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The best way to dress down oxfords in autumn

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We talk a lot about how leather oxfords are the default choice for formalwear. These leather shoes are classic, mostly seamless, and are easy to find. You even have more options with oxfords—whether your prefer a seamless wholecut or fancified brogues, you’re pretty safe when pairing them with a color-coordinated suit (more info on how to match colors safely here.)

But what about the off days? Do your favorite Italian shoes need to be confined to the closet just because you’re not on your suit and tie game? Of course not. Oxfords look just as chic with casual daywear. We especially love wearing them during autumn weekends. Paired with the right pieces, oxfords help create an outfit that’s cool, comfortable, and irresistible to interested parties, if you know what we mean.

So what’s the best way to dress down oxfords in the fall? If you want to dress anything down, the best foundation for the outfit is a great pair of jeans. While we sometimes experiment with denim trends with more casual shoes, when it comes to the classic oxford it looks best to stick with a classic jean. Think straight fit and dark wash. Levis 514s are a modern take on the straight fit without going over to the skinnies side of things.

As far as we’re concerned, there’s no better print in autumn than plaid. A great plaid button down is a great way to add color and pattern to your ensemble. Chances are, you already have a favorite plaid shirt hanging in your closet. However, if you’re in the market for a new one, you pretty much can’t go wrong with J.Crew. Well-made, affordable, and always a great fit, this classic Americana clothing line is a favorite off-the-rack brand for stylish guys everywhere.

With the temperatures steadily dropping, you don’t want to be left out in the cold. Top off your casual outfit with a wool-blend sweater, cardigan, or vest. We love the ones Fred Perry put out this season—especially the cardigans with striped detail along the seams. They may be a little pricier, but you’ll get your return on the investment, as you’re able to wear this piece year after year. And while that keeps your top half warm, you’ll also want to cover your feet with a great pair of socks. The secret to picking the right pair of socks with this outfit is picking the least obvious color found in the plaid of your shirt and finding a pair that matches that. That kind of attention to detail is what transforms clothes into an outfit.

Finally, the most important part: the oxfords themselves. Paul Evans offers three styles: The Brando Semi-Brogue, The Martin Wholecut, and The Cagney Cap-Toe. Each style would look great with this look. Pick a pair in brown or oxblood—black is too harsh for this casual style. And if you don’t already have a belt to match your new pair of Italian leather shoes, we’ve got you covered there as well.