Previously: Part I, Part II. This is the third installment for my fellow white collar ballers.
If you’ve spent any time learning about men’s clothing (be it from family, friends, or the internet) you’ve probably heard a disproportional amount of talk about shoes. Shoes are a huge part of what dressing well is about (both in cost and importance), even though they take up a fairly small amount of space on your body. It can’t be stressed enough; shoes are often what separate the men from the boys, and business casual workplaces are notorious for bad shoe choices. A little bit of knowledge here will go a long way. Shoes are also the foundation of your outfit in stylistic and structural terms; if you buy well and take care of your purchases they will in turn keep you comfortable and stylish for decades.
1. Save up some money.
This one has the potential to get expensive. Accept the fact that high-quality shoes will be expensive if bought new, and can even be pricey when bought secondhand. Thrifting can be a good option here as well.
2. Learn the differences between “real shoes” and bad shoes.
High-quality shoes are expensive for many reasons, but the biggest two are material quality and construction. These qualities are much more important with shoes than they are in a shirt or pair of pants because shoes need to stand up to a tremendous amount of wear. Read Kiyoshi’s post and Put This On’s article to get a sense for what I’m talking about. If you buy a high-quality welted shoe that fits well and is well taken care of it will last for decades. Trust me.
Need some help finding out which brands can be trusted for high quality shoes and which can’t? I’ve included a short list at the bottom of this post, but my rule of thumb (toe?) is this: don’t buy shoes from any manufacturer that can’t tell you what last their shoes are made on. Any respectable shoe maker will have products on a range of last choices and will be able to tell you about them.
3. Understand the different styles and their applications.
Ready for some shoe terminology? This should be enough to get you started.
By now there’s a good chance you know about Brooks Brothers’ sale; if not, you can read up on Kiyoshi’s synopsis here. There are lots of good deals to be had, but this one caught my eye: chukka boots by Peal & Co. for about $158 plus shipping.Last I checked, the Peal & Co. line is manufactured by Crockett & Jones (correct me if I’m wrong here), making this a pretty great deal. Made in England and available in many colors and sizes.
It’s On Ebay: Handgrade Crockett & Jones Belgrave shoes
It looks like Derek is selling the beautiful shoes he showcases in this post. I have been on the lookout for a nice pair of mid-brown semi-brogues to round out my collection, and if these were in my size I would definitely be joining the bidding frenzy. Like Derek, I believe that C&J’s 337 last is a fantastic compromise between full and pointy lasts. The fact that these are from the handgrade collection is pretty special as well. Hopefully these beauties can find a good home somewhere in the #menswear community.
Well, this seems as good a place as any to start. I had a great time seeing all the wonderful products in the vendor showcase, grabbing a free shoe shine from A Shine & Co., and meeting some legendary bloggers and Styleforum folks. Any place that I can openly talk about things like goodyear welting and garza fina ties and not be ridiculed is a winner in my book.
Blazer: part of a suit - midnight navy mohair from Thick as Thieves