Long time lurker, but finally decided to jump on and ask for an opinion. Yesterday, I visited my local store with the intention of picking up a pair of the McAllister in brown. I somehow wound up leaving with the Jefferson in brown instead, and if you asked me why, I'd be hard pressed to come up with a reasonable response. So I have two questions:
1. Did I just waste $90 on the Jefferson ("Independence Collection") over the McAllister, for no particularly convincing reason?
2. Considering the fact that my collection is still in its early stages of maturity (Walnut Strand, Black PA), is the Brown Jefferson (or McAllister, for that matter) a wise addition? Does it add sufficient versatility? Should I be looking at a different color? Different shoe altogether?
1. No, you did not waste $90. The Jefferson is higher quality and materials than the McAllister. You got nicer leather and soles, plus better assembly. That is probably why you liked them - you noticed the difference in quality, without thinking about it.
2. The Jefferson has different style than the Strand and the PA, but it is also an oxford, which is a third fairly formal shoe for you. If you want to do something really different, you might consider something slightly less formal, like a blucher. But back to the plus side - I think you will find brown to be more versatile than either walnut or black, and I bet you will wear the Jefferson the most, for that reason.
No wrong answers!