Lately, I’ve noticed something exciting: when I see someone, male or female, wearing a really cool pair of oxfords, they’re often made by Cole Haan. It might be a brand that I associate with conservative workplaces and mid-priced shoes for my mom’s demographic, but clearly, things are changing, starting with shoes like the Cole Haan Skyler Lace-Up Oxford. Don’t dig the bright silver? The design also comes in a dark metallic blue, and both colorways are just about as fashionable as it gets.
By now, oxfords have been more or less totally accepted as the thinking girl’s ballet flat alternative. They feel crisp and modern on women, and futuristic materials help them shed any old-man feel that might be left over. Every brand makes at least one version by now (my personal favorites are Miu Miu), but Cole Haan’s come at an achievable price point that means it might be ok to stock up on more than one color. I certainly wouldn’t stop you. Buy through Neiman Marcus for $248.