How To Lace Oxfords & Dress Shoes the Proper Way & What To Avoid

Welcome! In this video, I’m going to show
you how to lace Oxfords and Dress shoes properly. One of the things that ruins the look of your
Oxford shoes that I see over and over again is improper lacing. First of all, you need
the right shoelaces. You want thin laces such as these and not thick laces like this nylon
ones. These are way too thick they’re going to look bad and they can look more like a
sneaker and not elegant men’s dress shoe. Second,you want the right length of shoelaces.
They should be about 31 inches or 80 centimeters. The most formal laces you can get are thin,
round shoelaces an alternative that is slightly more casual but still formal enough to wear
to the office is flat shoelaces. Choose what you like, they’re both fine it’s just a slightly
different look. the look you want to go for in Oxfords is what I call, Bar lacing or Parallel
lacing. here’a a perfect example of what not to do with your Oxfords. You have the crisscross
lacing and it just doesn’t really work with the silhouette of the Oxford. Historically,
it’s always been the bar lacing and lacing your Oxford that way shows everybody that
you don’t know what you’re doing. Obviously when it comes to laces, it’s not just about
the thinness and the type of lace but also at the color. If you have a white collar office
job, you want black laces with black shoes. if you want to go to a cocktail party and
mix things up a little bit, you can add grey laces or maybe red laces. The great thing
about laces is that it’s very quick to put them in, they’re very inexpensive and it’s
reversible so you can use any kind of lace with any kind of shoe to create a different
look every single time without breaking the bank. Here’s how you lace it, first, put in
the shoelace into the bottom two holes and then you pull it through. Most Oxfords you
buy have five rows of holes, if that’s the case, it’s important to have one end slightly
shorter than the other one. I will explain why in a second. If you have an even amount
of holes like four rows or six rows you can keep the ends straight, same length. I start
with the longer end and start lacing, on the same side put it in, go over to the other
with the bottom one on this side, I go through, pull it through and go to other side. You
always switch every time you’re done with one side you switch over to the other. Pull
through, lace it in and I keep going one over. This is something you have to do when the
number of rows is uneven, you cannot prevent that. When it’s even, you won’t have to go
underneath which is why you’re gonna have the same ends but ideally, your ends should
be the same length. if you end up with slightly different ends in your shoes, what you do
is you loosen the longer end slightly and then loose the second one , loose the bottom
one and pull through the shorter end so they’re both the right length. once you’re done with
that, you tie your shoe. Ideally, what you’re going for is a look that
is horizontal, just in line the bar lacing. You don’t want it to be slightly angled like
this, you want it to be straight looking. Sometime, people have issues with shoelaces
coming undone, instead of doing a chunky double knot this is what i do. I start again, regular
lacing, half knot, i create the loop and now I go once around, twice around and put the
other end through. I adjust slightly and you can see this procedure is actually very similar
to tying a bow tie. that way, I get a slim double knot that holds everything really in
place. now you can see how just simple lacing can really make or break the look of your
shoe. if you’re interested in getting high quality shoelaces such as these ones, round
and flat in 15 different colors, click here. I hope you enjoyed this video, if you do stay
tuned for our next video about how to lace Derby shoes properly. Thank you

100 thoughts on “How To Lace Oxfords & Dress Shoes the Proper Way & What To Avoid

  1. Sven, on the odd number eyelets, start your first lace on the diagonal and then continue with the up and over lacing pattern that you describe. That way when you finish at the top of the shoe, both ends will still be even and there won't be a diagonal lace showing at the top. It will be hidden at the bottom. The result is the same but looks neater. Great vids and great information from all your topics. I have learned a tremendous amount of valuable information. Thank you for all your help!

  2. Hi Sven any suggestions for gentlemen in warm weather countries such as mine? we don't have the luxury of wearing suits with waistcoats without bathing in our own sweat.

  3. I've noticed that bar lacing produces more friction due to the routing of the laces. To be able to get my feet into my shoes, I have to loosen the laces. And it requires me to work my way down the holes and having to repeat this process when removing them. This is unlike cross-lacing, where one can tug on the ends and take up the slack. Does what I'm saying make sense? There's another type of bar lacing which my father taught me. He used it in the military. Essentially, one loops one side of the lace continuously and runs the other end from the first hole, all the way up to the last. It leaves one visible cross-section in the laces. It's not as clean as your method, but it's quite easy to loosen and tighten the laces. Love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Pretty good, but being new to this I had a hard time following the lacing pattern due to the step-by-step instructions going to fast and it would have been easier if the shoelace being used was coloured differently on both sides like in the diagram to make it easier to follow.

  5. this is absolutely not the correct way to straight lace oxfords, and truly shows the ignorace of Gentleman's Gazette.

  6. This helped me a lot to improve my style – no I change my laces everyday to switch styles. Thank you very much, Raphael. I've noticed that is very important that the laces are waxed – this helpes them to outlast longer.

  7. Quite the opposite of what GQ's take on lacing.

    By the way, where is your accent from? Just curious. Good video/s by t way.

  8. Sven, you are teaching everything that my dad did not. You have filled that role in my life where I feel competent and confident. My style has improved so much by listening to your advice and directions. Whenever I want to learn the correct way of doing something that pertains to men's gentlemenly fashion, I always always go back to your videos. I've benefited so much and I thank you.

  9. I always wondered why the darn retailer had the laces (as I thought) reversed. After seeing your video, boy was I surprised! Thanks for enlightening me on my social faux pas. I have corrected that error!

  10. I think 3-4 videos in and I noticed you always have a smile while talking. Love it! Noticed you don't blink either. That makes me think you're a robot. Lol. Please keep up the great advice.

  11. Hey Sven, absolutely love your videos and your accent is awesome. I have a question. Is it in poor taste to lace an oxford in such a way that the laces are hidden? I personally think laces look sloppy but I would like your professional opinion first. Thanks.

  12. bought a pair of oxblood oxfords allen edmonds yesterday and they lady that was assisting me didn't tie them correctly. this vidoe was a major help compared ot others on youtube. thanks so much.

  13. Thanks, you're a legend. Very classy video. And great idea to change up the colour of the laces for different occasions.

  14. I appreciate the effort but the step by step was not helpful, I paused and repeated and it did not make any sense trying to follow your pattern explanation, maybe a more descriptive vid would help

  15. Thanks. I just got my new Loake Oxfords this morning so I copied the diagram down which is very useful and easy to follow. I used to tie a big double knot but now I can secure my knots with your style of knot. Cheers!

  16. I've subscribed, liked and shared your videos, they are so informative and very well explained. I'm using your tips everyday and they're helping me immensely. And your "coloured shoe laces that change the look of shoes" tip is gathering me a lot of attention from my fellows, everybody's asking about it. Thank You. Please keep making more videos.

  17. As long as it isn't sloppy, my main concern is the proper way to tie the shoe. Big loopy knots bothers me on oxfords. After the knot is done ,I collect it and place it between the tongue and upper part of the shoe. Look at Ashley Weston video on how to tie a knot on dress shoes. It looks a lot better!

  18. "Lacing your shoelace this way shows everyone that you don't know what you're doing" what an ignorant comment. There is no proper way to lace your oxfords, that is completely contingent upon someone's style preference.

  19. Brilliant. Love the tweed jacket with the shooter's shoulder patch. When should a person where those types of jackets?

  20. Does the same procedure hold true when you are lacing dress shoes where the eyelets are on 2 separate '"flaps" (like Calvin Klein Dress shoes)? In this video, the shoe is made where the piece right below the lowest eyelets is secured down.

  21. Haha watched this, looked down at my shoes and was like "uh oh!" so relaced them on the spot. Looking better now! Thanks a bunch Raphael

  22. I have dealt with high end shops here in Toronto and not one of them troubled themselves to correct or show me the correct way to lace shoes. And my shoes are all in the $500 + range. Your advice is priceless and not in the least condescending. Your videos are inspiring. Thank you.

  23. Form should follow function. If your best argument for bar lacing is aesthetics, yet you think other styles show "everybody that you don't know what you're doing," (@1:27) then you're just being a pedantic, judgemental snob who mistakes personal preferences for Rules of Style.

    In another video, you'll tell us equally smugly that diagonal lacing on Oxfords is just sprezzatura, right?

  24. You thread it like a bow-tie, yup! But you can also think of it as doing the second knot (with the loops instead of the single lace) in the opposing direction as the first (ie thread the left side on top instead of the right). Both will achieve the same result. With open lace, sometimes it’s worthwhile to loop the final eyelet outside in to get that chevron pattern and do the loop closest to the side of the tongue. Make sure you have enough clearance for the knot to show.

  25. As a suggestion may I offer; the Berluti knot to finish. The know offers resistance to coming undone, as well as a flatter, closer to the surface appearance. It also has the benefit of always laying flat and even to the right and left.

  26. I currently have my Allen Edmonds strand oxfords laced using the ladder method. Is this or some of the other lacing techniques acceptable? Love the videos!

  27. I have an easier way. My dress "shoes" are western-style boots that look like patent leather. No laces to hassle with.

  28. Hi Sven love you videos,very helpful.
    Could you please suggest me some good Balmoral shoes under a budget? Say INR 5K,in India.thanks

  29. There is a better way that keeps your laces tight and symmetrical and the sides of your shoe, even . Your method looks slightly sloppy, sorry to say.

  30. When I search YouTube for “how to do…” I hope to find a video that dives straight in to showing me how. The pre talk is fine but it’d be nice if in the description there’s a timestamp for people that want to dive right in. For anyone else wondering where the how to starts.. 2:20

  31. If you have your laces flopping around and hanging to low , you just look like a scruffy spaz. Same applys sneakers.

  32. In my high school,all my friends were using super trendy sporty sneaker.
    But i always used oxford shoes and pantofel daily during my high school year

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