A woman’s view on laceless oxfords

Plus your abandoned trends from the last 5 years.
Ask A Woman: Laceless Oxfords – Yay or Nay?

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Hi Beth,

I need your opinion on a fairly new trend.  Have you seen these laceless dress shoes?  They’re dress shoes, but they’re loafers.  But they’re made to look like dress shoes that don’t have laces in them.

Is it just me? It looks completely ridiculous.

– Mike


Hi Mike,

I hadn’t heard of these laceless dress shoes before you emailed me, but I was imagining a regular loafer being billed as a laceless shoe.  Not quite.  Fellas, if you haven’t seen this, prepare yourself for a bit of gaping.  These suckers are regular old dress shoes, with holes for the laces…but no laces.  People, the emperor has no clothes!

Mike, I’m with you 100%.  This look is rather dumb.  It would be one thing if it looked intentional, the way that ripped jeans look intentional.  However you feel about the aesthetic of ripped jeans, everyone is aware that the rips are intentional, for the sake of style, and it’s not that the person wearing them has been climbing barbed-wire fences.  Laceless dress shoes do not look intentional . They look sloppy, unfinished–like you couldn’t be bothered to lace your shoes…or you ran into Punky Brewster in a dark alley and she kicked you in the shins and took your laces to tie around her jeans.

So if I’m understanding the point of these shoes, it’s that they’re a more casual form of the dress shoe because they slip on instead of tying up?  Both Joe–our fearless Dappered leader–and I were wondering why you wouldn’t just wear a loafer.  It accomplishes the same thing while not looking…lame…unkempt…like Punky just kicked your ass.  Don’t go to the dark side, stick with one of these options if you want to dress down for the office.

From Left:  Florsheim by Duckie Brown, Varvatos, and Boss.  Some would say there’s a related suiting trend.

Is it just because we’re not used to seeing oxfords without laces that it seems so…awkward-looking?  Or is there something just plain unnatural about laceless dress shoes?  Remember when girls started wearing flare jeans in the mid-nineties after a decade of tapered legs and it was like, hey, Sonny and Cher called and want their style back.  Then ten years later tapered pants came back repackaged as “skinny” jeans (which I have to say was a marvel of modern marketing), and we all squinted sideways at the fashion mags, thinking we’d accidentally gotten our hands on a Vogue from 1987.  Many trends start off scaring consumers, but then some of us end up drinking the Kool-Aid.  Who knows if this trend of laceless oxfords will take off, but if it does, we’ll just have to endure it the way we did a couple years ago when designers started showing double denim.  Vom.

In this vein, I’d be curious to know what other trends of the past 5ish years readers have abhorred.  Man-cardis?  Skinny ties?  What makes the bile rise in your throat?


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