What’s the Best Way to Style a Pair of Classic Oxfords with Modern Women’s Workwear?

Oxfords, the timeless shoe style, have been a staple in the wardrobes of both men and women for centuries. Originally designed for men, women have adopted this classic footwear with a stylish twist, incorporating them into their workwear. However, mastering the art of wearing Oxfords with modern women’s workwear can be a bit tricky. This article will guide you on how to style a pair of classic Oxfords to strike the perfect balance between comfort and chic, modish professionalism. It will offer style advice on pairing Oxfords with different types of outfits, ranging from casual to business attire, and tips on choosing the right pair to suit your personal style.

Pairing Oxfords With Business Attire

When you think of business attire, items that usually come to mind are suits, crisp shirts, and sophisticated dresses. These wardrobe components are staples in a professional woman’s closet. However, complementing these outfits with the right shoes is equally essential. Oxfords, with their sleek design and polished look, can be an excellent addition to such ensembles.

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If you’re wearing a black or navy suit, pair it with a classic pair of black Oxfords. The black shoes will enhance the formal look, complementing the sophistication of the suit. For a more feminine touch, try a pair of heeled Oxfords. They will offer height and elegance while maintaining the professional aesthetic.

On the other hand, if the dress code is a bit more relaxed, you can play with colors. A pair of burgundy or deep-blue Oxfords can add a pop of color to your standard monochrome business attire.

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Styling Oxfords for a Casual Look

Oxfords are not just for business meetings and formal events. They can be styled with casual workwear to create a relaxed yet classy look. For instance, pair your Oxfords with jeans or chinos for a casual Friday at work. This style combination allows you to maintain a professional look without sacrificing comfort.

A pair of brown Oxfords can work well with blue jeans. The contrasting colors add visual interest to the outfit, while the classic style of the shoes maintains a sophisticated look. You can complete this look with a white or light-colored shirt, which will give a fresh, laid-back vibe.

For an even more relaxed look, try pairing your Oxfords with a loose, flowy dress. This combination offers a playful, feminine vibe while still retaining a touch of professionalism with the structured shoes.

Oxfords with Shirts and Dresses

Shirts and dresses are versatile pieces that can be worn with Oxfords for a chic, professional look. A well-fitted shirt, whether it’s a traditional button-up or a more casual blouse, can be paired with Oxfords for a stylish, professional look. Opt for neutral shades like white or light blue for the shirt. These colors are not only professional but also complement the classic style of Oxfords.

Dresses, on the other hand, offer more flexibility. From sheath dresses to A-line designs, Oxfords can complement a wide range of dress styles. For instance, a monochrome sheath dress with a pair of black Oxfords exudes a minimalist, elegant vibe. On the contrary, a colorful A-line dress paired with brown Oxfords can create a more vibrant, playful look.

Choosing the Right Pair of Oxfords

Choosing the right pair of Oxfords can make a world of difference in your overall look and comfort. While classic black Oxfords are a safe choice, don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and styles. For example, if your wardrobe consists mostly of neutral shades, a pair of burgundy or navy Oxfords can add a pop of color while still maintaining a professional look.

Consider the material of the shoes as well. Leather Oxfords are not only durable but also give off a refined, polished look. Suede Oxfords, on the other hand, have a softer, more casual vibe.

It’s essential to select a pair that is comfortable, especially if you’ll be wearing them for long hours at work. Look for options with cushioned insoles and arch support. This will ensure that your feet stay comfortable throughout the day.

Incorporating Oxfords into a Business Casual Wardrobe

Let’s now dive into the realm of business casual. This dress code is often a bit more relaxed compared to formal business attire but still requires a certain level of professionalism. Oxfords are a perfect choice for this dress code as they effortlessly blend comfort and style.

If your business casual wardrobe includes sport coats and wide-leg trousers, Oxfords can be the perfect complement to these items. A pair of black or navy blue Oxfords can stylishly offset a lighter-colored sport coat and trousers. The shoes add a degree of sophistication that can turn a casual outfit into a polished, office-ready look.

Should your workplace allow jeans as part of its dress code, Oxfords can be paired with jeans for a refined yet casual look. Look for jeans in darker washes as they typically appear more formal. A pair of brown Oxfords, when paired with dark jeans, can create a stylish contrast. You can complete this look with a crisp dress shirt or a light blue blouse that enhances the overall aesthetic of your outfit.

Always remember, the key to mastering the business casual look with Oxfords is striking a balance. Too casual, and you might appear unprofessional. Too formal, and you might seem out of place. So, always consider the environment and dress codes of your workplace before deciding on your outfit.


Oxfords have stood the test of time, proving their versatility and enduring style. They are a classic option for women’s workwear, adaptable to a range of dress codes and styles. Whether you choose to wear them with a tailored suit, a sport coat, a crisp dress shirt, or even jeans, Oxfords can enhance your outfit and elevate your professional look.

Remember, the best way to style a pair of classic Oxfords is to consider the environment you’ll be in. For a more formal setting, pair your Oxfords with a suit or sophisticated dress. For a relaxed dress code, feel free to experiment with different colors and materials of Oxfords and pair them with casual items like jeans or a flowy dress. Above all, always prioritize comfort. No matter how stylish your shoes are, if they’re not comfortable, they’re not worth wearing.

In the world of modern women’s workwear, Oxfords serve as a testament to the adage coined by net-a-porter, a renowned fashion retailer, "Fashion fades, only style remains the same." So, feel free to experiment and find the pair of Oxfords that best represent your personal style and comfort.