Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Oxfords

Here I am, after a longer break.
I can not overlook the extensive fashion invasion of laced shoes, called "Oxford shoes",..or "Oxfords".

What are they actually? What is their history? Where did they come to us? Who wear them? And why?

Oxford shoes were among the first men’s laced shoes, which were worn in the 17th century, often by men attending a university. The fact that shoes were cut smaller than the foot, gaves men a mincing step. They were associated with foppery, fine dressing and a particular social class. At first, they were called "Balmorals". The name "Oxford shoes" was born, because they were most associated with college men mainly from Oxford University. This name is well established and it is used till today. Oxford shoes were worn mainly in European men's fashion until the early 19th century. By then many modifications to the shoes had been made.

Today the Oxford shoes are considered a men’s dress laced shoes. It is usually made of leather or suede. They may be simple affairs, or with other patterns, like a curved lines across the toe, or perforated leather or man-made material. Soles can differ. The more expensive with leather soles, or mid-price have a rubber or plastic soles with different levels of heel. It depends on the type, whether they are mens or womens. Women's shoes have a wide range of heels.

Oxfords are intended for men attending semi-dressy or formal events. Common colors include black, dark brown and burgundy. Nowadays shoes are worn not only by elegant men.

Ever since Coco Chanel has brought into vogue the modernist philosophy and menswear-inspired fashion, women like to be independent. Women quickly adapted to male fashion. They especially take a fancy elements of menswear and adopt the style of wearing it.
Some variations of Oxford shoes have been seen over the years. The saddle shoe is essentially an Oxford shoe. Instead of being one color, as is the case with the dressier Oxford shoes, saddle shoes have a strip of leather across the tops of the shoes, in either brown or black. These shoes were greatly popular in the 1950s for women and children. And they are popular until today. Though most commonly the saddle shoe is primarily white with a black strip, you can find tan with dark brown “saddles," light blue with dark blue saddles or a variety of other color combinations.

Today they are dernier cri of fashion. They are among the latest fashion trends.
They occupy the world fashion trends, fashion shows, boutiques and our wardrobes.
They are great for an elegant occasion, for a sports outfit in combination with jeans or leggins, not excluding a romantic chiffon dress.
A little bit masculine, a little bit feminine, a little bit vintage.


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