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Brown Park Avenues

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by 410305, Apr 17, 2013.

Can brown park avenues be paired with dressier business casual?

  1. Yes -- definitely

    6 vote(s)
  2. You can get away with it - not a huge deal

    2 vote(s)
  3. Far from ideal, I wouldn't

    4 vote(s)
  4. No, you're making a horrible decision. Return them in shame.

    0 vote(s)
  1. 410305

    410305 New Member

    Apr 17, 2013
    Great forum -- have already used it for quite a bit of advice as I start to build up a mature, sophisticated wardrobe beginning with shoes. I work in an office that I would typically describe as business casual, but with a bit of flair/formality, as I'm in a major city and an industry that respects both fashion and luxury. Typical attire for men in my office is a very nice, long-sleeve button-up shirt, high-end pants (can be khakis, designer jeans or more formal slacks) and good shoes. My goal for my work shoe collection is 4 really high-quality shoes, 2 blacks and 2 browns, that can last me a while and stay in fashion. I've already purchased 3 pairs of italian-made shoes (ferragamos & bruno maglis, 2 black, 1 brown), and since none of them have laces, I wanted the 4th shoe to be a brown lace-up from Allen Edmonds. From the pictures of the park avenue, I knew the black wouldn't work as I already have 2 black shoes, and more importantly, it would look terrible with jeans/khakis, regardless of the quality of the pants. On the other hand, I really liked pictures of the shoe in brown and felt like it would be fine with khakis and dress-slacks. I ordered them two nights ago and they or on their way, but I have since read on the forum that park avenues should not be paired with anything other than a suit, and certainly not khakis; however, all these threads were related to black park avenues and made no mention of the browns. So now I need to know if I should be sending them back to get another pair. I've seen recommendations steering away from balmorals and captoes for my purposes, but the same people recommend McAllister, Strand, or 5th Avenue, all of which appear to me to be balmorals, just with the strange designs that I'm not really into. The ideal shoe seems like it would be the Kennilworth, but people have given it a lot of terrible reviews regarding quality. Any advice? Will the brown park avenues really look ridiculous? Thank you.
  2. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2006
    Chicago, IL
    I'm going to go with far from ideal. The point of stitch caps (the shoe style that Park Avenue is) is to have a formal option to wear with suits. Dark brown shoes are a little bit less formal than black shoes but not nearly enough that a stitch cap works in a business casual environment, and certainly not with jeans.

    Brown Park Avenues as a practical matter may look ridiculous to a minority of people who understand that more formal shoes do not go with casual outfits; most people probably won't care.
  3. HughJ

    HughJ Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2011
    They'll go fine with "more formal slacks" if you are referring to wool trousers (and a jacket). Not so well with "khakis" in most cases, which typically go with open laced shoes. Maybe that's just me, though. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "designer jeans", but if they are what I am picturing, they are something best avoided in the first place.
  4. 410305

    410305 New Member

    Apr 17, 2013
    Hah -- touché. Designer probably wasn't the best choice -- not trendy, hip/torn jeans, but rather very classy, well-fitting and dark blue/grey jeans that you wouldn't use for yard work or construction.

    Can you recommend some laceup Allen Edmonds in brown that you would suggest instead? Thanks!
  5. upr_crust

    upr_crust Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    NYC, NY
    Your dilemma may hinge on the definition of "brown". If you're talking dark brown (or its cousin, cordovan/merlot), then dress slacks would look fine with them, jeans will look rather strange. Were you speaking of light brown (walnut/tan, etc.), then the ability to dress the PA's "down" would be increased - whether to an acceptable level or not is in the eye of the beholder.

    If you're looking for brown shoes that can be dressed "down" more successfully, and you want to stay within the AE world, walnut Strands would seem to be more what you're looking for - the broguing lowers the "dressed-up" factor, even in a darker color.
  6. MZhammer

    MZhammer Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2011
    +1 I think the browns (either tone) will work great with dress slacks. Not so much with jeans.
    I have been known to pair the fifth street boot with jeans and the walnut Strands and I like both.

    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013
  7. msulinski

    msulinski Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Chili delays. I don't like balmorals with anything other than suits. Kenilworth is fine - many people in the AE thread seem happy with theirs. The MacNeil is a better choice than the Mcallister. The Dalton boot is nice too

    Whatever you end up with, return the Park Avenues.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2013

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