Alden shoes for men in their 20s?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by NMW1982, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I'm not saying that tassled loafers were never worn by the "younger set", nor that Aldens of all types weren't popular with the same set, and may still well be.  However, that they were once part of the college uniform, or were worn by Cary Grant doesn't make them *ever* stylish, in the same way that "Ironic" trucker hats and Ugg boots worn off the beach are not stylish now (when every Urban Outfitted college kid wears them), weren't stylish when they first became popular in LA and were worn by Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz, respectively, and will not be stylish 50 years from now, when someone might point out that they were once the uniform of the "younger set".
     
  2. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    Agreed. [​IMG]
     
  3. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    I think of the word "stylish" to be the same as "in fashion" (meaning current popular fashion)-not to mean elegant necessarily. Ashton Kutcher's clothes (I saw them in GQ recently) are "stylish" (but, to my eyes, ridiculous). If Ashton's time machine took him back to the '60s, he'd say that Alden tassels were "in fashion" but as ridiculous to him as his UGG boots are to me.

    Edited to properly spell "UGG"
     
  4. Dan G

    Dan G Senior member

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    I'm 23 and wear mostly Alden made BBs, CJs, and the Grensons from Bennies. I think they look perfectly fine on a man of my age, although I stay away from anything with tassels. I do believe that the English shoes portray a more stylish, refined, and perhaps younger look. The American made shoes seem to have a more rounded, older man-ish sense about them.
     
  5. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I agree with LA Guy that the majority of Alden's aren't "stylish" in the sense that they can't make an outfit on their own. But they just go well with certain things, in large part because of their relative sense of banality. For example, while I think the Vass U-last is perhaps the most "stylish" shoe out there, I don't think it would go well with my Purple Label chalkstripe charcoal suit. The suit is simply stylish enough on its own, and to put it together with a very stylish shoe would be overkill for everyday work wear. On the other hand, my Aldens would simply blend in -- it would reduce the chance of overkill. In addition, the shape of the shoe simply works with some pairs of pants -- like my Oxxford suit pants -- whereas the Vass might look a bit funny.

    What I think even LA Guy understands is that being "stylish" is always appropriate, but being too stylish is sometimes inappropriate. A slim cut dress shirt in a bold yet tasteful pattern, along with a pair of slimmer fitting flat front pants is pushing the envelope in terms of style at my office, and if I were to wear a pair of stylish Italian shoes, I may cross the line (not that I agree with the line, but if I had it my way we'd all be in suits again).

    In addition, I think that some Alden lasts are more elegant than others. I don't want to trumpet my own goods on Ebay, but the plain toe Aberdeen cordovans I was/am selling is an elegant shoe. Arguably just as elegant as most anything offered by Grenson.
     
  6. JBZ

    JBZ Senior member

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    Without getting into a debate regarding what is stylish and what isn't (although I cringe to hear Aldens mentioned in the same sentence with UGGs and trucker hats), I think what appeals to me about Aldens is that they are classically New England (where I have spent my entire life - I'm 35). New Englanders historically appreciate well made, reasonably priced, functional, sturdy, and simple (i.e. not "flashy") products. Aldens fit this bill perfectly. They have a few basic styles of dress shoes, all of which are "classically" styled and none of which are flashy (when Alden wanted to let its hair down, it devised its "Cape Cod Collection" - "a venetian loafer - how trendy.." [​IMG] ). Alden also has a casual shoe line, some of which are downright ugly, but some of which are perfectly good looking shoes which I'd be happy to wear. Let's just say that nothing in the Alden collection will ever be confused with Berluti. I own several pairs of Alden, and all of them fit well, are very comfortable, and look great in my opinion (I do not own the tassel loafers - like many here, I'm not a big tassel loafer fan). I also own a few pairs of Allen Edmonds and Edward Green and one pair of Vass (thank you A Harris), and love them as well. However, I think that what brings me back to Alden has to do with my appreciation of what they represent in this part of the country (which is ironic, since they probably sell better elsewhere - my guess is that New Englanders now would find them too expensive). There aren't many companies left (especially in the U.S.) that do what Alden does and as well as Alden does it. Thus, Aldens may not be "stylish" (although I think it's debatable), but there's something to be said for what they represent. Best regards, Jeff
     
  7. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    You younger guys: Stay away from tassel loafers. Youth is a big enough advantage.
     
  8. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    I've come around to the tassle loafer now. I think they're rather hip because they aren't.
     
  9. Daniel_NY

    Daniel_NY Member

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    Actually, Bill Gates is wearing Tassel Loafers. They fit to the rest of his outfit.
     
  10. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    Aldens will never be as elegant as the same model shoes by other English or Italian makers but they have their own foursquare, solid style.

    With a suit, Aldens show you are not putting on airs, should this be an issue.

    With jeans, the Alden solidity is a greater advantage, esp as brown and esp black oxfords have been remarried to denim in the past few years. The forthcoming Alden wing tip boot, seen here,

    http://www.alden-of-carmel.com/index...p_Boot_183.htm

    is a knockout. I wish I could afford a pair.

    Tasselled loafers in the Alden style don't have much of a place in NY style right now. But they could come back. Boat shoes did.
     
  11. well-kept

    well-kept Senior member

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    A young guy can wear "old man shoes" that might seem to have been inherited from his grandfather and he'll look great. The person who probably shouldn't wear them is the one at risk for being seen as an old man.
     
  12. jcusey

    jcusey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The forthcoming Alden wing tip boot, seen here,

    http://www.alden-of-carmel.com/index...p_Boot_183.htm

    is a knockout. I wish I could afford a pair.


    Tom Park at LeatherSoul ought to have some similar wingtip boots in cigar shell cordovan coming in soon. His are on Plaza instead of Barrie, however. Unfortunately for you, they're probably going to be around the same price as the Alden of Carmel version.

    It's worth mentioning that while it's true that Alden's catalogue hasn't changed much in years, they do allow their retailers to do special make-ups. Alden of Carmel, Leather Soul, the Shoe Mart, and other retailers have taken advantage of this to put out Alden shoes that are interesting and much different from the standard Alden offerings.
     
  13. Connemara

    Connemara [URL='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6jST2Sv63WQ']

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    I wear Alden/C&J/Allen Edmonds/etc. with pride, and I'm not yet 20. Sure, some people will attach the "old man" stigma, but it's pretty easy to just shrug off.

    As for tassles....ehh. I wouldn't wear them, but if it's something you like then by all means go for it.
     
  14. drizzt3117

    drizzt3117 Senior member

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    I'm just slightly out of my 20s, but wear some AE shoes (more modern designs) but not Alden shoes. I can't get over the clunkiness. I think some models of AE are a bit staid as well. Most of my dress shoes are EG/JL, with a few C&J, but I'm starting to build up a nice collection of Santoni, Moreschi, and A. Testonis, and am perhaps starting to get into the Italian aesthetic more.
     
  15. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    alden for a guy in his twenties? i would think that is the ideal time to wear ferragamos. although i know alden shoes are well made, they look like clunky american shoes to me-- sorry guys, just my opinion-- much prefer the sleeker european styles. when i was in my twenties, i wore allen edmonds. In my 30s, I moved up to john lobb and RL purple label by green. i sure hope the shoes i buy in my 30s last well into my 40s and 50s!!![​IMG]
     

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