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Cognac shoes query


New Member
Jun 10, 2004
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What's the general feeling of cognac shoes (on the darker end of the cognac spectrum, but decidedly lighter than standard "brown") paired with a conservative charcoal grey suit? Is this acceptable work dress at a bank in NY?

I've black shoes, as well, but I much prefer the cognac pair. Let me know if I'm being realistic or just delving into some wishful thinking.



Senior Member
Mar 1, 2004
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These questions of acceptability are always tricky. The standard reply is, as you are probably aware, that if you have to ask, it is probably at least borderline.

Keep in mind that the final answer may hinge upon details you have not provided, such as your position within the firm, the general attitude you attempt to portray through your choice of dress, the peculiarities of your particular co-workers.

Ultimately the most important issue is this: Will you feel comfortable in them in such an environment? If the answer is no, then even if your co-workers are accepting, the self-doubt you will have created with regard to the shoes is fatal.

My personal answer is that the shoes are acceptable. I would pair them with an otherwise conservative outfit, especially at first. The pairing you suggest is timelessly elegant, and so I susect that your apparently daring color choice will not be so shocking to the conscious as to endanger your professional career. Go for it.

Bic Pentameter

Senior Member
May 1, 2002
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I'd agree with BGW.

My response would depend on details that you have not provided.  Would conac shoes be my choice at an interview for an entry level position?  When making a presentation to the Board of Directors?  When apologizing to an influential client for a costly mistake I made?  Probably not.

On the other hand, I think that the lighter in color the shoe is, the more refined the leather and styling should be. If your cognac shoes are obviously expensive, and extremely well cared for, I think they would work on days when you don't have an interview, don't make presentations to the board, and don't have to apologize to influential clients.

The fact that you have asked the question suggests that you might feel uncomfortable in them, or that  your experience in your office environment tells you that the combination would be out of place.  Perhaps that is your best guide and you should listen to it.  I know that I have made quite a few purchases, but never gotten the gumption to wear them in the office.

Just my two cents....



Distinguished Member
Mar 3, 2004
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I agree with Bic. The lighter the shoe, the more a high quality antiquing or some other mark of great leather is important. A cheap pair of cognac leather would simply ruin the effect for me. That said, I have become more partial to shades of brown shoes every passing day.

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