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Moving to Ireland, need shoe advice

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hey folks,

 

I'm a 3rd year college undergrad, and will be spending 4 months studying abroad in Ireland this fall.

At my home university, I usually wear chinos, OCBDs with the sleeves rolled up, and boat shoes, for an easy put-together looks that's common among my fraternity brothers. Word is that, in Ireland (and England) boat shoes carry the image of a 16 year old boy stuck in secondary school. This stereotype is fairly inescapable, unless you appear to be physically on a boat.

 

I definitely don't want to come across as seeming posh, or over-blatantly American, so I am planning on swapping out my boat shoes for another style. In your opinion, what type of casual shoe that goes my current style would be right for going to class and hitting the pub afterwards? While I enjoy a bit of dressing up, I'd like to avoid the text-book preppy image of white Polo or Lacoste canvas sneakers.

 

I've been thinking about getting a pair of white converse high-tops, and giving them enough time to look a little worn in before taking them abroad so that they don't stand out as being too bright. I'm aware that this look is owned in part by the teenage-boy indie crowd, but part of me really enjoys the understated simplicity and versatility of a plain pair of white Chucks.

 

Maybe I am over-thinking this whole thing. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 18
A pair of bucks is a nice alternative to boat shoes. Get the standard tan dirty bucks, and maybe a pair in an offbeat color like navy. Lots of makers offering offbeat bucks these days.

As a bonus, it's not hard to come by waterproof pairs, or make the ones you do buy waterproof. Which is a nice bonus for Ireland.
post #3 of 18
Trainers or Desert boot styles.

A couple of pairs of jeans and sweat shirts would not go amiss either. The preppy look is text book American and pleasing a "fraternity", is not something anyone will ever have heard of.
post #4 of 18

The preppy frat look will be out of place in an Irish university -- not bad, but you will look like an American from a mile off. We don't really have much of a preppy/frat culture.

 

Go more casual, if you're comfortable with it. You'll see a lot of people wearing tracksuits and runners, but you don't need to dress down that much. Jeans, boots, runners, casual shoes and untucked shirts should all go down well.

 

Personally I don't like boat shoes, but my dislike is mostly irrational and stems from the image of the rich, posh, South County Dublin private schoolboy in his 'Dubes' (from the shoemaker Dubarry).

 

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_O'Carroll-Kelly

 

Quote:
Ross O'Carroll-Kelly is something of a craze in Ireland, and his name has become a byword for all that is perceived to be wrong in Celtic Tiger Ireland. Though it is largely viewed as satire, there are those who view Ross O'Carroll-Kelly as a role model or an idol. Paul Howard has claimed some people have imitated Ross's friends pastime of driving through disadvantaged areas in expensive cars, shouting "Affluence!" at passers-by and throwing €5 notes out the window.
post #5 of 18
Bring wellies.
post #6 of 18
one word: pickelwinkers
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses. They mostly all make good sense to me. I'm also planning on bringing some waterproof shoes for going on weekend hikes and for when it's really pouring buckets out.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by inno View Post

 

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_O'Carroll-Kelly

 

 

I just read the first chapter of The Miseducation for kicks-- pretty funny stuff, and definitely helps to give me a little insight. They also happened to mention beige Docker chinos as being part of the South County Dublin upper-society uniform. I admittedly happen to wear a pair of them pretty regularly (a navy pair as well), and normally I wouldn't think twice about wearing them on almost any occasion (to class, at a concert, at the bar, you name it).

 

Would wearing them around, say, Limerick City, carry the same stereotype that wearing boat shoes might?

If so, it wouldn't be that difficult to swap them for a pair of jeans.

post #8 of 18

Polo and Lacoste canvas runners give off a very different impression in Ireland, think the opposite of prep! And yeah, stay clear of the boat shoes too because of the aforementioned reasons. I go with desert boots half the time, and new balances the other half.

 

You'll be grand with chinos and jeans, and I would urge you not to succumb to the tracksuit peer pressure that is pretty blatant in both Dublin universities...

post #9 of 18
This the way a Yank in Ireland is supposed to dress:

http://vmcjournalism.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/jp51.jpeg
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibs View Post

Hey folks,

I'm a 3rd year college undergrad, and will be spending 4 months studying abroad in Ireland this fall.
At my home university, I usually wear chinos, OCBDs with the sleeves rolled up, and boat shoes,

College kids wear jeans and short sleeve shorts. What the hell are you doing? sneaks n jeans man, sneaks n jeans
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibs View Post

I definitely don't want to come across as seeming posh, or over-blatantly American, so I am planning on swapping out my boat shoes for another style. In your opinion, what type of casual shoe that goes my current style would be right for going to class and hitting the pub afterwards? While I enjoy a bit of dressing up, I'd like to avoid the text-book preppy image of white Polo or Lacoste canvas sneakers.

You do not want to appear American, or posh. So West Brit is out. You just want to appear like your average jackeen though not a gurrier or a knacker.

You are definitely overthinking this and will get found out.
post #12 of 18

So, definitely not going for the student bohemian/scummy look then.  For classes there, anything goes.  For pub-wear there it invariably boils down to jeans, shirt, pub jacket (to keep you warm getting there but dispensable) and non-sports shoes.  The latter due to the fashion police bouncers that one may encounter outside some pubs/clubs.  To get a visual feel for it you can check out the out and about section of the Belfast telegraph website. 

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by gibs View Post
 

Would wearing them around, say, Limerick City, carry the same stereotype that wearing boat shoes might?

If so, it wouldn't be that difficult to swap them for a pair of jeans.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about the stereotypes; you're not going to be attacked for wearing boat shoes or anything.

 

Things are definitely more casual, as you might gather from the responses, but relax and enjoy yourself. I'm guessing you're going to UL? It's a good spot, the campus is amazing these days, and it's outside the city centre so it's practically its own town.

 

I'll just say that once you get to the Lodge, you'll realise why boat shoes and dressier chinos might be a bit over the top ;)

post #14 of 18

A nice pair of chukka boots would do the trick. Vans are pretty universal as well, authentics or eras are hard to go wrong with. Bucks are a very American thing and will be no help in trying to shed prep connotation. How much would you be willing to spend on the pair? I can give some brand suggestions.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingstonian View Post


You do not want to appear American, or posh. So West Brit is out. You just want to appear like your average jackeen though not a gurrier or a knacker.

You are definitely overthinking this and will get found out.

So, he should do an accent, then?

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