Types of Men's Dress Shoes

Here at Marc Darcy, we believe the right dress shoes can elevate any outfit and make a powerful fashion statement. It's important to consider factors such as fit, comfort, and quality when selecting dress shoes, as they should not only look stylish but also provide the necessary support for the feet.

Dress shoes are an essential part of every man's wardrobe. They not only complete the overall look but also add a touch of sophistication and class. With a wide variety of options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right dress shoes for different occasions. 

In this article, we will explore the various types of men's dress shoes, their unique features, and when to wear them. 

What is a dress shoe?

A dress shoe is often used for formal occasions. It's made to pair with smart clothing like suits and tuxedos. Dress shoes are renowned for their refined and classy appearance, frequently sporting sleek and exquisite patterns. Dress shoes vary depending on the situation and the wearer's particular taste, but they are often recognised by their elegant and classic design.


Oxford shoes are a classic and timeless style that every man should have in his collection. Characterised by closed lacing, they feature a low heel, a sleek silhouette, and a lace-up design. Oxfords are versatile and can be paired with formal suits, dress trousers, or even with jeans for a smart-casual look. They are the go-to for formal events, business meetings, and weddings. Shop our range of men’s shoes for the best Oxford shoes.

Mens leather shoes
Mens leather oxford shoes from Marc Darcy

Derby Shoes

Derby shoes are similar to Oxfords but have an open lacing system. This distinctive feature makes them more comfortable and accommodating for individuals with wider feet. Derby shoes are less formal than Oxfords, making them suitable for formal and semi-formal occasions. They can be paired with suits, blazers, or trousers for a refined yet relaxed look.


Loafers are slip-on shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. They are characterised by a moccasin-like construction and a low heel. Loafers are available in various styles, including penny loafers, tassel loafers, and bit loafers. They are perfect for business-casual attire, providing a relaxed yet refined look. Loafers can be paired with chinos, dress trousers, or even jeans. Opt for a simple classic design like our Jasper loafers for a style that will go with everything.

Mens leather penny loafers Leather shoes from Marc Darcy

Monk Strap Shoes

Monk strap shoes are known for their unique buckle closure instead of laces. They come in single, double, or even triple buckle designs, adding a touch of individuality to your outfit. Monk strap shoes are versatile and can be worn with both formal and casual attire. They are an excellent choice for those seeking a stylish alternative to traditional lace-up shoes.


Brogues are dress shoes that feature decorative perforations or "broguing" along the edges and toe caps. They are available in both Oxford and Derby styles. Brogues come in different levels of perforation, ranging from full brogues (wingtips) to semi-brogues and quarter brogues. They add a touch of understated elegance to any outfit and are suitable for both formal and smart-casual occasions.

Mens leather shoes from Marc Darcy Marc Darcy footwear

Chelsea Boots

Chelsea boots are ankle-high boots that became popular in the 1960s. They are characterised by their elastic side panels and a loop or tab at the back for easy slip-on. Chelsea boots are versatile and can be worn with both formal and casual attire. They look great with suits, jeans, or chinos, making them suitable for various occasions.

Choosing the right pair of dress shoes can elevate your style and make a lasting impression. oxfords, derbies, monk Straps, loafers, brogues, and chelsea boots are just a few examples of the wide range of men's dress shoes available. Understanding the unique features and appropriate occasions for each type will help you make a confident choice. Remember, investing in quality dress shoes is essential for both style and comfort.

Discover dress shoes for men with Marc Darcy

Now you know the different types of dress shoes, browse our collection of men's shoes.

Check out our What to Wear to the Office: A Guide for Men for more style advice. Additionally, for the most recent information on men's fashion, as well as for inspiration and useful tips, check out the Marc Darcy Blog.

Shop Suits, Blazers, Shirts, and Formal Footwear today.