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The Open Lace

As the workplace wardrobe becomes more casual, with odd jackets and knit shirts, open collars and denims seeing acceptability in many offices, navigating the weekday wardrobe and not making it look ham-fisted requires a little consideration. Elements of the suit wardrobe can pass for semi-casual garb in a pinch, but to truly make it work there are a few rules of thumb to consider.

Like any rule, they can be broken by a confident dresser - while that great Bronxonian sage of menswear can make a striped jacket work with an odd trouser, it's always looked a little off to my eye. Likewise the oxford as a casual shoe - there are occasions I've seen it done beautifully, but it's always been something that made me feel like I've left the house with my fly unbuttoned anytime I've attempted it.

Fortunately there are so many beautiful options as alternatives to keep us well shod when the trouser and jacket are cut from a different cloth - from loafers to derbies to boots, suedes and cordovans and hatchgrains. Double soles and Norwegian welts and metal eyelets all make for a shoe that feels a little more utility, a little less formal, and entirely appropriate for the relaxed nature of an odd jacket and open collar.

With that function in mind, we have worked with Mr Seigaku of Corno Blu to produce a new ready to wear model for stepping out when an oxford wont suffice. A split toe 5 eyelet derby in Horween's hatch grain cowhide - reminiscent of the famous Russian calf, but without the brittleness (or price) of such an illustriously old hide.

Built on a slightly chiseled last to give a little more slice to an otherwise relaxed shoe, the reverse seam on the split toe combines with the heavily grained leather to make something that will polish up to a characterful shine, taking wax in it's crevices and making it feel as beautifully worn as the hunting tweeds it cries out to work with.

Available in store and online now - the Auriga Split Toe Derby.

Corno Blu for Bryceland's