I consider Merlot to be more conservative than the shades of burgundy (such as the regular AE calf burgundy color that they now rarely sell) which is more red than purple. The darker, more eggplant-y merlot is less flashy with a dark business suit.
A question for the forum: If you purchase a pair of shoes at a brick and mortar store, and later wish to return them for a different size, does the salesperson who sold you your pair lose their commission? Does that only occur if you return for a refund, without exchanging them?
Hmm, this is very helpful, thanks. You've really got me considering that perhaps I should buy the merlot Strands today (with the added bonus of their current sale price of $237). I suppose I said versatility is important because I'd want to be able to wear these with most, if not all, of my trousers. But all my trousers are either gray or nave (with the exception of one taupe pair that I rarely wear), and so with that, I see what you're saying that merlot probably goes with my wardrobe better (or just as well) as chili or oxblood.
I guess that for some reason my impression was that the merlot was less neutral than chili or oxblood - I guess I had that wrong? And I dress moderately conservative at work, but not necessarily super conservative (put it this way - I regularly wear my walnut Strands and bourbon Fifth Avenues, and rarely a tie or jacket, so I'm not at the far extreme of conservative I would say).
With all that said, does anyone think that going with merlot Strands would be a mistake for me (or rather, that one of the other colors in a Strand or McAllister would be better)? Thanks again for the help.
Personally, I love the look of the dark chili McAllister over the merlot McAllister. Both are extremely versatile, but personally I just like the look of the dark chili with navy pants, jeans, and beige/tan pants a little better. I'd trade in my pair of Merlot in a heartbeat for one of the dark chili :-)
Everyone has different tastes as amphillips has pointed out. But, as Franklin said, the Merlot color is actually the more conservative of the burgundy options. I prefer Merlot to Oxblood precisely because it is more conservative, but still not black. I'll post a photo tomorrow, as I plan to wear Merlot Strands with med gray trousers.