The wholecut oxford is easily the most formal pair that we have on our design roster. It’s minimalist and clean design makes it into the most versatile of formal wear, not to mention on of the most comfortable pairs one you find the right fit for you.
The most distinguishing characteristic of a wholecut is it’s form; it is made out of one piece of leather. This makes it more difficult to produce as it would require bigger pieces of leather since it would have to be free from blemishes and imperfections. It also requires the shoe to have a sharper toe shape, none of those bulldog type and square toes. When on a chisel or pointed toe last, the wholecut looks even more dressier as the elongated appearance creates a distinguished sleek shillouette which can only be achieved with the wholecut.
It is also the most versatile of formal shoes since it’s simple design can easily match any formal wear from tuxedos to the Barong Tagalog. Black of course would always be the safest color. A high polish leather is also preferred to textured leathers when creating the wholecut. Patent leathers may also be used but personally it’s not my preferred material although it does look good with a sharp tux. More contemporary colors such as oxblood and shades of brown have also become favorites due to the possibility of creating a patina finish with either waxes, dyes or leather paint.
This style also has a very durable upper as there are no stitches which can break apart since there is only one seam which is at the back of the heel. As long as the upper is moisturized and waxed properly, the uppers should last you a really long time. Also, once you have a proper fitting wholecut, it can easily become your most comfortable pair since it acts like a sock. Creases and bumps are also easier to remove to create a silhouette which would closely resemble the original shape. It also has the added benefit of the shoe having a “choice cut” from the entire leather hide since it should be free from blemishes and is best cut from the back part of the hide. With proper care and polishing, it develops a consistent shine throughout the entire shoe.
Normally reserved for slimmer or regular sized feet, there is actually a way to break this stigma and would make the wholecut also suitable for people with wider feet. While the clean and sleek design is a traditional property of the wholecut, it can also come with broguing which can create a new dimension for the style which can make it more suitable than just the plain wholecut. The broguing adds lines which can create an illusion of a slimmer pair taking away the attention from silhouette of the shoe and into the details and design of the broguing.
Our first wholecut was in our s013 last. I actually had the pleasure of seeing the pair again a little over 2 years since I sent it out to our client. Other popular wholecut designs include the Fairfax on our c013 last, which is a reproduction of a discontinued model from a famous American brand.
In summary, wholecut oxfords are a very versatile formal shoe which is most suited for any attire which requires a jacket or at least a long sleeved dress shirt. Very sleek and minimalistic, it is a classic design which does not try to grab attention with lines but rather with a clean silhouette which exudes the care and workmanship that went into crafting a pair of shoes from a single piece of leather. The time, patience and attention to crafting this pair makes it truly a labor of love.