After you’ve chosen on your tuxedo, shirt, and bow tie style, the next item to think about is what shoes to wear.
I’m going to talk about the five different types of formal shoes in this article. At the end, I’ll go through some minor details like socks and laces. Finally, we’ll discuss a few things to avoid.
Patent Leather Oxford
The first formal shoe is a Patent Leather Oxford.
An Oxford shoe is a type of shoe that has a closed lacing system.
This simply means that the leather flaps containing the lacing eyelets are sewn beneath the vamp rather than on top of it, as in a derby shoe.
The visual impact is that it actually appears to be a single piece of leather, which gives it a very basic and elegant appearance, which is why the Oxford is such a superb formal shoe.
The Patent Leather Oxford is the most formal of the five shoes I’ll be discussing.
This is a terrific choice if you’re wearing a classic two- or three-piece tuxedo and your dress code is quite formal.
You might go for a wholecut shoe for an even more elegant appearance.
While an Oxford appears to be made from a single piece of leather, the wholecut is made from a single piece of leather.
The end effect is a smart and trendy style that is incredibly clean, refined, and elegant.
Plain Leather Oxford
Plain Leather Oxford is the formal shoe number two.
Due to the fact that it is not as shiny as the Patent Leather Oxford, it will be a minor step down in formality.
A cap toe or any type of broguing, which are perforations in the leather, should be avoided in your Plain Leather Oxford.
If you do have a cap toe, it’s not the end of the world. It’ll merely tone down the formality of the shoe a tad.
The Plain Leather Oxford, like the Patent Leather Oxford, can be done as a wholecut for added elegance and sophistication.
This type of shoe is appropriate for black tie, black tie optional, or semi-formal occasions.
The Opera Pump is formal shoe number three. The Opera Pump is an old-school formal shoe with a very particular look.
It differs from a loafer because it has a deeper cutout, allowing you to view more of the sock.
The bow is the most distinguishing element of the classic Opera Pump. There are, however, more modern models with a single cloth strip. If you like the look but not the bow, this is the outfit for you.
The Opera Pump is elegant and classic, and if you’re looking for a type for a black tie event, this is the shoe to go with.
The Belgian shoe is formal shoe number four.
This loafer is noted for its little and unusual bow, making it a highly unique and quirky look.
The original came from a little boutique in New York City, but this type is now made by a variety of other companies.
The Belgian Shoe, especially in patent leather, is a wonderful alternative if you plan to wear a full tuxedo and like the loafer design but not the Opera Pump.
The Belgian Shoe is a natural choice for semi-formal, cocktail attire, black tie optional, and creative black tie dress codes because of its uniqueness.
In each of those instances, however, plain leather or suede may be preferable over patent leather because they are less formal in appearance.
The Velvet Slipper is the formal shoe number five.
The most casual of the five formal shoes we’re looking at is this one.
Some would warn you that you should never wear Velvet Slippers outside of your house. However, I believe such advise is out of date.
A pair of Velvet Slippers is a chance to have some fun. They come in a variety of colors and are frequently embroidered, which is ideal for a monogram or something that expresses your personality and interests.
I do not advocate wearing these with a complete tuxedo because they are the least formal of the formal shoes.
Cocktail clothing, black tie optional or creative black tie, will look best in a Velvet Slipper.
Those are the five types of formal taxedo shoes. Let’s go through some details, such as socks and laces, as well as a few things to avoid.
What Socks Should You Wear?
A black silk over the calf sock is the most classic sock to wear with formal wear.
It has a translucent aspect that gives it a really elegant appeal.
Silk socks are not only expensive, but also difficult to come by.
It’s not a big deal because any thin black sock will suffice.
What Kind of Laces Should You Use?
Needless to say, black laces are required. Satin lace is the most classic and traditional type, although waxed cotton lace is also quite acceptable.
You’ll notice both round and flat waxed cotton laces, but the round is always preferable because it appears more formal.
What Should You Avoid?
Finally, when it comes to formal footwear, there are two things to avoid.
First and foremost, avoid wearing square-toed shoes, boxy shoes, or shoes with a rubber sole.
They have a shabby appearance and lack the polish and elegance of formal clothes.
Do not wear boots, number two.
Although there are dress boots available, they do not match the formality of a tuxedo or an outfit with a dinner jacket.
That wraps up this overview of formal types of shoes to wear with tuxedo.