+ Project Campaign Trail

Project Campaign Trail: Oxfords

Every campaign season, I pen a series of posts about how to dress while working on the campaign trail.  I do this mostly as a public service for all the voters who are tired of being lobbied by unwashed miscreants in pizza stained campaign t-shirts and faded jeans.  But I also write these posts because it helps me solidify what pieces I want to buy/pack for my time on the trail.  

The full Project Campaign Trail series will hit the blog next week, but as I’ve been gathering ideas, I keep coming back to one thought, “I need a pair of oxfords.”  

My search for the perfect pair of oxfords is complicated by the fact that every pair that I like is sold at Urban Outfitters.  I like these basic suede ones, and these two-toned ones, and these perforated ones.  But since I’m still on strike from the Eat Less t-shirt incident, I can’t buy any of them.

Damn you hipsters and your affordable, on trend pieces!

Now don’t get me wrong, if I were willing to spend upwards of $200 on a pair of casual shoes, I could find a pair in a heartbeat.  But I’m not.  So I’m forced to wander the Internet softly muttering Rosebud under my breath.  Or am I?

Matt Bernson Matinee Oxford (Piperlime, $70 on sale)

While I would prefer cognac or grey to metallic silver, I think these will do nicely.  They’ll look great with a pair of dark denim jeans and a slouchy sweater.  Just chic enough, but not so fashionable that they will look out of place amongst the sea of sneakers and cowboy boots on the campaign trail.


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  1. stacey says:

    You should look at etsy. While I'm still not sure about used shoes…there are some really cute vintage pairs over there.

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  2. Leila says:

    While I havent found them online, I believe H & M carries oxford's for about $12. Sorry this infor can't be of use to readers since I dont have a link :/

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  3. Belle says:


    I did look on Etsy, but I had a very hard time sifting through the search results. Plus, it's probably better if I buy them at a store so that I can return them.

    Leila-I'll check H&M. Thanks.

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  4. Allison says:

    I got a pair from Steve Madden, can't remember the exact price but they were afforadable.

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  5. Emma says:

    I am slowly appreciating this trend, but I still have my reservations. If I wear them with jeans, I would prefer to wear socks. Given that the socks would show from time to time, what color should I look for? Should I match the socks to my shoes or to my pants, etc.? Or must I wear no socks or stockings? HALP!!!!

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  6. VA says:

    I don't know about the rule for socks with Oxfords, but if you want to play it safe, match your socks to your pants. As Clinton Kelly says, it's better to look like you have long legs than tall feet!

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  7. Jay says:

    I'm still loving the blog and read every post, Belle. Keep it up, and don't let your 'stitches get you down.

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  8. Cori Sue says:

    Hi Belle!
    I have been on a hunt for affordable Oxfords for a while, in fact, I wrote this post all about them back in August. https://bitcheswhobrunch.com/the-lust-list-fall-footwear/

    I picked up the Steve Madden Melanee Oxfords from Shop Bop in Cognac for $100. It was more than I wanted to spend, but they look very rich (like they definitely aren't Steve Madden) and considering how much I'll wear them I think they're worth the $100. It looks like they're sold out of cognac at Shop Bop but they still have them in bone.


    September 28, 2010/Reply
  9. L says:

    Payless has some cute ones from their Alice + Olivia line too ladies!
    And belle- great post. I'm glad that you are advocating for cute clothes on the campaign trail.

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  10. Ana says:

    Steve Madden's oxfords are the best I've found so far for the price! I have a self rule against buying duplicate items, but I may purchase another in a different color ­čśÇ

    September 28, 2010/Reply
  11. lorrwill says:

    Mainly just posting to say that I appreciate this blog and all the work you put into it.

    I am not an oxford gal anymore. I worked for a CEO who would look down his nose disdainfully when I wore them. This is a dot com in SF mind you (where it is common for people wearing business casual to forget the business part of the equation altogether). But he scarred me, I 'm afraid.

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  12. N says:

    Belle (&other fashionable commentors)

    What do you think of the heeled oxfords that have been coming out? I've seen a few cute pairs, but I'm not sure how to wear them. Can I wear them with a skirt/dress without socks? Are they appropriate for the office?


    September 29, 2010/Reply
  13. Cori Sue says:

    I also have a pair of heeled oxfords. I think they're adorable, and definitely more attractive on my 5'4 frame (they dont make me look as stumpy as the flat ones). I wear them with tights, a wool skirt , and a cute blouse or button-down to the office. But, I think the J.Crew look with the bunchy socks around the ankles would also be cute. I'm also envisioning them with tights+shorts+blazer on the weekend– cuffed wool shorts or maybe jean shorts. Good luck!

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  14. Dr. Jean Grey says:

    I think they are cute, but oxfords just have a feeling of rented bowling shoes I just can't shake.

    September 29, 2010/Reply
  15. Stephanie says:

    I'm not a huge fan of the flat oxfords, but I love the look of heeled ones. Go Fug Yourself just did a Well-Played post about Taylor Swift, and she's wearing an awesome pair of heeled oxfords (I'm now totally and completely lusting after them):


    September 29, 2010/Reply
  16. Sarah says:

    Saw these cute brown ones out at the Woodbridge Off Broadway Shoes this weekend- $35.
    https://www.offbroadwayshoes.com/shoes/women.da/womenscasual (right column, towards bottom of screen).

    September 30, 2010/Reply
  17. Amanda says:

    These are on Gilt right now! In Cognac, for $79.

    October 1, 2010/Reply