Welcome -- good to have LA guy on here. Yes, I have been to the South Coast store many times. One of the employees there told me the Hopkinson will likely go on sale in October. Unfortunately, they do not usually stock the Hopkinson in SC store. I'm not sure if they are made to order, but they are made in much smaller quantities and I notice that if you order them on the website, it takes a month to receive them. I have not found any stores that carry lots of AE shoes in stock. You could always try department stores like Dillards, but I highly doubt they carry anything but D widths as well.
Lastly, if you have an American Express card, you might be able to get a 50 dollar discount on the Hopkinson. I'm not sure if they are doing this offer currently, but that would bring the price down if you bought seconds from 299 to 249 (when the seconds sale happens, the Hopkinson is 299). But if you are not a fan of seconds, I'd wait it out and see what sale they have.
Just curious - what part of LA are you from? I wasn't sure if people knew the area, but I'm from Torrance. I figured LA covers enough ground where people know where it is haha. Good to hear about the store. At least it sounds like you have a good relationship with one of them. Unfortunately, no Amex, but I am definitely interested in the Hopkinson, firsts or seconds. Even better if I can get it at $299 for a second.
If you work in a business casual environment and only wear suits occasionally, I think you're well covered for the suits with your current selection.
I'd suggest trying something a little more casual with your next shoe. How about a blucher/derby style shoe? You could try the Leeds or Dundee, which are still pretty conservative. Or maybe you could find a pair of Lexingtons (recently discontinued, but there are still some on the Shoebank).
Thanks for the reply. I have really liked the Dundee, I've just never worn a chukka before. I would have loved to either see them in store or try them on, but again, having a really wide foot doesn't help the trying on part. Do the Dundees normally go on sale? Never really thought about the Leeds, but I saw the Lexingtons and they definitely piqued my interest. Like I've said, I want to try and visit an AE store and at least check out some shoes in person before I make my final decision.