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Streamlined Shoe Wardrobe - Page 6

post #76 of 273

I don't agree with a number of the basic principles, and I'm not sure exactly what the utility of streamlining is (beyond the type of 'if you could only have 5 ties' intellectual exercise).  If you have space and funds for more than a half-dozen pairs of quality shoes, why limit yourself?  Any quality shoe that fits and works with your wardrobe is a useful shoe.  Choice is good.

post #77 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

I don't agree with a number of the basic principles, and I'm not sure exactly what the utility of streamlining is (beyond the type of 'if you could only have 5 ties' intellectual exercise).  If you have space and funds for more than a half-dozen pairs of quality shoes, why limit yourself?  Any quality shoe that fits and works with your wardrobe is a useful shoe.  Choice is good.

In fairness, shoes are a good bit more expensive than ties, so a six shoe wardrobe is equivalent to a 30 tie wardrobe in terms of cost (assuming $400 shoes on average). A 30 tie wardrobe is a completely uninteresting exercise because with that many choices, you can have plenty of staples and more eccentric choices. If you're spending a similar amount on shoes, you don't have that luxury so the exercise becomes more interesting IMO. Not everyone needs to streamline, but I think it makes sense to look at certain basics that one should have. It may not matter if you have enough shoes, but still a good check to make sure you have certain essentials (or that you know what your essentials are).
post #78 of 273

First some personal opinion: monk shoes should never be part of a streamlined shoe wardrobe.  As a point in fact, only children and dilettantes wear shoes with buckles. Sorry for the brutal truth, but there it is.

 

Your wardrobe should be determined by what you do or better, how you live. I have never had less than a four shoe wardrobe. Even as a youngster, I had a shoe wardrobe that contained trainers, boat shoes, hiking boots, and cordovan penny loafers. Once I cut the tether, I traded in the penny loafers for something different.

 

Due to how I lived, for over thirty years my shoe wardrobe consisted of only three different shoes and one pair of boots:

 

black tassel apron loafers

tan boat shoes

white trainers

mountaineering boots by Galibier

 

I had originally two pair of each except for the boots. I added a third pair of black tassel loafers when I had to send in a pair for re-crafting. I later put a Topy bottom on one pair of the loafers for bad weather, salt be damned, and my shoe wardrobe was perfect and complete for over 30 years of living out of suitcases and duffel bags where a streamlined and uniform wardrobe was essential if not desirable.

 

I never was at a loss for the right shoe from black tie to playing squash to regattas to shooting chukar. I never was without a proper shoe to wear from D.C. to The City to Monaco to Sun Vallet and every known yacht club on both coasts, not to mention most of the dive bars with live music, in between.

 

There is nothing wrong with uniform attire. Frankly, the best dressers all have one.

 

Once I gained a pied-à-terre, I began to appreciate other types of shoes. But brown shoes, especially in calf, are still hardly in evidence. They serve no purpose other than that they are different.

 

The first thing I noticed that was missing from my shoe wardrobe was a pair of nice cowboy boots. So eventually Lucchese fixed me up with a couple of pair in black calf and natural shell once I got religion. If limited to one pair of cowboy boots, natural shell would be the right choice for how and when I usually wear them.

 

Once I found some time to lace my shoes, I began to appreciate captoe oxfords or balmorals which are are great for all day wear when black, whether stitched or punched. Even though I now own a couple pair and enjoy them, I do not find oxfords or balmorals essential. Because black goes with everything [and it does, including khaki and white], some form black dress shoe is essential, pick one that works for you. Brown dress shoes are practically an oxymoron, so I do not recommend them unless you must be....different.

 

Another point in fact: the ugliest shoes ever made are brown. Anything that is hideous in black become a crime against nature when offered in brown.

 

Depending on how you live, loafers might be the bomb. The best ones [not moccasins] are certainly a more elegant solution than any captoe bal  or oxford including those made by the better marques. Since I am in and out of my shoes several times a day, even at my advanced age, loafers have great utility for me. When I was young and single, loafers were a necessity and not an principally an affectation since I was changing in and out of attire frequently every day and night, and I just preferred not to carry a shoe horn.

 

 

Vibram soled walking shoes are nice as well if you walk any distance and/or deal with inclement weather or terrain on a regular basis, as I do now. I have plain toe bluchers in both black and walnut buffalo hide for both such occasions. I wear the walnut [edit: actually probably more tobacco because of the red overtones] colored ones the most in daytime and the black ones at night. Vibram is superior to Danite in my limited view, So I have limited myself to one pair of shoes with Danite which are quite useless on wet polished stone and on ice. They are  brown split toe bluchers I wear only during fair weather when I just want something out of the ordinary with jeans or khakis.

 

Gum soled desert boots are the ultimate casual shoe for comfort and my espresso colored ones go with everything  and everywhere. When comfort is valued above all other features, I know of no more comfortable shoe or boot when you need something more substantial than a slipper. If you value comfort above all other virtues, gum soled desert boots are essential.

 

If you pursue or are pursued by women, you may want to spruce up your shoe wardrobe since they universally have a shoe fetish. This is why I have espresso full brogue oxfords in unlined suede for dancing and the same in midnight calf for every other casual event. I also wear navy suede full brogue bluchers for events with paramours that may begin in daylight one day before ending after dawn the next. Women dig men in full and half brogue shoes; that's a fact. Just wear them with more casual suits, odd jackets, khakis, and jeans, and you will not look like you're trying too hard.

 

If you don't live on planes and boats, some form of house shoe is nice. Mine are two tone black with brown trim tassel moccasins. On and off like slippers, and they go with everything except a dinner or lounge suit, but then I don't wear suits around the house much when not entertaining or fundraising.

 

Black or brown leather trainers are nice to have when on the run around town. I wear my brown ones the most, except in Europe, when the black ones see the most wear.

 

If you need elegance above all, then you can't do better than black wholecut oxfords for everything on the formal side of odd jackets with trousers. Women will appreciate these or a well made apron loafer with or without tassels,  far more than a stitch cap oxford which they find unremarkable by and large.

 

Elegance is a virtue that is worthy of your attention if you are no longer a dilettante. Elegance will demand that you lose any interest in shoes with buckles. Boots are a different matter, be they jodhpurs or motorcycle, where buckles are still serve a purpose.

 

You should know that I associate buckle pumps with the shorts and knees socks worn as a small child, but that is my cross to bear and maybe not yours.

 

How do you live?

 

I still frequently sail and workout almost daily, so I require trainers and boat shoes and cannot live without them. I also need full blown hiking boots for other regular activities that include hunting. I still have my Galibiers, but also a mid weight pair of boots for times when a full blown mountaineering boot is just a bit much. If I didn't need a dress shoe, I could live with only trainers, boat shoes, and hiking boots, as I did most often when at university.

 

If you live out of your closet, have affectations for metal buckles, and you are far from athletic, the six shoe wardrobe might be just the ticket.

 

Otherwise, YMMV if you indulge in sport, women, and travel, each of which encompass a far different and nearly incompatible aesthetic.


Edited by recondite - 3/6/13 at 3:41pm
post #79 of 273
I hope this was a full cut and paste from something already written.
post #80 of 273
colin.jpg
post #81 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post

I realize this is light on summer shoes. So, of the above, buy the best quality you can afford. Then get a pair of dirty bucks, which are cheap. Done.

Good call. Dirty Bucks are my all around Spring/Summer shoe with cotton or linen.

Great list in the OP Manton.
post #82 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd617 View Post

colin.jpg

 

Executive Summary:

 

Shoes with buckles are for children and dilettantes.

Brown shoes serve no purpose, other than being different, and the worst shoes ever made are all brown [including tan]. Yuck!

Chicks have a shoe fetish, buy accordingly

 

You should buy shoes for how you live and what you do, and for no other aesthetic. Otherwise you will own too many.

post #83 of 273
Wow this thread has a potential to reach an epic level. It reminds me of that one shoe wardrobe thread.
post #84 of 273
Tutee did a great post on the optimal shoe wardrobe. The Apparal Arts shoe closet illustration was quite nice and should be easy to find.
post #85 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by recondite View Post

Executive Summary:

Shoes with buckles are for children and dilettantes.
Brown shoes serve no purpose, other than being different, and the worst shoes ever made are all brown [including tan]. Yuck!
Chicks have a shoe fetish, buy accordingly

You should buy shoes for how you live and what you do, and for no other aesthetic. Otherwise you will own too many.

While women may like shoes, I seriously doubt they are into black apron loafers
post #86 of 273

Looking stylish is not a goal. I want to blend into the woodwork and, to the extent possible, look like everyone else in my field. If people notice my shoes, then they are too unusual. I wear mainly longwings. In warm weather sometimes I wear loafers. No monks, no boots, except for hiking or foul weather, no suede for work, but I have suede casual boat shoes for working around the house. Colors are #8, black, or brown. I follow no rules about color for suits vs blazers or sport coat. I follow no rules about oxfords vs bluchers.

 

My shoes are well cared for, but purchased used. Far less expensive than new. Rarely paid as much as $100 for a pair of shoes. Never got close to $200.  I hope I never will.

 

The size of the wardrobe depends more on how often to rotate, in case they get wet or unusually sweaty, some warmer for cold weather, some lighter for warmer weather. What do they look like? They look like shoes.

 

If people are laughing behind my back about my shoes, well, there are lots of other reasons to laugh, so I don't worry about the shoes.

post #87 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by recondite View Post

Executive Summary:

Shoes with buckles are for children and dilettantes.
Brown shoes serve no purpose, other than being different, and the worst shoes ever made are all brown [including tan]. Yuck!
Chicks have a shoe fetish, buy accordingly

You should buy shoes for how you live and what you do, and for no other aesthetic. Otherwise you will own too many.

On shoes with buckles: Nonsense.
On brown shoes: Nonsense.

Don't even know where to start on the final points.
post #88 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerP View Post

I don't agree with a number of the basic principles, and I'm not sure exactly what the utility of streamlining is (beyond the type of 'if you could only have 5 ties' intellectual exercise).  If you have space and funds for more than a half-dozen pairs of quality shoes, why limit yourself?  Any quality shoe that fits and works with your wardrobe is a useful shoe.  Choice is good.

 

Too many fine examples this rationale in some of the brand specific threads that results in dozens of mediocre conservatively fashion forward RTW shoes.

post #89 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by recondite View Post

...

Lovely post.
post #90 of 273
Quote:
Originally Posted by chogall View Post

Too many fine examples this rationale in some of the brand specific threads that results in dozens of mediocre conservatively fashion forward RTW shoes.

perhaps if some statement which implies the application of other judgement should be amended to this rationale.
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