Illuminate The Formality of Your Shoes

If you are considering choosing a pair of shoes, you want the shoe to work with your outfit as a whole. Deciding which pair of shoes to wear, it is worth quickly interpreting the formality of shoes.

For example, if you choose a pair Of Oxfords( Brogue), there are different elements that all contribute to the general formality of the shoe.


  • Leather is more formal than fabric.
  • A Rubber sole, is less formal than a leather sole.
  • Suede is more relaxed than smooth leather, then patent leather is more formal than a matte finish.


  • The more patterns in an oxford, the less formality.
  • The more obvious and large the size of the seam, the less formal it is.\

Refine Your Sneakers

Even sneakers vary in Their Refinement (or Formality).

Sports shoes are specially designed for outdoor leisure occasions(that’s why they are level 3 in the refinement levels). This is their goal, their goal.

By removing some of the bulk (thick rubber soles), bright colors, several plates and making them from leather, a single color, a sole that is not white, the shoe becomes more formal.

Sneakers will never be a formal shoe, but they can become a level 2 refinement that matches some everyday casual outfits (always at the less formal end of the level 2 spectrum).

We all need a Variety of Shoes in our Closet. Shoes that work for different occasions or events. Thus, even a shoe such as a pump, which is a naturally more formal shoe, can vary from refinement level 1 to refinement level 2.

Pump elements that reduce formality (or level of refinement)

  • Patterns-multiple colors and patterns reduce formality
  • Fabric-matte fabrics, the matte surface is always less formal than something shiny or glossy
  • Heel shape – the thicker and sturdier the heel – the longer it “walks” compared to the thinner and refined heel, the more formal (and made for sitting) it is.

Assemble All

Of course, you still need to look at all the elements of a shoe to decide in what level of sophistication it is suitable, and therefore what kind of outfit it works best and what options it has to wear.

So, a matte nubuck oxford with lots of patterns and obvious stitching with a wider, thicker thread will be a less formal oxford than an oxford made from polished leather with hidden or narrow seams in a thin thread with fewer holes and patterns.

The first shoe would be more jeans or a casual shoe, the second would be more an office shoe.

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