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Shoeology: The History of the Oxford Shoe

2-minute read

Edmonton Oxford in Tan. Poppy Barley offers made to measure men's dress hoes for wide, standard and narrow widths. In sizes 7-15 a custom made shoe in all leather.

If you’re a guy and you reach for a pair of shoes for your cousin Ben’s wedding or that interview for the job you’ve wanted forever, chances are you’re reaching for a pair of Oxfords—even if you’ve only ever heard of the word when it refers to the university and/or the comma. Oxfords are distinguished by their "closed" lacing, which means that their eyelet tabs are stitched underneath the vamp (i.e., the top) of the shoe so that they aren’t visible. In contrast, the Derby, the Oxford's closely-related sibling, features "open" lacing, which means that their eyelet tabs are stitched on top of the shoe's vamp. The image below illustrates the difference between closed and open lacing using the Edmonton Oxford and Jasper Derby models from our men's collection.

Edmonton Oxford in Tan. Poppy Barley offers made to measure men's dress hoes for wide, standard and narrow widths. In sizes 7-15 a custom made shoe in all leather.

Closed lacing produces a sleeker appearance and the effect that, especially when laced and worn, the Oxford shoe is constructed from one entire piece of leather instead of several smaller ones, which is much more apparent on a Derby. Once an Oxford shoe has been worn in, only the tip of the tongue should be visible at the top end. But where did the Oxford come from? There are two competing origin stories: one tale explains that the Oxford evolved from a style of boot that used to be made with side slits, slits which with time made their way to the front of the boot and eventually turned into laces. These boots eventually were shortened into a shoe, and this new style became popular with the students at Oxford University in the late 1800s, who had tired of the fussiness of boots. The second theory claims that the Oxford originated in Scotland, where it’s commonly referred to as the “Balmoral”, in reference to the castle of the same name. No matter which is true, Oxfords have existed in some form since as early as the mid-1600s, and let’s appreciate the irony that what is today considered the most formal of men’s shoes is likely the product of rebellious college kids hundreds of years ago. Edmonton Oxford in Tan. Poppy Barley offers made to measure men's dress hoes for wide, standard and narrow widths. In sizes 7-15 a custom made shoe in all leather. Traditionally, an Oxford’s toe cap is unadorned, like the one on our Edmonton Oxford is, or it can be punched with medallions in a variety of designs. Oxfords can even be embellished with elaborate broguing (i.e., those decorative little holes you often see on shoes). This means that, because of its closed lacing system, our Toronto Brogue is also an Oxford—but Toronto Brogue is a much catchier name, isn’t it?

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The Harley Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How To Measure:
The Harley Heeled Sandal: Take a tape measure and wrap it around your foot, right below your ankle bone as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 26 cm
5.5 26.5 cm
6 27 cm
6.5 27 cm
7 27.5 cm
7.5 27.5 cm
8 28 cm
8.5 28 cm
9 28 cm
9.5 28.5 cm
10 28.5 cm
10.5 29 cm
11 29 cm
11.5 30 cm
12 30 cm

The Esther Heeled Sandal Ankle Size Guide

How to Measure:
The Esther Heeled Sandal: take a tape measure and wrap it around your ankle, above the ankle bone, as that is where the strap will sit (see product imagery and fit video for a visual demonstration). This measurement is based on the last adjustment point on the strap.

Size Strap length will accommodate an ankle measurement up to the size below
5 23 cm
5.5 23 cm
6 23 cm
6.5 23 cm
7 24 cm
7.5 24 cm
8 24.5 cm
8.5 24.5 cm
9 24.5 cm
9.5 25 cm
10 25 cm
10.5 25.5 cm
11 26 cm
11.5 26 cm
12 26 cm

Belt Sizes

Natural Waist Measurement Typical Jean Size Belt Size for High‑rise Pant Belt Size for Mid‑rise Pant Infinite Belt Size
23-25" 23/24 26" 28" 1
25-26" 25 28" 30" 1
26-27" 26 30" 32" 1
27-28" 27 30" 32" 1
28-29" 28 32" 34" 2
29-30" 29 32" 34" 2
30-31" 30 34" 36" 2
31-32" 31 34" 36" 2
32-33" 32 36" 38" 3
33-34" 33 36" 38" 3
34-35" 34 38” 40" 3
36-37" 36 38" 40" 3
38-39" 38 40" 42" 4
40-41" 40 40" 42" 4
42-43" 42 44" 46" 4
43-44" 43 44" 46" 5
44-45" 44 46" - 5

Sizing Note: For the most accurate fit, measure around your body where you plan to wear the belt. Choose the closest belt size to that measurement.

Belt Diagram Accent Belt and Complement BeltThe Accent Belt, The Polished Belt and The Complement Belt size measurements start from the beginning of the leather to the middle hole.

Belt Diagram Infinite BeltThe Infinite Belt size measurements cover the entire length of the leather.



Belt Measuring Guide

Belt Measuring Guide

A - High-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt around your natural waistline, wrap a measuring tape around the narrowest part of your midsection. Then, add 3” to determine your high-rise belt size.

B - Mid-rise style:

If you plan to wear your belt lower than your natural waistline, you will require a dierent size. If you have a particular pair of bottoms you intend to wear your belt with, wrap a measuring tape through the belt loops while in a relaxed position.

When wearing your belt in your preferred style, it should fasten in the middle hole. The belt will relax with wear allowing you to cinch it tighter, as needed.

If you plan to wear the belt in both the high and mid-rise styles, you have two options:

  1. Select your high-rise style and fasten it more loosely when worn in the mid-rise style.
  2. Select your mid-rise style and fasten it more tightly when worn in the high-rise style.