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Shoes

What exactly are: Derbies?

What exactly are: Derbies?

In a nutshell

Smart shoes without any detailing, Derbies are a tad smarter (and less ubiquitous) than brogues.

Backstory

The first Derbies were designed as hunting shoes in the 1850s. They are different from Oxfords because their laces don't close entirely over the arch of the foot. (You can see that there's space between the two sides of the shoe in the photo above.) These "open laces"—plus their toes, which are generally on the rounder side—make Derbies look a bit more casual than Oxfords. 

How to wear them well

"Derbies are like the unsung heroes of smart shoes," says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. "Everyone has brogues, but these are just as stylish and versatile—and more individual. Wear them with everything from slim jeans and shirts to suits."