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Allen Edmonds Appreciation Thread - reviews, pictures, sizing, etc...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Mild Mannered, Sep 27, 2009.

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  1. 2011Six

    2011Six Member

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    Question... Does anyone have pictures of a burnished brown pair of AEs next to a pair of bourban? I'm on the fence between my next purchase. Most likely will be a park avenue or fifth in one of the two colors mentioned above but would love to see a comparison picture or any SF opinions to help me decide.

    If it matters, I have a pair of black hales, walnut strands and a random pair of cordovan (colored) cap toes. Any advice is appreciated.
     


  2. Berob

    Berob Active Member

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    So I've got a modest collection of AE going and would like to add a wingtip to it. My current line-up consists of black PA, merlot PA, brown Fifth Avenue, walnut Strands, and burgandy shell Randolphs. I have seen the McAllister, MacNeil, Jefferson, and Cambridge (shell only?) mentioned frequently, but I'd like to know what model you prefer/recommend and why, as well as what color you think would be most appropriate for me given my current inventory. If it matters, I'm in commercial banking and wear a suit 4 - 5 days per week. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013


  3. msulinski

    msulinski Distinguished Member

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    Since you plan on wearing this with a suit, I would skip the McNeil, as it is a more casual shoe (longwing blucher).

    I believe the McAllister, Cambridge and Jefferson are all basically the same design. The Cambridge is the shell version of the McAllister, and the Jefferson is the upgraded version of the McAllister in the independence collection (better leather and a few details basically). To further complicate things, I believe a bourbon version of the McAllister is available (called the Amsterdam), though I can't seem to fnd it on the AE site.

    The McAllister in merlot is my recommendation, and is your cheapest option. I would skip black (save it for the PA) and walnut (you already have walnut strands). The merlot color works well with gray and charcoal suits, and possibly navy, though I haven't tried this. Shell, as nice as it is, is a less formal leather, as is the double leather sole of the Cambridge. They could still work with suits, though.
     


  4. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    I'm not disagreeing with you, I just don't think I've heard that shell itself is considered less formal. Is that a personal belief or a mainstream "rule"?
     


  5. TheSizzle

    TheSizzle Senior Member

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    The bourbon version of the McAllister was released through Urban Daddy as a limited run, using the name of Amsterdam. However, I've been lead to believe that it will appear on the AE website under the McAllister's color options within the next month.

    As far as recommendations, I'd agree with msulinski.
    - The McNeil is a longwing blucher, which makes it absolutely casual in nature.
    - The McAllister is a beautiful, wingtip balmoral that comes in at a relatively low price point (relative to the following two). Picking it up in a merlot color would probably work quite nicely, and you could still dress it up. Going for a walnut or bourbon will push it more in the casual direction.
    - The Jefferson is an interesting design with a lower wing and some different accents near the eyelets. It looks great in person, and I'd consider it a bit more formal than the McAllister, but choosing it over the McAllister would be just personal preference.
    - The Cambridge would be a fantastic addition to your shell game, but there would be a definite price jump.

    Looking at your current collection and circumstances, berob, I would probably back msulinski's merlot McAllister recommendation.
     


  6. allysan1027

    allysan1027 Well-Known Member

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    anybody have experience buying from Ebay? There's a seller "hitch n post" which has a number of used styles under $100.

    would that be a good idea? or should I stick to clearance/sales
     


  7. sevenfoldtieguy

    sevenfoldtieguy Distinguished Member

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    Hitch n Post is reputable and easy to work with. They also accept returns on most models.
     


  8. msulinski

    msulinski Distinguished Member

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    My understanding is that it is a mainstream rule, or at least one widely adhered to on this forum. That doesn't mean you can't wear the Cambridges with suits, but I think the McAllister has the edge on formality with a combination of the single leather sole and calf.

    Here are a few links I dug up on the formality of shell vs. calf:
    http://putthison.com/post/28843198980/the-navy-sport-coat-of-shoes-in-my-opinion
    http://oldleathershoe.com/wordpress/?p=304&doing_wp_cron=1357766101.9037210941314697265625
    http://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/106lx6/renalans_visual_guide_to_dress_shoes/

    Edit: It appears the reasoning behind shell being less formal than calf is that it does not shine as well, as well as being more rugged.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013


  9. MoneyWellSpent

    MoneyWellSpent Distinguished Member

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    Well, you learn something new every day... I have to admit that this "rule" doesn't seem as obvious to me as all the others, but they people who write that stuff know their stuff.
     


  10. sevenfoldtieguy

    sevenfoldtieguy Distinguished Member

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    This is decent advice.

    However, many men - and I mean many - wear MacNeils with suits. But I am not one of them.

    The shell v. calf debate - as to the issue of formality - is an interesting one. I have two black captoe Bals: (1) Edward Green Chelsea (black calf), and (2) Alden black shell. If each pair was well taken care of, and shined nicely, and a survey was taken, say, of men (or women) who had any clue how to dress, one of two results would be produced: (1) a tie, or (2) the Alden black shell would be deemed more formal. And the smart money would be on option 2. There is no black calf, at any price point, that shines like Alden's black shell.

    As an aside, IMO, AE has taken a step in the right direction with its new finish on its black shell.
     


  11. cbtaylor

    cbtaylor Senior Member

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  12. sevenfoldtieguy

    sevenfoldtieguy Distinguished Member

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    AE's shell - at least before they changed their finishes - was many times dull, almost opaque. Indeed, it was what kept me for the most part from buying its shell (although I still did from time to time).

    So my commnets below do not include AE's "old" shell.

    I have dozens of calf models and dozens of shell models, from various makers, shoes and boots. This is demonstrably false on both accounts. Nothing personal, it's just not true.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013


  13. DJTraveler

    DJTraveler Senior Member

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    I had a tough time with the Lombard. It fit noticeably tighter than my other 9D AEs. Had to send mine back.
     


  14. hohneokc

    hohneokc Distinguished Member

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    Not the greatest photo, but here is a photo of my Bourbon Flatirons between Brown Parkway and Walnut McAllister
    [​IMG]

    Chris
     


  15. Goldy

    Goldy Well-Known Member

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    I'd rather have black calf or merlot.
     


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