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Bought Allen-Edmonds. Now what? TOTAL NOOB!

hynson

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Hey guys,

First off, I'm 25 years of age, live in Houston, TX. I am a complete noob when it comes to style - my girlfriend is always disappointed in my outfits as she's more of a hipster. Anyways, I am trying to get my act together. I am tired of wearing sloppy clothes or just whatever I can find off a clearance rack at Khols. I'm beginning my journal from the ground up, starting with shoes.

Well, I impulsively bought some Allen-Edmonds Fifth Avenue Park in Walnut. I love the lighter brown color and thought it would be a good first purchase of a full leather shoe - I wanted all the detail to be visible.

However, I have these in now and realize they do not go with anything I have. I am not exactly sure what I can even wear with these shoes and I'm assuming my options are fairly limited. I am considering exchanging them for black of a darker shade of brown. I really want to keep these shoes, they are beautiful, but I think it will be frustrating trying to find the right colors of clothing. I have read countless threads here at styleforum and I see a lot of folks go with charcoal or lighter grey slacks. Some says jeans will works, others say no way. So I'm posting this here today in hopes of fresh opinions and advice and what I can do with these shoes.

I want to wear these to work no more than 2 days a week and maybe to special events (I read that shoes should be able to rest for a minimum of 48 hours between use). My work environment is business casual so I never have to wear a suit. I normally wear wool dress slacks and khaki chinos, depending on how I feel. I wear button downs and maybe a sweater when it gets cold.

Thank you for your help in advance, and I look forward to your response.

 
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Liquidus

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Your first leather shoe should really be a different color.
 

hynson

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I just bought a pair of black Magnanni Federico too. This has a rubber sole so it will be the workhorse of my shoes that gets used the most until I build up my leather shoe collection for an even rotation.

I really like the simple design of the Fifth Park Avenues, will the brown burnished calf color be an easier option to work with?

 

Atterberg

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Walnut AE shoes look good with almost anything, but particularly good with blues and the right shade of olive. Dark blue jeans, cotton pants in navy, tan or khaki... throw on a non-garish jacket and you're set.

I usually wear them to bring out the pop in my navy blazer or if I'm going for lighter summer colors such as a muted pink shirt. I find they work best with simple patterns, so don't try to pair them with madras.

Anyway, there's no shame in walnut game, and if you like the fit and feel then explore used options on ebay. I rarely pay more than $80 for a pair of AEs now. Your next buy should be a burgundy wingtip.
 
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sportin_life

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Those are okay, but might not be the best shoes for a 1st pair. The closed lacing on the 5th ave makes it relatively formal. The minimal broguing makes it a bit less formal than park aves, and the walnut makes it less formal.

I would think those walnut 5th aves would be best with a casual business outfit (chinos, etc.) rather than a totally formal (suit) or totally casual (jeans) outfit. It sounds like that might be your goal? I would try those with various shades of chinos and dark grey slacks.

You might also want to consider trading them for dark brown 5th aves or strands, which are probably more versatile.
 

PhiPsi32

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Traditional rules of style are not rigidly upheld in the US. The Walnut 5th Ave is fine. Chinos, medium to dark denim, twill, and gray or navy slacks will be fine. To finish off the look, go for a walnut belt. That will bring everything together. Keep the shirts simple, solid, basic stripes, or gingham check. A solid polo and denim will work well for the office. Get a matching belt and you won't have any problems. As for the above comment,a burgundy, merlot, or burnished brown wingtip would be a fine addition to your collection. Wear the shoes for a while. Make sure you like the fit and move on from there.
 

Robert Half

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I was in the same boat as you a year or two ago.

My suggestion is to stay away from buying any more expensive shoes until a year or two later in your learning. I found in beginning I was heavily influenced by the posters on this forum and dazzled by their outfits. But as I've learned more, I've found much of what looked impressive to now be tacky and not true to MY personal style. It's maturity. It's finding who you are instead of emulating others.

Had I spent the big money in the beginning I would have formed a wardrobe that wasn't in line with my real tastes.

So stick with bargain purchases and take different shoe styles for test drives on the cheap. Then, when you are certain of what you want in style, you can spend the money wisely and dress in a way that expresses your true style.
 

facet

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Traditional rules of style are not rigidly upheld in the US.  The Walnut 5th Ave is fine.  Chinos, medium to dark denim, twill, and gray or navy slacks will be fine.  To finish off the look, go for a walnut belt.  That will bring everything together.  Keep the shirts simple, solid, basic stripes, or gingham check.  A solid polo and denim will work well for the office.  Get a matching belt and you won't have any problems.  As for the above comment,a burgundy, merlot, or burnished brown wingtip would be a fine addition to your collection.  Wear the shoes for a while.  Make sure you like the fit and move on from there.

+1
 

Thanks SF (a new me)

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OP, if you are staying with AE, my choice would be the MacNeil in Walnut for your immediate needs.
 

JLibourel

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By the way, OP, you are confusing two shoes: There is the Fifth Avenue, which is a punch cap, and the Park Avenue, which is a plain cap-toe.
 

mr monty

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I was in the same boat as you a year or two ago.

My suggestion is to stay away from buying any more expensive shoes until a year or two later in your learning. I found in beginning I was heavily influenced by the posters on this forum and dazzled by their outfits. But as I've learned more, I've found much of what looked impressive to now be tacky and not true to MY personal style. It's maturity. It's finding who you are instead of emulating others.

Had I spent the big money in the beginning I would have formed a wardrobe that wasn't in line with my real tastes.

So stick with bargain purchases and take different shoe styles for test drives on the cheap. Then, when you are certain of what you want in style, you can spend the money wisely and dress in a way that expresses your true style.

Tacky outfits that you were dazzled by? Please post 1 or 2 ?
 

wgiceman

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Hey guys,

First off, I'm 25 years of age, live in Houston, TX. I am a complete noob when it comes to style - my girlfriend is always disappointed in my outfits as she's more of a hipster.  Anyways, I am trying to get my act together. I am tired of wearing sloppy clothes or just whatever I can find off a clearance rack at Khols. I'm beginning my journal from the ground up, starting with shoes.

Well, I impulsively bought some Allen-Edmonds Fifth Avenue Park in Walnut. I love the lighter brown color and thought it would be a good first purchase of a full leather shoe - I wanted all the detail to be visible.

However, I have these in now and realize they do not go with anything I have. I am not exactly sure what I can even wear with these shoes and I'm assuming my options are fairly limited. I am considering exchanging them for black of a darker shade of brown. I really want to keep these shoes, they are beautiful, but I think it will be frustrating trying to find the right colors of clothing. I have read countless threads here at styleforum and I see a lot of folks go with charcoal or lighter grey slacks. Some says jeans will works, others say no way. So I'm posting this here today in hopes of fresh opinions and advice and what I can do with these shoes.

I want to wear these to work no more than 2 days a week and maybe to special events (I read that shoes should be able to rest for a minimum of 48 hours between use). My work environment is business casual so I never have to wear a suit. I normally wear wool dress slacks and khaki chinos, depending on how I feel. I wear button downs and maybe a sweater when it gets cold.

Thank you for your help in advance, and I look forward to your response.


Those are some beautiful shoes, indeed. The walnut color is very versatile and will only get better as the shoes develop a patina over time. For a business casual work environment, these shoes are perfectly fine. Chances are you will have the nicest shoes among those you associate with. The walnut color will go very well with your wool dress slacks (blues, grays, tans, brown, olive) and khaki chinos. If you decide to step it up by wearing a blazer or sport coat, you will definitely set the standard with your peers. Be certain to get a matching belt to pull everything together and you will be fine.

I suggest you keep this pair (especially if the fit is good and comfortable). You can always get a more formal Park Avenue in the darker brown at a later time. And by all means, don't feel like you have to pay full retail for AE's. You can find great deals on ebay or via AE sales and company seconds. That is the strategy I used and I now have more than 20 pair of AE's.
 

standaloneprotein

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It takes time getting used to some colors at first (or some styles) To give an example pastel colors or pink shirts.
As stated before, the belt is the key for the outfit.

The first time I went out with Loafers I felt so awkward...
 

harlequin782

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You live in Houston: you need to start veering toward all shades of loafers, including, but not limited to bourbon, dark chili, brown, oxblood and walnut of course.

Whatever you do, dont start stocking up on boots right away - youll never truly use them. Houston's weather lends itself to extensive casual wear for 3/4's of the year. You will regret it if you stock up on balmorals and boots in such a hot environment in a place with such a prominent patio culture from March - November.

You will find that in order to blend in, for the majority of the year you'll be much better served by a pair of Lake Forest loafers, or Achesons or Cavanaughs than you will be by a bunch of Caens, Normandys, Higgins Mills, Daltons or even most balmorals & bluchers.

Loafers would be the name of the game, if I were you. If you managed to get a pair of dark chili or oxblood Achesons or Lake Forests loafers youll be set for quite a while without needing to make another shoe purchase; as these colors will go with just about anything.
 

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