If you want to look good and dress stylishly from head to toe, derbies are exactly the shoes you need to wear. I’ve always found Derbies to be a particularly comfortable and stylish shoe. They look great with a pair of slacks, ideal for business or even casual wear.
But did you know that the creation of Derbies is still shrouded in mystery?
Come with me on a journey through the history of men’s Derbies to discover this iconic shoe.
From the beginning, the hypotheses on the creation of the Derby diverge. Indeed, it would be either the 12th Earl of Derby, the illustrious Edward Smith-Stanley, who would be at the origin of the shoe or, his grandson Edward George Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl. Personally, the second version seems to fit better.
Finding the Richelieu shoes very uncomfortable, especially for atypical feet, the earl had a shoe created inspired by the Richelieu, but modified to gain in comfort. The Count was rather corpulent and had some difficulties to lace his boots.
His bootmaker modified the shape of the shoe in order to adapt it and to relieve the delicate foot of the count. In 1862, the Derby made its first appearance in the Dunkley account Boot, then in 1872 in the St Crispin magazine which praised the comfort of the shoe thanks to a reworked cut and seams.
It seems that troubled times have always inspired men when it comes to fashion. I learned that there might be another inventor of the Derby shoe, the Prussian general Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher. Moreover, this version is all the more credible as Derbies shoes would be called Bluchers, across the Atlantic.
While cavalry and infantry troops had to fight Napoleon’s armies with very uncomfortable boots that were difficult to put on and take off, the general took the liberty of redesigning the cut. Thus were born the Derbies, to facilitate the advance and comfort of Prussian troops.
In the end, it doesn’t matter who invented the Derby, the 14th Earl of Derby or the general of the Prussian army, the fact remains that this shoe has conquered elegant men all over the world. Its resolutely British style makes it a sophisticated and dressy shoe.
Over the years, the Derby has been modernized, adopting a more pointed or rounded toe depending on the model. The Derby is dressed in black or brown leather, it can have a smooth appearance or patent. Exit the shoe of the infantry or the corpulent Count of Derby, the shoe adapts to all male silhouettes and all clothing styles.
Popular and democratized, Derbies give their wearer a beautiful masculine look and charisma. At work or in the evening, Derbies are suitable for all circumstances.
With a suit, the black, navy blue or camel derbies will give you a dandy chic style of the most exquisite. If you’re looking for a more casual look, chino pants with a shirt and a leather belt to match your Derbies will be a hit. Paired with jeans and a sweater, your outfit will be casual, but still very stylish. It’s perfect for a casual date with your friends. The suede lace-up Derbies with rounded toes will go perfectly with your casual chic style.
I think Derbies are really the perfect men’s shoes. What about you? Do you enjoy wearing them?