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Put On My Dancing Shoes: A Guide To Gettin’ Down In Oxfords

feature image from style is style

With the prevalence of accessible and varied menswear inspired footwear, it’s of little surprise that the “oxford” or “brogue” has gained popularity in non-formal environments. Since many associate this shoe with school uniforms, itchy polyester and ill-fitting suits, it may be troublesome to find a way to incorporate lace-ups into a casual look. But wearing these bomb ass shoes is a breeze. I’m gonna show you how!

Street Style

tilda from gastrochic

tilda from gastrochic

Tilda does a metallic brogue with more metallics, naturally. Throw on an opulent scarf and a suave blazer, and you are ready for that life.

Sweet and slightly schoolgirl, knee socks and a flippy A-line skirt are an easy update to make oxfords a cutesy cool.

Casual cropped trousers with a boyish varsity say “I threw this on, and I look damn fine”. This is my ideal weekend attire!

Straight up: I could find an excuse to wear all white with almost anything. Marigold and cream looks fashion forward with boyish footwear.

Crop, overalls and easy-going saddle style oxfords means you’ll be read for any rambunctious adventures that come your way.

Playful and sharp, a mini skirt and blazer combination looks lovely topped off with a sweet hat and classic black oxfords.

Suiting is a natural choice to pair with a classic oxford, but a bold print feels fun & fancy free!

Get Yours

Whether you’re looking to spend $30 or $300, there’s a slick oxford out there for you. Here are 9 of my current favourites!

There are a million and one outfit iterations that makes oxfords look sickening; my personal favourite pair are a silver set from Zara. How do you do your derbys?

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Lydia O

Lydia Okello is a feminist, body positive, queer personal style blogger. On her website Style is Style, she showcases her panache for bright colors and power clashing. When she isn't pawing over Samantha Pleet collections on Tumblr, she's dreaming about havin' a kitten of her own one day. You can find her on Twitter, Tumblr and on her personal blog.

Lydia has written 64 articles for us.


  1. Mmmmm… there is so much to learn from Tilda’s outfit. So much. Great stuff Lydia.

  2. i’m a first time commenter cuz i wanna let u know of a pertinent info. there’s this Mexico-based company called golden ponies (http://goldenponies.net/) that make by-the-order shoes and accessories. they make handmade leather and vegan leather goods as well as accessories. i have yet to order things from them so i can’t comment on the quality, but check it out! they have cool colours and styles! plus they employ local artisans, so that’s cool.

    • Golden ponies is lovely! They recently made a bunch of irridescent items that wonderful :)

        • I haven’t personally, but I have only heard positive reviews from Web pals who have ordered from them!

    • I want these too! Has anyone ordered before and can comment on their sizing? my size varies a lot, I’ve never ordered shoes online before

      • i just ordered something from them yesterday, so i’ll give you an update, but according to their website it is true to size, whatever that may mean to you. personally i always order based on the european sizing number. you can always read reviews online, it seems that a lot of the reviews are positive!

  3. Dear knowledgeable, fashionable humans,

    I want to wear cuffed jeans and oxfords and rock the no-sock sort of look…only I want to wear socks. How do I find no-show socks that don’t fall off my heel during walking and such…???

    Please help, and thanks,

    • I buy these socks at target that are the Merona brand that fit under my chucks pretty well and don’t show. My feet stink real bad if I don’t wear socks, so I get it.

    • I just bought some socks I found after searching “men’s no-show dress socks”. They are working pretty well so far- they have some silicon things on the inside of the heel which keeps them on. I have big feet so mens works for me, but I’m sure they have women’s too. It has been awesome! Definitely time for the capris/cuffed jeans and oxfords- so happy it’s spring.

    • You can buy those little socks like you wear under flats, or I sometimes wear knee high stockings. I’ve also just given up and accepted that I’m uncool and like socks too much to skip out, so I find funky crew socks that peep over the top of my shoes, but they’re dinosaurs or whatever so it’s cool.

    • Men’s no-show socks have more fabric that goes over your toe, so it actually stays on. Women’s no-shows are flimsy and barely there. Plus, men’s no shows are cheaper. Just find the right size conversion and you’re good to go.

  4. Anytime I try to wear oxfords, my mother reminds me that they look like the tap and jazz shoes of my childhood dancer days…and then I feel ridiculous.

  5. this post is everything I’ve ever needed, I’m an Oxford fiend and always have trouble with choosing pants when wearing them. thanks for the inspiration!!

  6. this post reminded me that I’ve been slacking on my search for the perfect cutout oxford for summer. thanks for keepin me on my style toes!

  7. Thank you! I’ve been meaning to switch from sneakers to oxfords this summer,but my research has only gotten me as far as Doc Martens so far!Thank you so much for this!

  8. I’m all about the Fluevogs. Expensive, but worth it. Mad comfortable, last forever, complements for DAYS.

  9. I want a pair of Oxfords sooooo baaaadd! I have total problem feet tho. High arches, wide across the toe, bunions. It’s pretty much the worst. So I need something with support but will also stretch across the joints. Help me ladies with shitty-ass feet! I beseech you!

    • I’m not sure about the fit of Clarks, but I’m aware they are known for comfort and durability. It looks like there are couple of fashion forward options via Amazon!

      • Umm…Clarks are my fucking jam. You are now my new best friend. I hope you like Orphan Black.

  10. I am SO particular about my oxfords that I actually just haven’t had a pair in a while. Too hard to find the perfect thing in a price I can afford. But I love that overall look! It’s making me think about your overall post and reconsider my junior high vow to NEVER WEAR OVERALLS AGAIN.

    Also Tilda Swinton ahhh!!! <3 <3 <3 That look, those clothes, ughhhh.

    • Ahah I’m the same. I would wear overalls all the time as a kid and for some reason the other kids decided to make fun of me for it :(. So I swore to myself Never.Again.

      But now it looks totally cool and I don’t know anymore!

  11. Ok so I’ve been looking at those two pairs every day for the past week considering buying one of them.
    First one: http://www.tallgirls.co.uk/laser-cut-flower-brogue-tan-m2758tn
    Second one: http://www.after8shoes.co.uk/collections/all-products/products/paloma-rose

    which one to pick ? I feel like it’d be easier for me to pair the first pair (ahah) with just about anything (jeans, skirt, dress), and I feel like the second one is too “loud” for my style.

    But they’re so shinyyyy !

    • I say metallic! If you treat them like a neutral, they’ll match with just as many things… Also it’s impossible to have a bad day in shiny footwear. Just an added bonus.

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