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Open And Closed-Laced Men’s Dress Shoes

by Vania Faucett (2019-07-31)


Open And Closed-Laced Men’s Dress Shoes
Open vs. Closed
Lace-up dress shoes are our focus here. We won't be discussing slip-ons or monkstrap dress shoes because they are in a different category of men's dress shoes than the laced kind. First, however, we must define two important shoe terms:
Vamp. The vamp is part of the upper that covers your toes and instep. Front to middle of the upper.
Quarters. The quarters meet the vamp mid-foot and wrap around the heel. Middle to back of the upper.
Here is the difference between open- and closed-laced shoes: open-laced shoes have the quarters sewn on top of the vamp, and closed-laced shoes have the vamp sewn on top of the quarters. This is probably difficult to visualize, so have a look at the photo below, then read on.
Here are another few photos with closeups of the seams where the vamp and quarters meet.
Open-laced Dress Shoes
Open-laced shoes are a fantastic choice for many occasions. They go with woolen fabric men's custom suits (tweeds, for example) and business casual environments. Nowadays more open-laced shoes are making their way into business, so look around and see what others are wearing in your workplace.

shop tinoAdditionally, some men find these to be more comfortable than closed-lace shoes because the lacing can allow much-needed expansion of the upper. If you seem to be one of these men, try wider shoes first. Open-laced dress shoes are less formal than closed-laced dress shoes, but make no mistake, they have their place in your closet and on your feet.

Closed-laced Dress Shoes
Closed-laced dress Tino shoes, as has been said, are the more formal choice of the two. Wear closed-laced dress shoes with worsted fabric suits. Sometimes, these dress shoes can double as formal shoes. Traditional formal shoes are patent leather, but once you're more familiar with fashion, you'll find those times when your other black dress shoes will work as well.

If you could only have one pair of dress shoes, they should be closed-laced with some brogueing (decoration – see brown and black shoe photo above). The shoes should be black, or perhaps cordovan, for versatility. You will feel especially classy wearing a pair of closed-laced dress shoes.
Terms are Useful for Shopping and Identifying Dress Shoes
Closed and open lacing are important terms to know. We must note, however, that these are qualities of shoes, not styles. Open lacing is a quality of Blucher shoes, also called derby shoes. Closed lacing is a quality of Balmoral shoes, sometimes called oxfords. Oxford is sometimes used as a blanket term for all men's lace-up dress shoes.

Whether starting a wardrobe or starting a wardrobe over, a man's dress shoes are the best place to start, and, with this knowledge, probably the easiest. Make sure that you condition and polish your dress shoes throughout your relationship with them.

Keep this information in the front of your mind when shoe shopping for yourself, when helping friends pick shoes, and when sizing up a well-dressed man. Armed with this simple information, you will be able to express your own style, character, and class through the proper shoes.