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$200-400 Dress shoes

insomb

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Hi,

I'm pretty new here. I've been reading about some of the shoe makers posted on this site, and it's really getting me interested in investing in something nicer. I first read an old post by englishtea about his shoe collection and started googling some of them. I don't know much about dress shoes.

I'm a student and I don't have gobs of money or anything. I can probably afford something around $200-400. At first I didn't realize I could actually buy handmade dress shoes, but I had it mistaken with bespoke. I can't afford bespoke. I've thought John Lobb and Ferragamo were probably the nicest made shoes you could purchase reading GQ a long time ago or something.. I don't know. Regardless I never felt like getting something like that, and have pretty much ignored looking into anything without a recognizable name especially when in Italian.

Since then particular brands that have caught my eye that my or may not be in my price range were Sutor Mantellassi, A. Testoni, and J.M Weston and Bontoni. Bontoni I really doubt I can afford, then again I don't know anything about shoes, obviously. To elaborate on my ignorance the last pair of dress shoes I purchased were from Aldo and more recently I bought some Calvin Klein boots which I plan on returning after looking at myself in the mirror.

I need something versatile. I'm not going to wear my Aldo's after being on this site. I do however wear mostly jeans that tend to be skinny. I was thinking black oxfords but after looking at the Sutor Mantellassi site the colors of the shoes blew me away. They have two in a yellow ochre sort of color and a red that made me drool. I don't know how much they cost or what they are even called though because it's in Italian. I am pretty convinced I want something other than black or brown even if it would be more versatile. I have a pretty good handle on using color in my wardrobe. Although, I'm sure most of you will doubt this. I was even a fashion design major. I just don't know anything at all about dress shoes.

I really like the (forgive my description I don't know what this is called) small hole design that traces the seperate pieces of leather on the shoe. Not so much the decorative stuff on the tips, although I'd wear something like that over Aldos anyday. This would be my first purchase on a pair of intimidatingly priced dress shoes, however I'm convinced I need to upgrade. I want to get something soon as school is starting back up in about a week. If anyone can help advise me, please do. Especially if you know of any sales on something similar I might like or affordable places to get something you might recommend. I would appreciate it.

Thanks,

C
 

GucciKid

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You might look into a pair of Allen Edmonds. I think the consensus here is that they are a pretty decent shoe when marked down. If you've got someone that carries them near you I would go in there, try a bunch on, find one I like and then buy it on the internet at a discount.

If you're talking 200-400 American you could probably splurge for some Crockett and Jones.

I live in Canada so I'm not sure where they carry them in the US except for the C & J store in New York, but you can order them online from the UK http://www.pediwear.co.uk/crockettandjones.php

C & J seems to be consensus quality shit on this forum, especially the handgrade stuff, without costing an arm and a leg like Lobb or Vass or Edward Green.

I'm also a student and considering ordering a pair of Handgrades, or picking a pair up when I go to Europe this summer. I don't wear suits often, I'm sure you're the same, and I think the Selbourne, Weymouth and Belgrave are all really good looking shoes and very versatile

Whatever direction you decide to go in, and especially if you decide to order online without trying the shoes on, take advantage of the forum's search function, you can usually find a lot of good info about how the shoe fits, whether wide, a little big, narrow etc.
 

BDC2823

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First off, I'd get away from black. Black shoes just don't do it for me and I can't remember the last time I wore black shoes. For your price range, Allen Edmonds are great. I have about 6 pairs of them, and have not yet paid even $200 for them. Most of mine I got off the bay. Also, check Sierratradingpost.com. I have bought some nice A.testoni and Trickers from them in your price range. I also bought a pair of Edward Green in your price range that I love, wore them today, for less than $400 on ebay. My advice is be patient, find what you like, and then shop around. You can get exactly what you want in that price range. Check out some Crockett & James as well. I think Plal.com has them in your range. I know others know more than I do, but just find what you like and go from there.
 

acidboy

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I think a pair of more fashion forward shoes could be better for you and your lifestyle.. check out the Paul Smith shoes in the SW forum.
 

aavlee

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AE Bel Air's, retail at 350 usd full price.
 

insomb

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Thanks for offering help you guys. I checked out Allen Edmonds and they're okay but the styling was a bit more stuffy. Crocket and Jones I want to look at a little more. I have checked sierratradingpost.com and I liked some of the A. Testonis. I've just been sort of hooked on the yellow and red since I saw them on sutormantellassi.

I do dress more casual. I don't need something to wear with a suit, mostly slim jeans, sportier shirts, cardigans, v necks, and polos. I'm usually just wearing sperry's but I want to look a little more polished. Occassionally I'll wear a tie, but it's not an everyday thing. I do wear black quite a bit but it is going to be spring.

Acidicboy- what's the thread you're talking about titled?

I've read some articles in magazines recommending people just stay away from brown shoes because it can be difficult to match properly, while at the same time I've read stuff that says buy brown shoes because it's much more fashion forward etc. Black would be easier to fit into my wardrobe but it wouldn't really stand out much, kind of bland. I just remember having a pair of brown shoes once that were similar in color to avalee and having the hardest time finding a brown leather belt that worked with them. Very light brown/tans seem to match best with black for me. Is it appropriate to wear a black wool peacoat with brown shoes? If any of you've seen the yellow or red color I'm talking about and have ideas, let me know.

aavlee- that's the kind of hole design I was speaking of. What's it called? Is there a name for it? I kind of like those shoes but again the color isn't for me.
 

insomb

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One more thing definitely not looking at buying monk straps, just not my style.
 

whiteslashasian

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The holes in general are called "brogues or broguing". The ones that aavlee posted are specifically called "Wingtips" due to the design near the toe make a "W".
 

gdl203

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Originally Posted by Frogger42
PLal C&J

What he said - look for models on the 348 last for a more modern shape
 

ohm

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Originally Posted by insomb
One more thing definitely not looking at buying monk straps, just not my style.

Reconsider!
 

insomb

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white- thanks I was feeling pretty stupid describing them that way.

I'm checking out plal now. Btw, the paul smith shoes on their site are pretty nice. Are any of these handmade? How do I search for the last model?

I'm in the midwest so it's difficult for me to check anything out in person.
 

MetroStyles

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Plal or Pediwear C&J. In the $300s incl. shipping. If you can figure out your size this is probably the best qual for your dollar.
 

agavilanes

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check ebay. A few recommendations:

ANAND Shoes (Grenson, Alfred Sargent): http://stores.ebay.com/ANAND-SHOES
Ascot Shoes (Top UK makers): http://stores.ebay.com/Ascot-Shoes
Ron Rider Store (Martegani and Borgioli): http://stores.ebay.com/Italian-Leathers-and-Goods
Elite Forum (Some Top Makers): http://stores.ebay.com/ELITE-FORUM
Allen Edmonds Store (Allen Edmonds): http://stores.ebay.com/Allen-Edmonds-Auction-Store

And if your heart beats for Sutor Mantellasi, search'em... Maybe you'll find something that suits your wallet. And check www.virtualclotheshorse.com

and almost forget... BROWN SHOES ARE THE WAY TO GO. period.
 

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