Oxfords and Derbies are two common terms we hear about when it comes to shoes. Both are lace-up shoes and look quite similar but when we break it down, the actual difference is very small.
In an Oxford, the central part of the shoe, known as the vamp is stitched onto the sides - the quarters. This restricts the facing of the shoe from fully opening up and creates the signature "V" that Oxfords are known for.
When laced up, the two eyelet tabs meet each other and create a more "dressier" appearance. For this reason Oxfords are recommended to be styled with formal wear.
In contrast, a Derby has the quarters stitched onto the vamp. This allows the facing of the shoe to completely open up and enables the foot to slide easily into the shoe.
The two eyelet tabs do not come together fully and when laced up the "gap" between them signifies the outlook of a Derby. Derbies have the versatility of being styled with formal wear as well as with semi formal attires