I´m back from reading the 30+ page thread on Meermin, and I must say that I´m totally sold. The design is a 10/10, the colour is spot-on, the Hiro last the double monk is made on seems as a much more realistic compromise between my narrow-heel-broad-at-toe-feet and my desire for aggressively sleek monks then what Herring/Loake offers. On top of it, price is 25% off. In fact, I´m seriously considering going with a second pair, which will end up at 320 as a second pair results in no extra shipping costs - that´s about what I´d be paying for one pair of Septième Largeurs. Will probably go for brown calf tassels, or second pair of double monks in black. Smashing value. Awesome tip, I´ll take the liberty of mentioning your name to Pepe at Meermin when I send my order.
The fact that Meermin seem to be significantly less well known at the time then the above two brands (at least here in Sweden) should also means that I´m less likely to encounter my shoes on the feet of other penniless young punks around town, which is another plus for me. Then again, as they have a Tokyo store, I should be seeing plenty of them once I move on to Japan this fall...
While straying heavily off topic, to provide perspective, this is my limited shoe wardrobe:
Campanile brogue derby in shell cordovan. My late granddad got me these for high-school graduation. Over 10 years old and not always treated with the respect they deserved. Beat up and with a heavy patina. Sits right on the fine border between “worn-in with character” and just plain worn out. Immense sentimental value tough.
Bruno Magli tassels. Comfortable loafers but even more beat-up then the above. Thread starting to stick out between uppers and sole at the toe. Uh-oh.
Timberland suede loafers. Comfy shoes to wear for taking out the trash or walking barefoot in during summer. Nothing more. Rubber sole.
Stafford (?) zip-up boot. Boot for winter wear. Decent comfort with a pair of wool socks.
Pierre Cardin tan single monks. Thrifted for some lose change. God knows who/what made them. Leather soles wearing thin, pretty creased uppers, but still have some character. Expect they have maybe 6-12 months of irregular use left to live, at best.
Chestnut plain derby. Another god-knows-who-made-it-or-how. Probably glued. Found in new condition at the thrift store for 15 euro. Design was classic and I need something that could look acceptable with my navy suit. Only worn 2-3 times. Not expecting much of them, but uppers show very little creasing so far.
Grand total: 6 pairs.
Plan is basically:
1. Order two pairs of Meermins, see how they wear.
2. If satisfactory, replace every second pair of the current wardrobe that falls apart with another pair of of Meermins. Possibly MTO if finance allows. Something else if I'm not happy with the brand.
3. End goal: 5 pairs: double-monks, tassels, oxford in brown to go with navy&cord suits and two pairs of something boot-ish suited for fall/winter.
If the above setup can just last 3-4 years then I´ll have a different economic situation entirely and will treat myself to some Vass or whatever...
Sorry for the ranting/thinking aloud. Again, major thanks for the Meermin tip, really appreciated.
Now enough daydreaming and back to the books.