Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mild Mannered, Sep 27, 2009.
Walnut strands and new viccel socks for casual Friday.
Agreed - the Strands are great. I am now torn between the Walnut Strand and the new Bourbon Strand.
I started out using the AE conditioner/cleaner, which is a good product. I'm now almost exclusively Saphir Renovateur on shell and calf. It's that good.
An open letter to all the shell heads on this thread:
All of you with your non-stop, constant pictures and praise for all things shell. You finally did it. First, you got to Jubei, who broke down and got his first pair of shell. Then, you got to me. Now, I look down and see this special delivery from Spain on my feet:
Please stop before you spread this madness even further.
Okay, one quick question to tap into your expertise: these shell do not look as nice out of the box as the typical AE/Alden shell does. In fact, they looked worse when I brushed them as they got somewhat cloudy. The picture above is after one application of Renovateur and it seems like they need another coat of that or some Saphir cordovan polish. I may even try a deer bone to see how that works. Any other suggestions on TLC to get these ready to wear?
^^ I may have to get into the Saphir Renovateur bandwagon...my shells routinely gets brushed, brushed, brushed, and more brushing; before and after wearing...
Not all shells are finished the same. They come from the same source, but they are finished differently at each factory. I think you just need a bit more reno and a lot more brushing. I wouldn't use any polish as shell doesn't need it.
One of us... one of us...
Nice shoes! Burgundy shell gunboats are next on my list.
Everything I heard about shell amounts to "brush, brush, brush" but that hasn't worked for me. I apply a dab of venetian shoe cream to an ancient t-shirt, work it into the shoe, and then buff hard with a barely-moistened canvas-backed polishing cloth until the glow comes out to my liking.
Very nice - enjoy them. As Bill Clinton said, "I feel your pain." I fully planned to not add to my shell (or shoe) collection this year, instead focusing on my suits / sport coats and pants. I have bought those other clothing items, but also am currently at 6 new pair of shell cordovans since 1/1. But, as I told my wife, i also sold 2, so I'm only at a +4....
I don't know how Carmina finishes their shell, but AE, Alden and C&J are all different. With a new pair of C&J or AE shells (Alden is different because of the dye and finish they apply), I start by trying them on and walking around carpeted floors for about an hour. If they fit and I'm going to keep them, I start with the "Mac" method - slightly damp rag, followed by brushing them, usually for about 15 minutes per shoe, immediately after wearing them. My sense is that brushing time is better spent while the shoes are already warm from wearing them.
A day or two later, I do the same thing again. The goal of all this is threefold: to make sure they fit well, get some of the "spewing" out of the shell before I wear them out into the world, and to break in the soles, so I don't grind the toe into oblivion the first time I wear them.
After all that, if they look like they need something to bring the shine out, I apply a very light coat of Reno, followed by more brushing.
Then, after each of the first few wearings, I brush them for 10 minutes or so. The good news is that the brushing time reduces as time goes on, because the spewing stops.
Edit: I'll have to random-adam's approach a try. Thanks!
Thanks for all the good advice on shell care. One more picture now that the sun has peeked through to give a little natural light for a picture.
A WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO MANY:
I have literally dozens of shell models from various makers - shoes and boots. I am honestly baffled by this talk of constant extensive brushing. I have never done that (constant extensive brushing), and don't plan to start. Do I brush - sure - but mostly only before and after a treatment; and from time to time inbetween treatments. And a good brushing right out of the box is a good idea. Beyond that, a damp soft cloth (or even dry cloth) before wearing (and quick buff) and damp cloth after wearing does the trick for me. And I'd like to think my shoes and boots look pretty good.
On my feet today: Alden Saddles (cigar shell/snuff suede) from Leffot. Were they brushed this morning? No. Will they be brushed tonight? No.
This is not a criticism of anyone - if you like to brush, then keep doing it. But I fear that many that are new to the Shell game have this idea that keeping shell shoes/boots looking nice takes alot of never-ending work. It doesn't.
A good weekend to one and all.
I Kiwi-ed my Leeds and just recently my 721LTD's to bring up the shine as I wasn't a fan of the more matte-finish of AE shell vs. Alden shell. I tend to not over-think shoe care.
It is an illogical sense of accomplishment and pride when you get your first pair of shell. Then comes the disappointing sadness, when you look at all of your calf shoes, realizing you will need more shell...
I concur with this, Renovateur is astonishing. It cleanses, moisturizes, and is vibrant enough to leave a slight polished look to the leather. Fantastic product...
Thank you very much for the detailed information on the 744. I am afraid that we likely have a very strong similarity in boot style, but I will know for sure in a couple of weeks when I get back home. The shoebank did have a pair in my size for $399 so I ordered them. They are having a 20% off sale on all boots right now but not these unfortunately. I have a pair of AE Benton shoes and they are my least favorite AE shoe, the too short toe cap is part of the reason. But I also don't care for the elongated toe cap that many on SF seem to prefer. I am afraid the high toebox might also be a deal breaker as it would also add in to the blobby factor. Fingers crossed and by using the shoebank I can easily return them if I don't like them or defects are too much. At full price I would get a pair of NST boots in the same color shell instead.
Couple of years ago someone that is a regular poster on here posted on another site a pair of his 15 year Leeds that he treated with Sno-Seal to handle foul weather. A little research yielded that others have done the same with shell and it looks pretty decent and also works well. That set into motion the idea of me doing the same for a pair of shell boots, but I wouldn't want to do it to a pair of good dress boots. Last year I missed out on a pair of Ron Rider gunmetal shell boots that would have been perfect, they were on clearance for less $500. By the time I filled out my CC info they gone. Hopefully the 744 will fit the bill, If not no hurry and nothing lost except time. Hopefully it will be time well spent .
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