What to Wear With Oxford Pumps

By Gwendolen Akard , last updated February 9, 2012
Oxford pumps are one of this season’s hottest fall shoe styles, but they can’t be worn with everything. They are superb day-to-night transition shoes and can be worn in both formal and casual settings. They derive their name from the men’s shoes worn by the students at Oxford University, from which today’s style draws its lace-up front. With a little care in putting together your outfits, you can pull off the oxford pump like a professional.
For Events
Oxfords and a dress provide a casually dressy alternative to a suit and are appropriate for both casual and slightly more formal events. Wear this to meet your mother-in-law or go to church. Oxford pumps look great with tights and a dress. Wear plainer shoes with brightly-colored or printed dresses. Choose more interesting oxfords with a neutral or simple dress. Unless you have long, thin legs, pair your oxford pumps with a fuller dress. Tight or sheath dresses look strange on most people with oxford heels. Choose blouse-like or full-skirted styles to complement your shoes.
Office Attire
Oxfords look great with business casual attire. They can be paired with wide-leg and high-waisted trousers, as well as skirts and blazers. Choose pants in a loose flowing material, like silk. Overly structured pants don’t look as good with the already very rigid oxford pumps. Choose a full or structured skirt to wear with your oxfords. A longer style with small pleats or a shorter tiered style both look good with oxford pumps. As with dresses, oxfords should not be worn with a body-hugging skirt, as this can have an unflattering effect on your legs. A structured blazer can turn a more casual outfit of plain trousers or a black skirt into an office-appropriate look. This look is both stylish and different when paired with some oxford pumps
Going Out
Oxford pumps are ideal day-to-night transition shoes. They look great paired with skinny jeans and ankle length pants. A silky or sequined blazer is a classy way to dress up your oxfords and jeans. It’s refined and always appropriate. Oxford pumps can be overwhelmed by boot cut or flared jean, so use caution with these types of cuts. Choose a shoe with a pointier toe, which is sexier and more feminine than a blunted toe. If you are really dressing up, choose a high heel (at least 3 inches) to elongate your legs. Pair your pumps with black jeans and a glittery top to look edgier. To stay on the casual side, choose slim cuffed trousers and an unstructured neutral top with your oxfords.
Casual Day-Time
Oxfords in plain colors or with a peep toe are great for day-time. They can pull together what would be an otherwise boring outfit. Try them with slim capri-length trousers, a casual skirt or light cuffed jeans. Wear socks that do not show above the shoe, like “footies” or short dress socks. Oxfords can be worn in both spring and fall, but suede or leather pumps should be worn in the fall. Pair them with thick tights and a dress. Throw on a trench coat to look instantly sophisticated.
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