An oxford is any type of dress shoe (not boots) with a lace over a tongue. Unlike a derby, the tabs that join the lace must be together in order to qualify as an Oxford. That is about the only distinction between an Oxford and a Derby. Oxford appears in many formats and a classic of the working man’s wardrobe. Variants of an oxford include but are not limited to cap-toe, wing-tip, brogue, balmoral, etc.
The tightly stitched based welted to a properly constructed leather sole is an English-style shoe that is quite remarkable due the intensity of the craftsmanship and the work that goes into making a pair. You will never find a cheap, good oxford, because of its labor intensive process, high-quality material. It is the most sought after shoe by any gentleman.
A well kept pair of oxfords is suitable for almost any type of dress occasion, including an interview, a first date, or a shiny gala dance floor. In fact, a great pair of oxfords are said to be a man’s lifetime companion.
If this is your first pair of oxfords, choose black. But it will require another investment into a brown loafer. If you can’t afford a brown loafer in the near future, go for a dark brown oxford. The reason is that a black oxford can work with your navy and charcoal suit. You can also get away with it as formal wear if it’s spotless and freshly shined. But it won’t help you in the ‘blue jeans Saturday’ appearance, so you’d need that brown loafer. And, for the sake of the shoe, don’t wear it everyday.