Ever since they became voguish a few years ago, I found lace-up oxfords to be one of those fun trends I knew better than attempt: ideally suited to the young and long-of-leg, and probably too masculine and clunky for me to pull off with any degree of grace. Quite recently, however, I’m seeing that they might solve a particular wardrobe issue: it’s spring but not quite sandal weather, and when I want to pop out in my jeans or khakis I have but two options: boots, which feel too heavy; and sneakers, which pretty much invented unflattering.
There are still oxfords to be found, but since they’re no longer especially of-the-moment, not a bumper crop. So I followed a hunch and went to the commerce site for Totokaelo, a boutique that favors a certain soft-focus androgynous look and is located in Seattle, a city where even the most stylish women still value dressing for comfort. The hunch paid off, and I found much to love should I decide to take the plunge—a question that is still very much up in the air.
This off-white pair from Common Projects appears at first to be a bit too nurse-like. But check out how cute they look with the jeans. That they’re cream-colored instead of black or brown goes a long way toward mitigating the I-look-like-a-man factor, don’t you think?
Of course Rachel Comey’s are great, though possibly a bit too flat flat.
Robert Clergerie’s add height, but one must accept clunk as part of the bargain.
Were I to go for a dark pair it’d probably be these by Dieppa Restrepo, either in the black you see here or in a kind of saddle-brown they call Whiskey. They’re classic, really well-made, and possibly a little little Euro-girl.