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Balmorals vs. bluchers

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Distinguished Member

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    A debate in another thread about the propriety of wearing cap-toe balmorals with a sportscoat got me thinking. Â Do you try to match the formality of a shoe with the formality of an outfit (i.e., balmoral with suit and blucher with sportscoat/more informal wear)? Â Or is this just overthinking the process of getting dressed?
     


  2. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Distinguished Member

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    This would be overthinking in the States.

    Most people don't even register the difference between a Bal and a Blucher.
     


  3. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I disagree. I always choose my shoes along these lines. That's the main point in buying pairs of shoes in different styles.
     


  4. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior Member

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    The texture of the leather is, IMHO, a much more important formality issue than the bal/blucher distinction.
     


  5. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Distinguished Member

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    Well, I'll agree that bals give some touch that bluchers don't, and vice versa, but I disagreed with the post re: no captoes with odd jackets, and I disagree that bluchers should be reserved for non-suiting. I'm wearing Alden dark brown cap-toe bluchers right now with mid-grey flat-front flannels and a cashmere sweater with a dress shirt underneath, and I don't think my choice is inappropriate.

    That said, I wish I had more bals on my shoe rack -- I only have one pair (my Grensons), as I pay more attention to other things when looking for shoes (and since I buy at discount, I can't have everything usually).
     


  6. demeis

    demeis Distinguished Member

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    I wish i had the option. I need more shoes :sigh:, but when i am shoe shopping i usually end up with bluchers because i have a narrow foot and its hard to find B's and C's around here so with a D or M the blucher fits a little bit tighter on me.
     


  7. FCS

    FCS Senior Member

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    Eh, in my experience the balmorals are usually tighter. With the blucher you can better adjust the tightness of the lacing.
     


  8. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Distinguished Member

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    I usually end up with bluchers for the opposite reason - I apparently have an higher than normal instep, so getting the bal's laced up is a pain, whereas the bluchers are easier to expand (or, in your case, contract) to fit.
     


  9. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Distinguished Member

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    I wouldn't wear the suede balmoral with a dark double-breasted suit (see today's post from Renault about his fitting questions)-black without the medallion would be better. And I wouldn't wear any balmoral with a sportjacket (maybe suede with a navy blazer but not black). Bluchers or loafers (tassel slightly more formal than penny and black more formal than either cordovan or suede) seem better with a blazer or sportjacket. If the jacket is very informal (i.e. not a navy blazer), then penny loafers even with a tie seem appropriate. That said, I'd wear black balmorals with a db blazer. It's getting confusing, so I'll stop. Footnotes tomorrow.
     


  10. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior Member

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    demeis--

    If you don't object to wearing used shoes (I don't), eBay could change your footwear life. It did mine, and I have much narrower feet than yours. Keep your eyes open; the auction site can yield unexpected treasure.

    I have been able to pick up two pairs of vintage Italian-made J&M tassel kilties, medium brown captoes, garden-variety brown tassel loafers, penny loafers (too tight, however), and handmade cowboy boots. (What I'll do with the latter is a mystery even to me.)

    Also try AE and Alden. They both have a wide range of sizes and widths in bals (and just about everything else).

    Avuncular advice from a 13AA. . . .
     


  11. AlanC

    AlanC Minister of Trad

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    It's something I would take into consideration but generally it's not something I get too worked up about. I now have the option to choose between my cognac Grenson bals and my chestnut Allen-Edmonds derbys (Lexingtons), which is nice. In black I only have derbys: Alden captoes and Coach plain toe. Clearly I'm in need of black oxfords... [​IMG]
     


  12. demeis

    demeis Distinguished Member

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    Acutally as i'm reading this i'm looking at shoes on ebay. I just picked up a pair of AE medalion wing tips for $20. My first shot at used shoes and hoping it goes well. Its just i don't have black shoes now and i'm super impatient (really want some more grensons to come in), but until then i'm gonna keep my eye on ebay.
     


  13. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior Member

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    demeis--

    A hearty "Well done." Keep us informed of your experience. Hope the $20 (.) shoes work out as well as mine have.

    Mike
     


  14. TCN

    TCN Distinguished Member

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    (kidkim2 @ 05 Jan. 2005, 1:54) The texture of the leather is, IMHO, a much more important formality issue than the bal/blucher distinction.
    I wouldn't wear the suede balmoral with a dark double-breasted suit (see today's post from Renault about his fitting questions)-black without the medallion would be better. And I wouldn't wear any balmoral with a sportjacket (maybe suede with a navy blazer but not black). Bluchers or loafers (tassel slightly more formal than penny and black more formal than either cordovan or suede) seem better with a blazer or sportjacket. If the jacket is very informal (i.e. not a navy blazer), then penny loafers even with a tie seem appropriate. That said, I'd wear black balmorals with a db blazer. It's getting confusing, so I'll stop. Footnotes tomorrow.
    Really, you wouldn't pair a pair of medium brown cap-toe Balmorals with a sportcoat?
     


  15. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Distinguished Member

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    It's essentially a dress shoe, IMO. So if you dress up a blazer with a spread collar shirt, then OK to a brown leather balmoral (especially if suede or pebbled grain and not shiny and smooth). But I'd say not with a more casual jacket (say a herringbone or cashmere plaid which usually takes a button-down). My balmorals are all black, so I haven't had the temptation. My own sportcoat shoes are all Alden loafers (tassel and penny; brown suede, black and shell cordovan). All opinion without much evidence.
     


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