The contemporary man of style is precise, his lingo aimed at specificity. And so we’re splitting hairs to keep you informed. Case in point: blucher, oxford, what’s the diff? Well, a blucher is an open-throat style of shoe with the lace flaps sewn onto the outside of the vamp (which is often of one piece with the tongue), as above. An oxford, on the other hand, has its lacing flaps sewn up from the inside (i.e., closed throat), as below. The heartier bluchers got their name after a particularly aggressive Prussian General who fought (and defeated) Napoleon—and who also commissioned for himself and his troops a sturdy pair of boots with tabs sewn onto their exterior. The term is interchangeable with Gibson or Derby, indicating a classic, if somewhat less formal than oxford, footwear construction.