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Non-bulky brougues

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Hi. I am looking at Crockett & Jones' Downing handgrade model in their catalouge (it is not possible to get C&J where I live, but I know my size). I have seen some (real world) wingtip models where each brogued edge of a part of the uppers (wingtip, vamp, counter, ..) was quite thick - giving a bulky and rather coarse appearance. This aspect is difficult to observe in pictures, but in the "Hot Chocolate" feature in the January edition of British GQ (pp. 64-68), the Edward Green model (p. 67) looks much sleeker than e.g. the Church's (p. 67) or the C&J (p. 65) (but the C&J looks very nice anyway, being a heavier shoe). So, what I am looking for is a sleek, elegant, non-bulky full brougue. Can anyone who have seen the Downing tell me anything about this aspect of the shoe? Marcus
post #2 of 21
I don't quite understand your concerns with the bulkiness of brogues. All brogues are constructed the same way: single layers of leather overlapping. As boxcalf, the standard leather of men's shoes is only 1 - 1.5 mm thick. It shouldn't add bulkiness, even if it hasn't been "skived" (thinned out where layers overlay). Shell cordovan is only slightly thicker with 1.6 - 1.8 mm. Could it have more to do with the visual appearance? I have a pair of Edward Green and a pair of Church's brogues right in front of me. Edward Green uses a smaller hole in the brogueing (2.5 - 3 mm), while Church's uses a 5 mm punch. The stitching, which frames the punched pattern, runs in the Green at 7 mm, in the Church's at 9 mm. The brougeing on the Green looks more elegant than on the Church's. Crockett & Jones handgrade are excellent shoes, much better than Church's and really good value and the "Downing" is a very smart shoe indeed. Green's "Malvern" is a sleeker shoe but that should be expected, as that pair is some 50 % more expensive than the C&J (UK prices £415 vs. £275). I love Edward Green shoes and I think they are the best ready-to-wear shoes in the world; of course, I hasten to add, in the English style (to prevent the wrath from the Testoni/Lattanzi/Mantellassi-loving A Harris). Of course that famous shoe designer George Cleverley might have felt the need to reduce bulk He has designed a range of "faux brogues" where he dispenses with toe pieces and counters and decorates an undivided vamp and quarters with the typical brogue pattern. You can order this style, made to measure, from the shop in London that bears Cleverley's name and you will receive them £ 1500 lighter and six month later. But...they will be perfection. http://members.jcom.home.ne.jp/welt-...leverley08.htm
post #3 of 21
Bengal-stripe Nice article. Do you know if Lobb or Cleverley have ready-to-wear models available on the Internet?
post #4 of 21
Actually I agree with Bengal Stripe. I've learned not to argue with him when it comes to shoes   Testoni/Lattanzi/Mantellassi do make beautiful shoes. But if forced to choose I'd still rather wear Edward Green (with the possible exception of some of the classic English styles Lattanzi does.) In fact today I finally got to wear a pair of shoes I've been lusting after for years. A pair of dark antique-tan Edward Green cap-toes. What a shoe..
post #5 of 21
Those Edward Green's are stunning. Could they be worn with a gray suit,or only with navy or brown-based colors? I am seriously considering buying a pair of blucher wingtips in that color,either by Alden or Crockett & Jones (Hand Grade). Any preference among the forum members?
post #6 of 21
That's a beauutiful color--exacty what I''m looking for in a monkstrap--single or double (or the RLPL waverly.) Pete
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
bengal-stripe: Unfortunately, I don't have access to fine men's shoes where I live, so my concern with "bulky" brouges was an impression from memory. (Since English is not my native language, it is a bit hard to describe exactly what I'm thinking about). My worry is not necessarily that the shoe gets much wider, but that the overlapping edges make the shoe look less sleek or elegant. I think you are 100% correct that the visual appearance have everything to say. How would you compare the brouging on C&Js in general to the Greens and Churchs' you mentioned, and do you know if the handgrade line would differ from "plain" C&Js in such respects? I would love to get my hands on a pair of EGs some day. Isn't that darker patch on the toe (medallion) (Andrew's picture) a signature EG polishing? Maybe I should plan a trip to London for the summer sale (in June); do you know when EG usually have a sale? Andrew: fantastic shoes. Did you only "get to wear" them, or did you purchase them - and, in the case, where? Marcus
post #8 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Those Edward Green's are stunning. Could they be worn with a charcoal gray suit,or are they too light in color? I am seriously considering buying a pair of wingtips in that color,either by Alden or Crockett & Jones (Hand Grade).
If the picture is truthfull, the colour is quite close to C&Js "tan antique". In the handgrade collection they only have a full brouge wingtip in this colour (Downing), not a semi brouge like the EG in Andrew's picture. C&Js Westminster is also nice, but not a handgrade. Marcus
post #9 of 21
A Harris - have those shoes pictured ever been worn? There's no creasing whatsoever. I have terrible problems with creasing, even when I use good shoe trees, the leather never seems to smooth out properly, which makes the shoe unwearable after a year or so.
post #10 of 21
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My worry is not necessarily that the shoe gets much wider, but that the overlapping edges make the shoe look less sleek or elegant.
A full wingtip brogue with all the trimmings is not intended to be a sleek and elegant shoe. Originally the hole were cut it ease drainage after your shoes got filled with water while wading through country ditches. It's come a long way from being a shoe for country walks; but as the classic shoe with the most decorative features, is still the least formal design. But you can have the same design made up in different ways. With single leather soles, narrow cut it is a smart town shoe. But you can also add a double sole, extended or Norwegian welt or even make it up with rubber sole, and then the whole shoe becomes more casual. A think after Green's "Malvern" C&J's "Downing" is as smart and as elegant as it can get within the frame of that particular design.
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Maybe I should plan a trip to London for the summer sale (in June); do you know when EG usually have a sale?
Yes, Edward Green as well as John Lobb. C&J, Tricker's, New & Lingwood etc. is having a sale. They all start in the last days of June or early July. Contact them nearer the time for the exact dates. A Harris, isn't there is something so intrinsically "right" about Edward Green shoes? Another thing, I like the way Ralph Lauren accepts their stylistic integrity and does not ask Edward Green to jump through the hoops of "design-originality".
post #11 of 21
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Could they be worn with a gray suit,or only with navy or brown-based colors? I am seriously considering buying a pair of blucher wingtips in that color,either by Alden or Crockett & Jones (Hand Grade). Any preference among the forum members?
Some say it's "not right" but I wear tan shoes with light-to-medium grey and marine-navy suits. I may have been influenced by my father who always wears his tan cap-toes (Allen-Edmonds for as long as I can remember) even with dark grey suits. And I greatly prefer the Crockett & Jones brogue over Alden. But then again I may be influenced by the American preference for English and Italian brands.
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I would love to get my hands on a pair of EGs some day. Isn't that darker patch on the toe (medallion) (Andrew's picture) a signature EG polishing? Maybe I should plan a trip to London for the summer sale (in June); do you know when EG usually have a sale?
Edward Green does a wonderful antique finish on their shoes. It's one of the main reasons I prefer them over Lobb.
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Andrew: fantastic shoes. Did you only "get to wear" them, or did you purchase them - and, in the case, where?
I got them on ebay for $275.00.. I was really fortunate - the first time they were listed I was dead broke and someone else won them. But the buyer never paid and I snapped them up a couple of weeks later.
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A Harris - have those shoes pictured ever been worn?  There's no creasing whatsoever.  I have terrible problems with creasing, even when I use good shoe trees, the leather never seems to smooth out properly, which makes the shoe unwearable after a year or so.
I took the pictures before I wore them. I have a file of pictures of my own shoes and ones I have sold. One of these days I'm going to put together a website for fans of high-end shoes. When I do I'll need the pictures. Your creasing problem might be related to fit. It could be that you have a very high instep (like me) or it could be another aspect of the shape of your feet. Have you ever tried on shoes from a company that has a variety of lasts? If you could find a last that is closer to the shape of your foot it might alleviate the problem.  
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A Harris, isn't there is something so intrinsically "right" about Edward Green shoes? Another thing, I like the way Ralph Lauren accepts their stylistic integrity and does not ask Edward Green to jump through the hoops of "design-originality".
They are perfect. It would be very hard to change them without messing them up. They are the best thing Ralph Lauren sells - smart move on his part. Unfortunately I've never been into a store that carries more than four or five models of Edward Green and I don't have a catalogue. So I don't know what the full extent of their range is. Do you know if the shoe below - I believe it's called the Wakely monk - is an original Edward Green design? Or perhaps a vintage design that Ralph Lauren asked them to make? I noticed that John Lobb has knocked this model off (which resulted in an extraordinary shoe.)
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So, what I am looking for is a sleek, elegant, non-bulky full brougue.
Bengal Stripe hit the nail on the head. It's not the "thickness" that makes a brogue look bulky - it's the detailing and the overall silhouette. I have two pairs of wingtips in my collection. A brown "Chetwynd"  by Church and a black "Darby" by John Lobb. The Lobbs are older shoes (marked John Lobb Paris instead of just John Lobb) so they may have been made by Edward Green. Bengal Stripe would probably be able to tell me. You can see how much sleeker the Lobb looks. (despite the fact that the Lobb is a derby while the Church is a balmoral.)  It's a combination of factors - the broguing and gimping (notched edge) is more refined, also the leather is a much higher quality (not to mention much older and well cared for.) But probably the most dramatic difference is the shape of the Lobb. The Church is a size 11 1/2 F and the Lobb is an 11 1/2 E. But the width difference doesn't totally account for it - the Lobb has a longer, more elegant shape.   I've never seen the Crocket & Jones "Downing" in person but from the picture in the catalogue it looks quite elegant. If you are looking to buy online you may want to check out the two shoes below: Grenson Masterpieces "Eton" Alfred Sargent "Burlington" I've seen the shoes Grenson does for Paul Stuart in person. And Grenson assures me (via email) that their "Masterpieces" are made to the same standards. But I haven't yet dropped the $325.00 required to order a pair and find out for sure. If the "Masterpieces" are indeed identical to the Paul Stuart shoes then they are a bit nicer than the Crockett & Jones Handgrade line. I was really impressed by the shoes at Paul Stuart.   From what Bengal Stripe has said the Alfred Sargent "Premier Exclusive Range" isn't quite as nice as Crockett & Jones Handgrade. But they are less expensive and definitely sleek. Not a traditional brogue but very nice looking.
post #12 of 21
The brown Ralph Lauren is amazing. My dad owns them and I want a pair like em, which you already know... nice collection. Pete
post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I took the pictures before I wore them. I have a file of pictures of my own shoes and ones I have sold. One of these days I'm going to put together a website for fans of high-end shoes. When I do I'll need the pictures.
Please do.
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You can see how much sleeker the Lobb looks. (despite the fact that the Lobb is a derby while the Church is a balmoral.) It's a combination of factors - the broguing and gimping (notched edge) is more refined, also the leather is a much higher quality (not to mention much older and well cared for.) But probably the most dramatic difference is the shape of the Lobb.
I agree. Thanks for the nice pictures. Marcus
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Those Edward Green's are stunning. Could they be worn with a gray suit,or only with navy or brown-based colors? Any preference among the forum members?
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I am seriously considering buying a pair of blucher wingtips in that color,either by Alden or Crockett & Jones (Hand Grade).
Note that C&J does not have a blucher wingtip in the handgrade collection. Marcus
post #15 of 21
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Could they be worn with a gray suit,or only with navy or brown-based colors?
Some say it's "not right" but I wear tan shoes with light-to-medium grey and marine-navy suits. I may have been influenced by my father who always wears his tan cap-toes (Allen-Edmonds for as long as I can remember) even with dark grey suits.
FYI, I've seen brown/tan shoes worn with EVERY color suit here in Italy (Florence, Rome, and Milan). Dark grey, light grey, navy, even black; it dosn't matter. I don't know how well this will fly in the US, but it is the norm over here. Another interesting observation: no one wears black anything either, even for shoes.
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