more formal than a wedding or funeral.

  4. Anonymous says:

    i dont know the correct answer, but my intuition is the bottom one is more casual. main thing i’m thinking of is the threading on the outside of the toe.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’m guessing the origin of the style on the top was adding in tougher leather/ an extra layer to the toe for outdoor use so it would be less formal than the bottom one.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Like the other guy, I can personally tell but most others could never.

    I prefer open more, but I do understand that closed ones are slightly more formal.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >if no one had ever explicitly told you the difference?
    I mean if I didn’t know anything about different types of footwear I guess I would at some point looking at them notice the different lacing system and the welt and maybe assume that the sleeker oxford is more formal.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I would say the top is formal because it has a toe cap and a smaller part that sticks around. I’ll read further to see if anyone here knows what they’re talking about.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes, because I understand shape language and don’t just call things formal or informal by rote repetition of what others have told me

      • Anonymous says:

        No, you’ve simply misunderstood the post. The formality of a garment is something you can infer from the actual garment itself, so long as you understand concepts like shape language. Nobody has to tell you the top one is more formal and have you retain that specific label associated to that specific object, if you understand the fundamentals of our little hobby here. Now, if that doesn’t describe you, then okay. Keep a big list of every type of clothing item and rank its formality so you can always refer back to your notes. hecking stupid

        • Anonymous says:

          >The formality of a garment is something you can infer from the actual garment itself
          Yes, because people have told you the rules which determine its formality. I don’t see where we disagree.

          • Anonymous says:

            > because people have told you
            you can just look at the toe and immediately tell these are casual shoes. its not ‘because someone told you’ you can just use your eyeballs and see its a more utilitarian looking design than the other one.

          • Anonymous says:

            Associating the specific "utility" a wider toe and welt creates with a specific level of formality is the result of communicating with people who also associate those features with a certain level of formality. The formality we associate with something is by definition a result of social convention, or in the case of objects, a particular "shape language" as the other poster said. Things like silhouette, color, or texture can be considered intrinsic qualities of a garment or outfit, but formality is not. Note that people from different cultures or time periods could agree that the shoes are the same color, or that the derbies have a wider toe than the oxfords, but wouldn’t necessarily agree that the derbies are more casual.

          • Anonymous says:

            utility is in quotes but it clearly makes the shoe easier to re-sole making it a more utilitarian shoe indicating its probably more casual.

          • Anonymous says:

            >Note that people from different cultures or time periods could agree
            no. their opinions don’t matter in this conversation. it’d be like asking a cargo cult about aviation service alerts.
            they only would if the oxford or derby convergently evolved in one of those places, which is not the case.

          • Anonymous says:

            Exactly, the formality of something always exists relative to a certain culture, and so is not intrinsic to the thing. Glad we agree

  10. Anonymous says:

    immediately, and i’ve never owned a pair of casual or dress shoes in my life. i couldn’t remember the difference between a derby and an oxford when i clicked this thread but i could immediately tell which one was the casual shoe from the shape of the toe and how wide the welt or stitched down (see how little i know about shoes?) area is.

  11. Anonymous says:

    correction if you’re part of one of those cultures then its relevant. if you’re not, then its not. if you’re not cuban you’ll look like a dorkus trying to dress like one for example.

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