Derby shoes are the classic smart/casual footwear choice. They’re made from leather or suede, and differ from other formal footwear, such as Oxfords, thanks to their open lacing style.
Derby shoes are constructed using quarters of leather that are stitched down onto the main body of the shoe. These create a kind of flap on each side of the shoe which houses eyelets for laces to pass through.
This style of shoe first came into vogue in the mid nineteenth century when they were worn mainly for sports and hunting. The reason for this is that the open style lacing allows more freedom of movement than the alternative, making the Derby a much more practical shoe.
However, in the twentieth century Derby shoes began to be worn in the town and city as well as for more country-friendly pursuits. Today, they are often worn with formal tailoring such as suits, as well as with more casual weekend wear.
Personally, we think Derby shoes pair well with smart separates. In particular, we think they work beautifully with a classic blazer.
Blazers are such versatile pieces of clothing. They are more laid back and contemporary than a traditional suit or sports coat, but can still elevate a look from simple smart/casual to something special.
If you want to make a good impression at a smart/casual social occasion this summer, we suggest you choose a well cut navy blazer, a pair of quality Derby shoes, a plain white shirt and a pair of classic beige chinos. Trust us when we say that this combination takes an awful lot of beating!
Can we tempt you to a little shoe inspiration? We have a selection of specialist derbies to offer in store, including the Wingtip Derby Rain in snuff suede, the Wingtip Derby Pembroke in tan scotch grain and the Wingtip Derby Swansea in the finest dark brown suede.