Oxfords are one of the most popular shoe models that can be found in both men's and women's wardrobe. These British boots became widespread in the 20th century and have not given up their positions since then. Variations on the theme of Oxfords can be regularly seen at fashion shows.
The history of the Oxfords
Oxfords (from the English. Oxford) are called a variety of traditional British shoes, a distinctive feature of which is closed lacing. In professional terms, the vamp (front upper part) of such boots is sewn over the ankle boots (side parts), and the tongue is located at the bottom, under the lacing.
The birthplace of Oxfords is Scotland. They first appeared in the 18th century and at first were called "balmorals" - in honor of the royal castle of Balmoral. Outwardly, balmorals were somewhat different from modern oxfords: they were low shoes and had slits with fasteners on the sides.
In the 19th century, balmorals suddenly became popular among students at Oxford University. It was then that the name "Oxfords", now known throughout the world, was assigned to them. It was then that Oxfords changed and became what they are known to this day: the boots were shortened on top, and the cuts were replaced with lacing. To prevent the laces from distorting the ankle boots, Oxfords should be laced in such a way that the diagonals are at the bottom and the horizontal parallels are at the top.
Today, men's oxfords are considered the strictest and most traditional shoe. They should be worn with a business suit or tuxedo.
Classic Oxfords were made exclusively from smooth leather, black and brown were considered the only acceptable colors. The most famous British Oxford brands for decades are Edward Green, Santoni, Wolverine, Cheaney, Barrett, Crockett & Jones.
Oxfords for women first appeared in the late 19th century. At the Los Angeles Museum of Art, you can find a charming pair of wedding satin Oxfords with heels dating from the 1890s. However, massively female versions of Oxfords - both flat and high heels - began to be produced only in the 20s of the XX century.
Today women can wear these boots with anything: pantsuits, jeans, skirts and dresses. Modern oxfords are sewn from a variety of materials in any color and even decorated with embroidery or sequins. However, perforated models no longer have the right to be called Oxfords - this type of shoe is called brogues.
Women's Oxfords in the 1920s were called "Oxfordets".
There are a number of recommendations on how to properly wear classic women's flat-soled oxfords so that they do not visually shorten the leg. First, it is advisable to combine them with breeches or cropped trousers. Secondly, if you wear them on your socks, then do not wear a skirt - this combination will look awkward. Wear lacquered or richly decorated models in the evening. Pair them with a small clutch to match.