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The ‘Oxford’ lace-up shoe was the predominant style in men’s footwear during the 1920s. It was known in the trade as a ‘closed tab shoe’ because the eyelet tabs (the sections of leather with holes for the laces) were stitched under the front section of the shoe, or vamp, rather than on top of it.

Usually Oxfords were made up in black or brown leather for everyday wear. British footwear fashions were conservative during the 1920s with strict rules dictating what colour shoe could be worn with which outfit. Brown shoes with a dinner suit were frowned upon and flamboyance was considered distasteful. Bright red leather with striking gold swirls would have been considered highly unusual, even vulgar. These shoes were made up for display at the London International Shoe Fair in 1925 and may have been aimed at the American market which was open to more exotic designs.”  -

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