Irrespective of where you are in your style journey, a go-to pair of quality black oxfords is necessary for all men. Though brown shoes get all the love in menswear circles, there are certain life events and occasions where a black shoe is an appropriate choice.
In this article, I’m going to explain what oxfords are, talk about the Beckett Simonon brand, touch on the style, construction & quality, price of the shoe and share when it’s most appropriate to wear black oxfords.
Hit the play button below if you want to watch the comprehensive video.
WHAT ARE OXFORDS?
Essentially oxford shoes are formal shoes with closed lacing. What this means is that the two sides of the upper that are drawn together by the laces are sewn under the front part of the shoes, and that they thus close over a tongue consisting of a piece of leather sewn on beneath the lacing. They’re more formal than their derby counterpart.
Black Oxfords are pretty much the most formal pair of shoes a man can own, besides opera pumps. Also, as a general rule of thumb, the less decoration a shoe has, the more formal it is. The oxford is #5 on my list of shoes every man needs.
ABOUT BECKETT SIMONON
If you’re a #menswear enthusiast, then chances are you’ve heard of this company before. Beckett Simonon launched in November 2012 as a made to order, direct to consumer shoe brand. What made to order means is that you’re essentially preordering your shoes, which means that you have to wait 3 months to receive them. Not the best scenario if you’ve got a wedding coming up in a few days or weeks, however there are many benefits to this business model.
The primary benefit to the customer is that the shoes are much more affordable because there’s no cost of carrying inventory. The savings are passed on to the customer. It’s an economically efficient process as the Beckett Simonon in-house design team creates unique styles every month. Not only do they design the shoes but they also manufacture them. Each shoe is handcrafted from factories in Europe and South America.
Early on Beckett Simonon went through growing pains as many new, online companies do. After doing some research of the brand, I saw several discussions on blogs and forums where customers were complaining about bad customer support or lack thereof and poor quality control. A big reason for this is that in the early stages of the company, they outsourced manufacturing, but now they handle it themselves. It’s a huge benefit to have complete control over when and where your products are made. Plus it helps to be able to keep a close eye on on the entire process from start to finish.
Today, they seem to be doing much better and have quite a few quality reviews from reputable sources.
BECKETT SIMONON REVIEW: THE “DEAN” CAP TOE OXFORD
For this review I’m going to touch on the 3 key elements I feel make up a great shoe and how Beckett Simonon’s “Dean” Cap Toe Oxford fares in each category.
- The style
- The construction & quality
- The price
First impressions are everything and at first glance I thought the shoe looked gorgeous. The silhouette has a perfect amount of “roundness,” making for a classic and timeless design. The shoe’s round toe is much more aesthetically pleasing than a pointed or squared shape in my opinion.
Not only is the style on point, I also like that the leather has very little shine. I’m not a fan of shiny leather because it feels way too dressy like it should be worn with a tux; take opera pumps for example.
The Dean Oxford looks great, but how well is the shoe made?
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SHOE CONSTRUCTION & QUALITY
I haven’t had the chance to field test the Dean Oxford because I haven’t yet had an appropriate occasion to wear them, but I did rock them extensively around the house and they’re super comfortable.
The leather upper is made of calfskin leather that feels high-quality. The shoes are Blake constructed which allows for a cobbler to resole them when the leather soles wear out over time. There are leather soles for an elegant finish and a durable rubber heel and toe that helps to prevent slippage.
If the Dean Oxford is anything like my first pair of Beckett Simonon shoes I purchased earlier this year, then they’re sure to hold up nicely.
- Hand-made in Portugal with leather from Argentina
- Resoleable Blake construction
- Full grain calfskin leather upper
- Full grain leather lining for extra breathability
- Hand-stitched resoleable leather sole
- Extra durable rubber heels
- Dust bag included
- Extra laces included
- 2 foam shoe inserts
- 1 year warranty
Retail value of the Dean Oxford is $300. But of course you won’t have to pay that price. Currently, $199 is the price you’ll pay for all of their shoes, $149 is the price for their stylish, trendy sneakers, and $219 is the price for their boots. Not bad at all considering the great style, construction and quality of the shoes.
When To Wear Black Oxfords:
Brown is increasingly becoming a more popular choice for more casual, everyday wear, but there are some life events where a black oxford can serve you well.
- Black tie events
- Formal interviews
- Whenever you want!
THE FINAL VERDICT
As the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, and although many will not be willing to wait 3 months for their footwear, those who do can reap the benefits of highly affordable, quality hand-crafted shoes and leather goods.
From my experience with Beckett Simonon, their customer support is on point. They’re responsive and you even get visual updates of where they are in the process of crafting your shoes via email. Their shoes look and feel like quality. The best part is the affordable price point. The only downside is the wait time, but if you’re in no particular rush, definitely worth checking out.
They seem like a company that learned from their past mistakes and are now providing their loyal customers with a quality shoe buying experience.
Let’s hope the shoes can last for years to come.
A note: The shoes in this review was complimentary. These are all my own thoughts and opinions based on my experience and some online research.
IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH BECKETT SIMONON, HOW WAS IT?
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