Most men do not realize that there is a marked difference in formality with Oxford lace-ups. Oxfords can vary from casual to white tie simply by changing the materials of the shoes.
For instance, this nubuck suede oxford wing-tip is the most casual version of an Oxford shoe for men. Namely, because the material is suede. Suede is NEVER anything other than casual. Suede shoes should never go to funerals, but it can go to high society casual weddings. Suede can be worn to work as long as it is in an office where the other men (and upper management) are not wearing suits. Once a suit enters in, suede must leave.
Leather wing-tipped oxfords are very versatile because they can go from office to funeral to wedding. These shoes are durable and last forever and many men have owned their wing-tips for decades and simply have them resoled. They are classics for a reason and are worth the investment. Patent leather oxford lace-ups are the most formal of men’s shoes. These shoes are reserved for formal occasions such as weddings, political or high society. They are not worn with suits, only tuxedos. They can be worn with a morning suit…but morning suits are very formal.